May 31, 2023

Many days I find myself stuck in what is known as the MacArthur Maze. It’s an area where all the major Bay Area freeways merge to funnel drivers through the toll plaza of the Bay Bridge into San Francisco. And the traffic’s bad – still is – even after COVID.

We’re told that San Francisco is a ghost town. Everyone is fleeing Northern California for places like Costa Rica or Idaho. So, who are all these people in traffic? What kinds of people keep getting in their cars and complaining about the big backup on Highway 80? How is there just as much traffic as before the pandemic when everyone is working from home, living in Wyoming, or just experiencing homelessness?

I have an idea. It all starts with the number ONE. I am one guy in my car on my way to a meeting with one other guy. If I want to meet face-to-face, that is my only option. One-on-one in a coffee shop. Maybe in an office if I am lucky, but likely my audience will be ONE even in an office. My guy is the only guy there that day. There are delivery trucks everywhere delivering one box to one house for the ONE same dude. ONE.

If I want to talk to a group, it’s now a Teams call. A Teams call is altogether different than face-to-face. We are one person staring at each other on a screen. Nobody is present. Everyone is distracted. The presenter has no idea if what they are saying has any impact at all.

Long ago, in a time before Amazon, assorted products were aggregated in buildings in populated areas. A single delivery truck trip resulted in the gathering of many needed items. These items were shipped in quantity to these facilities, and it was very ecologically sound and efficient. These things were called “stores” and you could find many goods there. 

Now when we run out of a thing, we order one and it shows up by itself in a box in one box…often inside another box.

What does this have to do with InfoComm being “green”?

InfoComm is a chance for us to finally have group gatherings to see groups of things. It creates a space for us to share information face-to-face with many people all at once without traffic jams.

We get to see how others react to various products and concepts like we used to in that olde-timey place called an office. We will all socialize and come away with a deeper understanding of what we saw and heard. And it all happens over the course of a few short days. No MacArthur Maze. No toll plaza.  No box in a box in another box. Just a flurry of face-to-face meetings in an efficient and sustainable format.   

The tradeshow is alive and well and I for one cannot wait. See ya in Orlando!