Going to InfoComm 2017? Consider these useful tips and things to do in Orlando to optimize your time at the largest pro-AV trade show in North America.

Almost 40,000 industry professionals are expected to converge in the exhibit halls and education conference rooms from June 14-16 at the Orange County Convention Center. At an overview level, InfoComm attendees can expect to get a close-up look at the latest display technologies, from fine-pitch direct-view LED and QLED displays, to all the supporting gear and software that light up spaces with pixels.

It’s a big show with a massive footprint and there’s a lot of things to do in Orlando, so planning ahead is helpful. Here are a few starting tips:

Tip 1: Dig into the conference schedule and exhibit hall guide ahead of time to make sure you know where to be and when. You don’t want to waste time wandering around or attending talks that don’t match your needs or interests. That’s particularly true if you are only popping in for one of the three days. If your goal is to see the latest videowall and smart display technologies, you don’t want to end up missing out because you weren’t prepared.

Tip 2: Make a “Must See” list or download and use the InfoComm 2017 mobile app. This will help you navigate, and let you plan and check off what you want to see and do.

Tip 3: If you have a specific interest — let’s say you want to weigh the merits of LED versus LCD to fill a space in a new office lobby — do groundwork and research so that you understand what the sales people and engineers are saying. If you already have the fundamentals down, you’ll ask better questions, get more valuable answers and won’t waste precious time trying to get up to speed in areas like specs or vocabulary.

Beyond the Show

There are several new elements to the show. Among the things to do in Orlando is TIDE (Technology. Innovation. Design. Experience), a design-centric conference built around visual storytelling and the experiential side of applying technology to different types of venues. There is also a free Center Stage area set aside on the exhibit floor for a series of 20-minute talks by leading technology practitioners, end users, researchers and thinkers.

A few years ago, drones were the buzzworthy new attraction. This year, it’s virtual and augmented reality, with a designated area for vendors. VR, in particular, is not just about gaming. With VR headsets, architects, retailers and marketers are seeing how spaces might look and work before a building permit is even issued, saving time and money within the preliminary stages of digital signage layout.

Beyond the convention, you may also note the show is near plenty of well-known Florida attractions, such as Universal Studios, the Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld and a few other theme parks if you’d like to get an adrenaline fix.

A Few More FAQs

Weather: It is hot and humid. If you’re from a temperate climate and not used to it, make sure you pack accordingly. If your hotel is in walking distance, bring water and look for a route that provides shade. The good news is the Orange County Convention Center is fully air-conditioned and you’ll be comfortable inside.

Transportation: If you’re driving or renting a car when you fly in, it’s easy to get around and parking is plentiful — though leave yourself some time to get into the lots around the convention center. If you need a ride, Uber and Lyft operate in Orlando but are not formally allowed to pick up at the airport, so you’ll need a taxi. Once settled in, InfoComm has shuttle buses from 37 hotels to and from the venue, Tuesday through Friday. Here’s the map, so you can see if your hotel is on the list.

Food: If you’re a trade show veteran, you’ll know every convention hall has its share of quick-serve options. One fun attraction at InfoComm this year is something called The Park, an indoor beer garden with food trucks and live music. The InfoComm site says free beer will be available at both bars in The Park during happy hours, which will undoubtedly draw crowds. Away from the trade show hall, Orlando is a tourism mecca, and there are plenty of options for fast casual and more formal dining along International Drive.

Wi-Fi: The convention center offers complimentary Wi-Fi access via OCCC Free Wi-Fi. However, it’s available only in public spaces, restaurants, common areas and lobbies, so you won’t be able to use it inside the exhibit halls.

If you are going, prepare to enjoy the education sessions, exhibit halls and all that Orlando has to offer.

Before heading to InfoComm 2017, learn more about Samsung’s Smart Signage offerings and how they can help your business.