Okay, so we’ve been working on this blog for several days and have tried to update it to reflect what is going on with recent cancellations by many major players in our space including Snap One, Sonos, Savant, Sound United, Samsung, Salamander Designs, Sonance, Sony, Crestron, Lutron, Legrand, AudioQuest, GoldenEar, Panamax, Fortress Seating, RTI, and several others.
First off, we love CEDIA Expo — we have gone together almost every year for the past eight years, and we each went individually before that (Todd on his own and Mark both with ADI when he ran product management there and as a dealer after starting Home Theater Advisors). Seeing our friends and colleagues, checking out all the new gear, indulging in theater and sound rooms, taking in a training or two, writing articles for Residential Systems, and enjoying the amazing energy of our industry is something we have missed for the past two years. Unfortunately, neither of us planned to make it this year — Mark has his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah two weeks after the show and just could not risk getting infected and having to quarantine for two weeks and missing this major milestone in her life (plus his wife and daughter would kill him!). And Todd didn’t really want to go without his CEDIA partner.
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So now what? With so many companies not exhibiting, we are hopeful there will either be some regional meetings with different manufacturers and virtual presentations to help us get a handle on any new products that are coming out. We are optimistic that anything virtual will be done even better than last year, as everyone has gotten better at working and meeting virtually over the past year.
What does this mean for the rest of the year? The two of us will not be attending any shows for the remainder of 2021. We just don’t feel that the risk/benefit is there for us. Currently, InfoComm is scheduled for late October and we have not yet heard of any companies dropping out. Hopefully Delta follows the same course in the U.S. that it followed in other countries and, after a surge of cases and hospitalizations, it inexplicably subsides.
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What about tradeshows going forward? It is very expensive for companies to attend shows like CEDIA. The lost revenue and cost of travel can be burdensome for many smaller dealers. However, with the energy, perseverance, and camaraderie of our industry, we are confident that the tradeshows will again be a focal point of our years.