The CEDIA Groups program launched in spring 2015 and since then eight groups of home technology professionals have been fostering conversations covering every facet of the integration business, from marketing to accounts receivable.
The concept is simple enough—gather five to seven non-competitive CEDIA members together, grouped by time zone, and give them a space to share their insights, resources, and industry-specific expertise.
"Joining a CEDIA group is like hitting fast-forward in comparison to other networking groups you may be a part of. You have a group of people who immediately understand what you do—the speedbumps and pitfalls, and they have experience to lend to anything you may be up against as an owner," said Henry Cliffford, owner of Livewire in Richmond, VA.
Developing and facilitating new community-building initiatives for year-round networking, mentorship, and idea sharing is a key initiative for CEDIA, with CEDIA Groups being the first effort.
"I have been in the industry 20-plus years and I've had many unique business relationships but this is different," said Mark DiPietro of SoundVision in Mooresville, NC. "Having a group to serve as a sounding board that understands the business has been fantastic. We all come from a different angle, with different perspectives and from different parts of the country, so there is no fear about unknowingly helping your competition."
CEDIA CEO Vin Bruno adds, "Companies cannot survive in a vacuum in this channel—you have to connect with the people around you. CEDIA members have been working to help one another find success since the association was formed. There is a strong tie to the community created within the industry and CEDIA is the common thread. While many essential connections happen every year at the CEDIA show, CEDIA groups are providing an outlet for members to connect with one another year round."
CEDIA Groups meet monthly via teleconference or webinar. The agenda and structure are set by the group and its team leader based on the needs of the participants. Groups are provided with resources and support from CEDIA staff, but each is unique, and tailored to help participants drive success in their business. New CEDIA groups are currently forming, interested parties can learn more by clicking here.