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10 Reasons I’m Looking Forward to CEDIA 2016

Where to find Heather at CEDIA and other cool stuff that she's looking forward to at the show.

CEDIA is only two weeks away (how did that happen?). As my schedule fills up, I am reminded of all the reasons I love the CEDIA show and what I am looking most forward to this year. Here, in no particular order, are 10 reasons I am looking forward to this year’s show.

Experiencing the show through the eyes of a newbie. This year I am bringing my retail consultant (I actually call her my retail goddess). She has been with the company for just over a year, and this will be just the Kool-Aid she needs to bring her to the next level. I cannot wait to see her reaction to the show floor itself.

Connecting with old friends. It’s always good to catch up “live” with fellow AVTweeps. CEDIA is like a high school reunion consisting of mostly only the people you liked. Looking for a place to connect? Check out the AVNation AVTweetup from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, September 15 in the Beer Garden area of the Convention Center. (This awesome event is brought to you by Access Networks, Middle Atlantic, and Draper).

Connecting with old friends at CEDIA… 

The CEDIA Celebration at Gilley’s follows the tweetup (you’ll be more warmed up after that first or second drink). This year’s new format has gone from $75 tickets for a black tie event to a FREE event for all to celebrate the best of the best in the industry.

Making new connections. Between the two events above you’ll certainly have the opportunity to meet new professionals. Walking the show floor, and showing up for your appointments is another way. Meeting manufacturers, representatives, and engineers can be a priceless tool when you find yourself in a pickle on a job. They are the ones with the keys to getting you out! Meet, introduce yourself to, and learn who the decision makers are.

Assisting with a class. This year I will be helping Design Documents: Creating AV Systems Blueprint Drawings Workshop with Dave Tkachuk, Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Our company purchased a D-Tools license at the end of 2015, and it changed our business. However, we still only utilize a part of what D-Tools has to offer and working with Dave on Design Documentation will surely improve my skill set.

You can also find me in the CEDIA booth at 1 p.m. on Thursday Live Tweeting the CEDIA Talk, “The Internet of Intelligent Things (IoIT) – A Look at Things to Come.” Helping CEDIA with this talk requires me to sit still and listen (a difficult thing to do with so many bright and shiny objects on the show floor!)

I was invited to serve as a panelist for the Find Hire and Retain a Rockstar discussion on Friday at 8:30 a.m. The conversation, moderated by Chuck Wilson, will address where to find great employees, good hiring practices and then how to keep the talent you have found. SAV has grown from five to eight employees this year; this is certainly a topic at the forefront of my world right now.

Rumor has it the speaker, Kendra Thomas, at the Woman in CE Lunch is excellent. She will be speaking about how to leverage gender intelligence to transform cultures. Gentleman, you are welcome too! (Pro Tip: The best swag at the show is usually found at this event!)

On Saturday, after assisting and then being on a panel, I’ll be moderating “How to Provide Ritz Service with FedEx Efficiency” at 10 a.m. Preparing forces me to take a step back from the day-to-day business and look at the policies and procedures we have implemented over the years that has added our growth. I look forward to what others will be able to offer on the subject.

Beyond assisting with the show, of course, I am looking forward to experiencing the best the industry has to offer on the show floor – especially the demo rooms! One must not leave out the parties and events after hours (CEDIA after dark).

For those that cannot attend, writing about the show for Residential Systems continues to be a favorite part of the show. It pushes me to look at the industry as a whole and not just the brands and products we sell.

The countdown is on! See you at CEDIA…