April 10, 2019 by Kirsten Nelson

Center Stage 2018Promoting new ideas at the heart of the InfoComm show floor for the third consecutive year, Center Stage 2019 (Booth 3161) is offering even more ways to advance conversations at the show. In addition to a full slate of new, thought-provoking dialogues from designers and practitioners who are pushing the edges of what’s possible with AV technology, this year’s program will also feature several “Meet the Experts” sessions that will put these dynamic presenters in direct conversation with the audience. So, come for a session and stay for Meet the Experts Q&A later on.

The Center Stage experience this year is all about amplification of the trends driving AV business and innovation today. Throughout the schedule, there is a particular focus on retail and hospitality, as those verticals reinvent themselves for the experience design era. What’s happening in these areas will shape the way AV technology transforms the user experience across a multitude of projects.

The names and clients on the retail and hospitality roster will impress. For a session on “Crafting High-Performance Audio Environments for Hospitality,” music trend expert Christopher Golub from Studio Orca, selector of the flavorful tunes you’ll hear at Chipotle, will be in dialogue with the chain’s sound systems designer, Matthew Emmi of OneButton. And there’s a session on those giant, floating hospitality vessels, cruise ships. For that talk, the staging technology innovator Gemma Guy from TAIT will be in conversation with ControlAV’s Amir El Yordi, realizer of shipboard technology, and also Christopher Vlassopulos, the entertainment, robotics, sound and light person who makes these increasingly complex shows run for Royal Caribbean.

Then there’s the big-box retail expert and store experience curator Laura Davis-Taylor from HighStreet Collective and boss analyzer Adrian Weidmann from StoreStream Metrics speaking about “Optimizing Digital Signage Design with Retail Behavioral Analytics.” And you won’t want to miss the new data from Gensler’s Retail Experience Index, which will be humanized by future-technology-savvy architect Megan Lubaszka and her co-presenter Alan Robles, designer of Samsung’s retail stores.

The Center Stage program also hits many other topical notes ever-present in business prognostication today: eSports arenas, human factors in meeting room design, live event production in the experience era, attracting new talent to the AV industry, and more.

Among these, one particular session you won’t want to miss is the on-stage interview with Heather Shaw, CEO and Chief Designer of Vita Motus. Shaw’s incredibly vivid, technologically tricked-out stage designs and show concepts have made her one of the most in-demand vision-makers for live music and festivals worldwide. Her future filter is serious and her technical savoir-faire will change your perspective on how to translate the most dreamy experience concepts into real-world applications.

Another big-concept session will be “Influencing Behavior and Enhancing Experience with Audio,” which will be led by Stacey Quinealty, Creative Director of AV Design - Entertainment Production with Universal Studios Hollywood. He will discuss how to create truly immersive audio experiences that envelope listeners in an emotional experience — and why this part of the design process needs to start in the earliest phase possible to not only be more successful, but also more economical. Think it through at the start, rather than spending for a patch-up job at the end.

Wrapping up the Friday program at Center Stage will be a finale session led by none other than Paul Chavez from Arup and Nick Nienaber of WeWork. They’re going to look at “Developing a New Method for Technology Layering in Buildings.” You’re not going to want to miss these two mega AV designers’ viewpoints on how buildings can be designed strategically to accommodate the people inhabiting them and the various life cycles of the technology they need.

Find new angles on the topics and prospects that will change your future projects at Center Stage 2019. Amplify your show floor schedule with these soulful sessions!

About Kirsten Nelson

Kirsten Nelson has written about audio, video and experience design in all its permutations for more than 20 years. As a writer and content developer for AVIXA, Kirsten connects stories, people and technology through a variety of media. She also directs program content for the TIDE Conference and Technology Innovation Stage at InfoComm. For three years, she also created conversations around emerging media and experiential design at InfoComm's Center Stage. Prior to that, Kirsten was the editor of SCN magazine for 17 years.