I’ve participated in the CEDIA Management Conference from the very beginning, 10 years ago. In the early days, we spent hours listening to sometimes-corny motivational speeches and long and often-dull presentations. A couple of years ago, however, the conference really hit its stride, and I’m back again this week to get re-charged and re-fueled for the rest of the year.
While I’m optimistic that we’ll all be here in the Phoenix area to make the most of our investment in the conference, there’s also no doubt that the three-day conference will possess a much more somber tone than any prior year. The industry, like the rest of the country (and a lot of the world now), is hurting. We’re all wondering when the economy will bottom out, so we can all start climbing back out of the abyss.
I’m here to attend sessions focused on the one-page strategic plan and report on the keynote speeches, but I’m also here to listen to personal stories of successes and failures from attendees. Of the 100 or so business owners who are here, I want to find out the honest truth about how they are surviving these difficult times. I want to learn about which regions of the country are holding their own and just how much budgets on projects have been reduced. What products and technologies are still viable and which ones now seem too frivolous.
We start things off tonight with a taste of the “motivational” speech of old (from Richard Tait, the inventor of the board game Cranium), but tomorrow we’ll get down to serious business. I’ll let you know what I learn from your peers.