Im sure that many of you are wondering what CEDIA was thinking when the trade association announced plans for a second CEDIA EXPO. Another trade show? Arent we busy enough already?
I thought the same thing, initially, when I read that that CEDIAs board of directors had voted to expand its EL EXPO into a full-scale spring EXPO event in Las Vegas (April 8-11, 2008). Like many of you, I wondered how the market could support another large trade show when we are already flooded with so many others.
Then I talked to CEDIA executive director Don Gilpin on Monday and got the low down on what CEDIA was thinking. According to Gilpin a fair number of manufacturers new to the CEDIA universe have been clamoring to exhibit under the CEDIA banner only to be thwarted by a waiting list due to the increasing size of the show. The CEDIA board had agreed that increasing the size of the show would destroy the intimacy of the event and force it to exist only in Vegas or Orlando.
Gilpin said that by creating a spring show, more exhibitors could put a toe in the water with CEDIA and eventually the new event would relieve some of the pressure on the fall EXPO, enabling it to remain in second-tier cities.
The goal for exhibitors, of course, is to gain more exposure to more registered attendees, and the new show will enable this to happen as well. CEDIA growing University program will be featured at both events and will provide a likely draw for attendees in different areas of the country. The initially small size of the spring show will allow many different venues and cities to host the event, reducing costs of travel and hotels to integrators around the country.
Although it all makes a lot of sense, I cant help but think that something has to give here. Gilpin swears that the new CEDIA event is not intended as an EH Expo killer. He points to his friendly relationship with EHs owner and points out the demographic differences between the two EH events and CEDIA EXPO. So if it isnt EHX that takes a hit eventually, will it be CES? Only time will tell.
Whether my wife likes it or not, Ill be attending the CEDIA EXPO Spring in April. Im sure it wont yet hold a candle to the well-established fall show, but it should be interesting to see how exhibitors and residential electronic systems contractors respond. What do you think? E-mail me at [email protected].
Take a look at the official press release regarding the addition of CEDIA EXPO Spring, here.