After a while of contemplation, I've decided to skip this years' Infocomm. It came down to several factors that I'll list below. I want to go, but at this point it doesn't make much sense. It would be more for fun than work. Fun doesn't make money.
Transportation fees $xx
The end result is $1,500+/- out of pocket while not producing any work output at the same time. A week at my rate that I would be missing out on is substantial when owning your own business. Sure, I get to "write it off", but it's still money going out.
Have I received that much in return as far as paid work goes just because of my attendance? That answer is an absolute no based on historical data. Since 80-90% of my work over the past 14 years has been though either existing clients or word of mouth, I can say with certainty that I've received no new clients at the show.
I've been to the show now six times over the years. Three times was for the company I worked for at the time and the other three have been on my dime. It's these three times on my funding that I gave the most reflection over. Mainly, I had to weigh any benefits of attending vs the cost. What are the benefits? Looking at the new stuff! Does looking at stuff make money? In this age, I can get as much knowledge about a product on line as I can by looking at it in person. Networking? Has networking helped me at Infocomm? I've probably had better luck through LinkedIn over any given week than the show.
I need no continuing education credits so that need isn't relevant.
About a week after the show is over, I'm heading to Ecuador and then the Galapagos Islands. That's another 1.5 weeks that I'll be out. I typically get sick on the way home from Vegas and I don't want to be down and out for vacation.
Fly with the wind
My work lately has been mostly architecture and not so much of the video conferencing stuff. The show doesn't affect my current set of projects. That's the way things go when you offer architecture, mechanical and civil design design services on top of video conferencing product design and general UC analysis work.
It's sad that I'll be missing out on all the action and maybe things will change in the next month or so (if someone has a specific need for me to go), but as of now, Infocomm is a no-go.