Is there room for CES and CEDIA Expo to co-exist?
It’s mind-boggling how many high-end residential integrators are attending CES each year. Of Cours,e it’s a playground, of sorts, of everything for the home and for personal consumer electronics. But, it’s a nightmare to navigate. But, the most common reason cited by the average CI attending? Because every manufacturer — even the small one’s and the one’s who are laser-focused on high-end residential and not app-based home AV — has now shifted product introductions from late summer and early Fall to January. And, CEDIA Expo has become a “we’re finally shipping it, so come and see it” kind of show.
This begs the question: Does CEDIA Expo have a future?
I believe the answer is a resounding YES. But, it remains to be seen. So far Emerald Expositions the new owners of the Expo, has done nothing but talk about their plans and support for CEDIA Expo — the truth is, they haven’t detailed any specifics or made any changes. The 2019 exhibitor list hasn’t been published, yet, but if we look at the 2018 show, nothing changed from 2017. We still saw $10 app-based control companies living right next-door to $2,500 control systems providers. And, we saw (and heard) a lot of Amazon Alexa integration around the show floor. Oh, and Crestron was still not there — that’s a big hole. And the rumor is that two big display companies from 2018 have pulled out of the 2019 event already, opting for focusing more resources on CES.
But, do we NEED CEDIA Expo? Interestingly enough, genius is at work over at the CEDIA Association in my opinion. The work that Tabatha O’Connor, CEDIA’s CEO, and her team have accomplished to differentiate themselves away from the Expo since selling it has been stellar. They now have more than 40 online classes and certifications available to members, they have published best white paper library (52 and courting) of educational content of any association in the tech world and they are constantly delivering educational webinars geared NOT to app-based companies or tire-kicking DIY’ers. They’re laser-focused on the CI.
As my mom used to always say, actions speak louder than words — and thanks to the CI company that installed my AV system, those words are in 10.1 sound.