The dust from CEDIA 2016 is starting to settle, and hopefully we’ve all been able to dig out from under the work that accumulated while we spent a week in Dallas focusing on the big picture. With a head full of ideas, and all of the day-to-day fires hopefully contained, now’s the time to start to thinking about the show might have a real influence on the overall trajectory of our businesses. Very soon the busy holiday season will be upon us and it will be all we can do to simply “keep up.” Until then, we have a few golden weeks in which the ideas and connections are fresh, and the opportunity to make change is ripe.
In thinking about how to implement tangible improvement resulting from the show I kept coming back to an idea espoused often on CNBC’s hit show The Profit. If you’ve never seen it, I’d highly recommend setting your DVR. Marcus Lemonis, a hugely successful businessman and host of the show, endeavors to save struggling companies. One of his key ideas is that any successful business is built on what he calls “the Three Ps”: people, process, and product. I’ve found that the Three Ps provide a great framework for thinking about how we can get the most from the time we spent at CEDIA 2016.
I believe it’s totally appropriate that “people” is the first of the Three Ps. The networking that takes place at CEDIA is, in my opinion, the most valuable part of the show. If you’re at all like me, you came home with a giant stack of business cards. If you’re at all like me, you’ve also struggled in years past to do anything with these cards beyond shoving them in a drawer with a sincere intent to get to them “later.” This year I’ve made a deliberate effort to follow through. I’ve set a goal of grabbing two cards every day and sending a follow-up email. I’ll freely admit that I haven’t batted perfectly on this effort, but setting this realistic and measurable goal has helped me stay on track.
Software and services targeted at the home technology professional seemed to be ever-present at this year’s show. Whereas in years past it may have been difficult to find a good off the shelf solution to solve a particular problem in our businesses, now the biggest difficulty will lie in picking which one. From quick budgeting and proposal tools, to design and engineering software and services, and all the way through to a plethora of RSM solutions, [http ://www.residentialsystems.com/blogentry/1247] there now seems to be a company aiming to solve virtually any business challenge we encounter. With a new year only one quarter away, and with all of these companies vying for new customers, now seems like the best possible time to contact software and service providers who might be able to help solve a particular challenge our businesses are facing.
Probably the most apparent of the Three Ps when you look around the CEDIA show floor, the understanding and implementation of new products clearly plays a vital role in getting most of the show. Whether it’s a line we already carry, or a brand new product or category we just discovered at the show, the weeks immediately following CEDIA are the prime time to follow up. Getting a firm grasp of the features and benefits of new products will help establish us as leaders and experts in our respective markets. Moreover, many vendors may be willing to extend show floor specials, or make otherwise favorable arrangements as the competition for new customers surely peaks in the weeks following the show.
In the small handful of days that we gather as an industry a whole lot gets accomplished. But it’s key to remember that this is only a launching pad. In order for any of it to amount to much in the long run, it’s all about the follow-through. As we get settled back into the day-to-day hustle of our businesses, and brace ourselves for what is always a crazy holiday rush, it’s important to carve out some time for critical thinking about what we saw Dallas. Between the people, the process, and the product, there is surely still plenty of work to do if we want to implement real change.