SDM reports from CEDIA Expo, taking place this week at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
CEDIA Expo – a convention for the residential electronic systems industry – opened this week featuring education and certification opportunities, events and speakers, and a trade show. SDM’s contributing writer, Linda Pohle, is on site at CEDIA Expo, and she toured the new CEDIA Learning Labs and attended a press conference hosted by SpeakerCraft on Wednesday.
Both events had a common theme â€” the importance of education in helping dealers do more and better business.
Three Learning Labs, equipped with the latest technologies from 38 ADI vendors, made their debut yesterday afternoon: Video Technologies and Calibration; Home Theater Audio Calibration; and Cable, Connector and Testing. Individuals who attend CEDIA Electronic Systems Technician (EST) college classes will supplement their classroom “book learnin’” with hands-on practice installing, calibrating and troubleshooting integrated audio and video systems in these full-featured rooms â€” all under the experienced eyes of CEDIA Certified Instructors. CEDIA attendees can use these labs anytime during the show when they are not being used by training classes.
The Expo Learning Labs are made possible by CEDIA leadership, with the support of sponsor partner ADI. “We are proud to team up with our vendors and CEDIA to sponsor the Learning Labs at this year’s CEDIA Expo,” said RJ Hirshkind, product manager for residential and commercial A/V at ADI. “These labs give dealers an opportunity to become comfortable with the latest technology, and build their confidence to successfully sell and install residential audio, video and automation solutions.”
Untraditional Trade Show Presentation
The young, dramatically garbed dancers surprised us all as we sat waiting for the SpeakerCraft press conference â€” and the announcement we expected of the company’s new products on display at the Expo.
SpeakerCraft president Jeremy Burkhardt further surprised us by announcing that the focus of the company’s CEDIA booth and presentation this year is offering information that will help dealers find ways to improve their business instead of showing off “all of the cool products that you can buy from them.” (There will be a number of new SpeakerCraft products on display, as well.)
Burkhardt noted, “Especially in these tougher economic times when some people are struggling, we are focusing on sharing the best practices that are working for dealers around the globe with dealers who are open to learning new things. We’ve tailored content specifically for the custom installer.”
He handed out six oversize cards with summaries of the series of short “standing seminars” which SpeakerCraft will be teaching at its CEDIA booth 700: Customer Service, Employees, Sales, Marketing, Call Backs, and Referral Process.
“This is the most challenging year for dealers since CEDIA was founded,” Burkhardt said. “We want to help dealers reinvent their business by sharing tips that have worked in markets around the world.”
SDM – which publishes its smartHOME supplement four times per year – is an exhibitor at CEDIA Expo in booth 226. For more information about CEDIA Expo, visit: www.cedia.org.