Winning a CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Designer
Award Can Bolster Your Marketing Efforts
For CEDIA members looking for an inexpensive way
to get ahead marketing their expertise to potential
clients, it’s time to consider a “lifestyle” change.
Any electronic systems contractors that have won
an award at the annual CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles
Designer Awards competition will attest to the value
of boasting “a winning project” when it comes time
for that next bid against a local competitor.
Previous two-time winner Lance Anderson,
of Edina, Minnesota’s Admit One Inc., won five
trophies this past fall, including Theater of the
Year for a client’s Egyptian-themed home theater.
Winning, he said, definitely has provided rewards
beyond the awards themselves.
“I think, selfishly, anybody wants to be
recognized for the quality of work that they’re
doing, but more so from a marketing perspective,
it’s a differentiator in our market,” he stated. “It’s
a feather in our cap that helps us separate ourselves
from our competition, and an accolade that’s a
demonstration of our technical abilities.”
Anderson said that he promotes his company’s
list of winning projects “just about everywhere”
he can, from his business cards, to the company
website, and on all of his company’s proposals.
Lance Anderson, CEO OF Admit One Inc., picked up one
of his five trophies from Residential Systems editorial
director Jeremy Glowacki this past fall at CEDIA
EXPO, where his company was honored for “Theater
of the Year” for a client’s Egyptian-themed project.
Josh Christian, VP of marketing for DSI
Entertainment Systems in Los Angeles, said that his
company has been entering the Designer Awards
since 2006, motivated by potential company
recognition and seeing how DSI measures up
against other installations. Christian said that while
clients “never get excited” at the prospect of having
their home being entered in a contest, winning
several Designer Awards gives DSI “instant
credibility” with all potential new clients.
“We proudly display our awards in our
showroom, and it does start a useful conversation,”
he noted. “It is a ‘silent salesman,’ in a sense,
[illustrating] our know-how and installation skills.”
Daniel Whitfied agreed that the CEDIA
contest helps Mississauga, Ontario-based Sublime
Integration to “benchmark” its work against the
industry at large, and accolades from the awardwinning
projects enable he and his team to more
effectively sell its expertise to potential clients.
“Non-biased, independent judgment of work
completed is the greatest accomplishment to ‘back
up’ our sales team,” he said.
The Electronic Lifestyles Designer Awards
competition honors top home technology projects
designed and installed by CEDIA member ESCs.
The deadline for all entries is May 4 at 5 p.m.
(Pacific). Those that complete their entries by April
6 at 5 p.m. Pacific can save 20 percent on their entry
fee. For the categories of Home Theater, Media
Room, Integrated Home, Hidden Installation,
Special Project, Showroom, and Sustainable
Lifestyle Installation, entry fees are $190 for the
first entry and $125 for each additional entry.
What Are the Keys
to Winning in Indy?
This year, CEDIA has moved its
entire awards entry process
online, taking some of the hassle
out of the exercise. Making the
process too easy, however, isn’t
“Part of me likes that it’s
not easy to enter,” Admit One’s
Lance Anderson noted. “It’s a
commitment, and part of that
commitment makes it that much
more of a prestigious award
amongst all of the others out
So what is the key to a
winning entry? Anderson said
that although it’s often hard
to figure out why one project
trumps another, he thinks
documentation (and sending
more photos and drawings than
are required) is essential to a
DSI’s Josh Christian said that
great photos are important, as
well as “sweating the details”
on a project in the first place.
“Make sure the wiring is neat
on your racks,” he noted.
“Highlight something out of the
norm that you’ve done on the
project, such as how you solved
a unique problem that the client
challenged you with.”
Daniel Whitfield advises CEDIA
members to start working
on their entries early and to
be truthful. “It truly is a lot
of paperwork and a big time
commitment,” he stated. “Also,
use technical words and not fluff
when writing your essay.”