With the education tracks firmly underway, the CEDIA Expo exhibit floor opened yesterday morning to give industry pros the opportunity to engage in fact-to-face interaction with their peers, something they’ve not been able to do in a long time.
“It’s been two years since CEDIA Expo 2019 and clearly there is a pent-up demand to get back to events,” said Jason McGraw, group vice president, CEDIA Expo and KBIS, Emerald. “We have some very enthusiastic exhibitors and attendees—there’s a great education program put on by CEDIA, lots of show floor sessions, and dozens of new-to-market companies or first-time exhibitors here, which is great.”
Though not nearly as big as past events, this year’s CEDIA Expo still offers ample opportunity to meet and connect. “I have attended CEDIA Expo as an integrator looking to improve my business, and I’ve also attended working the booth for manufacturers,” said attendee Morgan Harman. “I am returning now as an independent consultant with the intention of reconnecting with associates in the industry, as well as to try and be more involved with CEDIA as an association.
“Of course, in the last two weeks I watched as the opportunity to connect with colleagues evaporated because many of them have chosen to not come [to Indianapolis], or their companies have chosen to not be here, but for me personally, it was still important to attend. In fact, I’ve already bumped into a few people this morning and the show floor is not even open yet, so it’s looking promising.”
James Chavers is a consultant for end users, and he is on the lookout for next big thing. “I’ve come to see some of the latest tech in home integration,” he said. “Clients are looking to upgrade and see what kinds of products are out there. I am here to find innovative technology that they might be interested in. Plus, it’s nice to get out of the house.”
Integrators Ric Warner and Jordan Smith from Warner Audio & Video are also on the hunt for the latest technology. “You always come to see the new products,” said Warner. “You always find something, and the new companies are interesting.”
For Smith, this is his first time at a CEDIA Expo. “I’m really excited to see everything,” he said. “I just started getting into the industry, and there’s a whole lot of new stuff that I’m still clueless on, but I’m excited to learn. And this is one of the best chances to do that, even with a small crowd.”
McGraw sums it well, saying, “I’m looking forward to a great few days, and I hope this will propel us on to more success in the channel throughout the rest of this year and into next year. Of course, we’ll look forward to reconvening a full-size show next year in Dallas.”