By Andrew Edwards
After serious reflection and review, I have decided to make a significant change to our tradeshow schedule. Effective this year, Extron will no longer exhibit at the Infocomm USA and ISE Integrated Systems Europe tradeshows.
As I said, this change is significant, so let me give you some background. Extron has exhibited at every Infocomm USA show since 1986 and at ISE Integrated Systems Europe since 1999, when it was known as Infocomm Europe. We were instrumental in the creation and organization of the Infocomm Shootout and Extron has had the largest booth at Infocomm USA for the last four years. We have enjoyed and appreciated what Infocomm USA and ISE have become. However, at Extron we have concluded that the time and energy put into exhibiting at these short three-day events, can better serve you by being repurposed toward activities that provide direct benefit and support for you, our customers. Specifically, we are focused on the creation of additional Extron support and training facilities both domestically and internationally.
We have a great deal of respect for the Infocomm organization and its role in our industry. Extron provides training staff for Infocomm CTS-D and CTS-I courses, and our Extron Institute courses are approved for Infocomm certification renewal credit. This decision affects the Infocomm USA and ISE tradeshows only. Extron will continue to support the Infocomm organization in all other ways.
Let me assure you that Extron is in strong financial position. 2011 was a record year for Extron. We introduced over 75 new products including our new XTP CrossPoint® Systems line of digital matrix switchers, and the SME 100 H.264 Streaming Media Encoder, which, I’m pleased to announce, is now shipping. To make you, our customers, more aware of these new products requires training. Extron is built on the philosophy of training and education, and each year thousands of you attend Extron Institute, worldwide. Much of the effort that previously went into preparing for and exhibiting at Infocomm USA and ISE, will now go toward making Extron training and support even more accessible.
I’m excited to announce that we have completed construction on two new buildings; our 200,000 sq ft worldwide support and training headquarters in Anaheim, CA, and our 144,000 sq ft training, support and engineering facility in Raleigh, NC. Also, in 2011 we opened training and product demonstration facilities in Washington DC, London, Paris, and Frankfurt. We have announced our plan to open an additional training and product demonstration facility in Dallas, TX and expect to have our Dallas location online by summer of this year. 2012 includes plans for training facilities in New York and Toronto, with additional facilities to be announced shortly.
In 2011 we hired 425 new employees bringing the total number of Extron employees to over 2000. We will continue to hire Field Support Engineers, Trainers and Field Sales Staff as fast as we can locate them. I am told our support is the best in the industry. We intend to keep that reputation and the additional staff will be dedicated to supporting you, our customers. Remember, Extron is an engineering driven company, not a sales driven company. With over 2000 employees world-wide, not a single person at Extron is on commission. Our objective is to see that you, our customers, receive the support you need to be successful and get the job done.
There is no doubt we will miss being at these shows, and seeing those of you who chose to attend Infocomm USA and ISE. Those of you who know me, know I love being on the show floor meeting you face-to-face and talking about our new products. We’re all going to miss the Extron Bash. However, with our increased facilities and staff, it will make attending an Extron Institute course easier and more convenient. If you’ve been to a class in Anaheim, you know that I make a point of connecting with you here, and the conversations are always more detailed and more candid, which I love.
On behalf of everyone at Extron I would like to thank you for your continued support, and I look forward to seeing you at an Extron Institute event soon. Call or write me with your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Andrew C. Edwards
President, Extron Electronics