CEDIA Expo held a completely virtual trade show for the custom integration and design communities on Sept. 15-17, and around 7,600 trade professionals attended. The Expo featured 110 virtual exhibitors, 80 CEDIA education courses, 18 TechTalk panel discussions, 4 keynotes, networking opportunities and more.
“While we all wish we could have been together for CEDIA Expo this year, this year’s show displays the perseverance, creativity and loyalty displayed by the individuals that make up our industry,” said Ashley Sprengnether, associate show director at CEDIA Expo. “Our exhibitors and attendees were ‘all in’ in order to support the digital experience and saw a lot of value with the digital format as it connected them with an international audience that is not as accessible with a live show.”
Exhibitors took advantage of their virtual booths by hosting training sessions and announcing new products and partnerships. Check out exhibitor news on cediaexpovitrual.com
"Virtual CEDIA was a valuable interactive resource that enabled Savant to present important educational content and new product information to thousands of attendees,” said Angela Larson, senior vice president of customer operations at Savant Systems. “Looking at the amazing number of both exhibitors and attendees who participated in Virtual CEDIA, we are proud to be part of a strong community that has constructively banded together in the face of challenging times.”
Programming hit on topics intended to help integrators grow their businesses including boosting brand awareness, lighting, wellness, security, the home office and more. Designers, architects and builders were also invited to take part in the virtual experience with specific programming intended to grow awareness of the custom integration field and how they can find integrators in their local areas. All led by industry experts, TechTalks, Design + Connection panels and keynotes will be available on cediaexpovirtual.com until Dec. 31, 2020.
The Design & Connection track, anchored by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), featured brands like Kohler Konnect, Delta, BSH Home Connect, LG Electronics and the Living in Place Institute. The 2020 virtual experience saw an interest from design-focused brands and attendees in the residential technology industry, with around 400 of the CEDIA Expo virtual experience attendees being either interior designers, kitchen and bath designers, architects or builders.
The TechBites program also returned for the virtual experience, but this year in a competition format. All eight participating brands pitched their newest or most innovative products to a panel of industry media and influencers. Brilliant, a leading smart home control and lighting company, was named the “brand with the biggest bite” and the winner of the TechBites program live during the CEDIA Expo.
“We’re honored to be named the winner of the 2020 TechBites competition,” said Aaron Emigh, co-founder and CEO of Brilliant. “Recognition like this from the industry reinforces the huge opportunity for integrators and home builders to make every home smart. Thanks to those who tuned into the program and we look forward to connecting with you throughout the remainder of the year.”
With over 80 courses offered, ranging from beginner to expert-level, CEDIA also offered ways for each integrator to continue their education and certifications.
During the virtual experience, CEDIA announced the establishment of the CEDIASTRONG Scholarship Fund, which aims to provide grants in 2021 to up-and-coming home technology talent. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CEDIA started the CEDIASTRONG foundation as a way to empower members with virtual events, roundtable discussions and webinars. So far, thousands of members have participated in CEDIASTRONG events and taken advantage of member resources as a way to build new skills and adjust their business models for success.
"CEDIA Expo provides a wonderful forum to learn and grow from the best minds in the industry," said CEDIA Global President and CEO Tabatha O'Connor. "Through the massive amount of CEDIA Education courses offered virtually this year, learners from around the world who tuned in were treated to an array of subjects covering everything from hot topics and emerging trends to knowledge that will kick off a brilliant career and advanced offerings for industry veterans. The learning won't stop, either, as all CEDIA Education courses at CEDIA Expo are available to be viewed on demand and from the comfort of where you are through the end of the year."
Additionally, Emerald Expositions committed to matching all donations made to the CEDIASTRONG foundation during CEDIA Expo. On Thursday, Sept. 17, CEDIA Expo hosted the #CEDIAStrong Scholarship Fund Benefit Concert featuring the CEPro All-Star Band as a way to encourage donations and finish off the virtual experience.
“Emerald Expositions is honored to support the industry in the establishment of the CEDIASTRONG Scholarship Fund,” said Brian Pagel, executive vice president at Emerald Expositions. “The long-term growth and prosperity of our industry will rely heavily on attracting top talent and providing them with world-class professional education opportunities.”
To donate to the CEDIASTRONG Scholarship Fund, go to https://cedia.net/cediastrong.
The next CEDIA Expo is scheduled for Sept. 1-3, 2021 in Indianapolis, home to the CEDIA Association.