Tips for CEDIA Newbies

Members Share Advice for a Successful Show
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If you are attending your first CEDIA show this September in San Diego, our members have advice to make your trip a success. CEDIA EMEA’s marketing assistant Amy Bates posted a request for good tips for other members attending the CEDIA for the first time, receiving several good suggestions.

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First up, one of the gents who regularly provides us with CEDIA Talks content, CEO Alex Capecelatro, suggested:

“Try to attend the keynote. Try and get invited to parties. Bring lots of business cards. Carry a phone charger with you throughout the day. The floor is big, but it’s not CES big, so you can see everything if you take the time. Set up meetings ahead of time, but don’t get annoyed if people cancel last minute. Set goals for what you want to achieve. Say ‘Hi’ to strangers in elevators and around. Don’t forget to eat. Plan to stay at least until Saturday. Have fun; it’s a great show.”

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For a gender-specific perspective, here’s what Lynne Armitage, operations manager for Digital Design Group Inc., had to offer:

“First, wear really, really comfortable shoes! Pack a protein bar or two each day so you don’t have to waste time, leave the floor, and trek all the way to food court area for a pick-me-up. Next, don’t worry much about not seeing everything. I found that as a woman I was practically invisible to the sales staff in booths and made about four times the progress as my male co-workers. You can browse completely unimpeded, see entire rows without anyone even so much as handing you a card. Be prepared to really speak up when you want to get more info or assistance, though. Invisible is not a good look when you are attempting to place orders, get information, or see demos. Fortunately, this is not the case in the trainings or with any of the CEDIA staff, events, or booth. As a matter of fact, there’s a great group [Women in Consumer Technology] that has a meet-up or two at the event that you should check out if they don’t conflict with your schedule. And the CEDIA booth itself became my little haven to plan, rest, and regroup. And that brings me to my last suggestion: Try to arrange any trainings/classes/seminars on your schedule first. Everything else can fit in around them and they are the best takeaway value at CEDIA. And if you have ‘favorite’ vendors/salespersons, save meetings with them for the end of day as you will inevitably end up spending more time with them than planned.”

Next up, this string of advice from Ken Irvine, VP vendor relations/systems designer, Premier Custom Audio & Video Inc., starts with some tech tips:

1.Turn off your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on your phone. They will continuously search for other devices and eat up your battery life.
2. Turn down the brightness of the screen, too. This will also preserve your battery.
3. When making appointments put the meeting time in the heading of the invitation or e-mail. Some calendars don’t change time zones well and your appointments may end up out of sync.
4. Don’t have back-to-back-to-back meetings. There’s a wealth of other equipment you will want to (and should) see, so take the time.”

Here are a few tips from someone who has literally attended every CEDIA show: Frederick J. Ampel, president and principal, Technology Visions Analytics:

“1. Make a plan and stick to it. Review the exhibitor listings in advance. Separate the companies you must see from those you would like to see from those that are interesting. Try and visit your ‘must sees’ the first day or at least stop by and make an appointment for later.
2. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or advice! Almost everyone is willing to help; we all want you to succeed, so take the time to ask and listen. Formulate key questions for exhibitors or education session presenters in advance if at all possible. If you attend education classes (and you should) don’t be shy–you paid your money, so get the most for your investment. Ask questions, interact with others, and network.
3. Don’t forget that some of the most interesting stuff may be found among the smaller, newer exhibitors, and the less well-known names. Make time especially later in the show to visit as many of those as you can; you never know what amazing product you might find. Keep your eyes open for the hidden gem of an exhibitor, tucked away behind some gigantic major name booth.”

Don’t forget that some of the most interesting stuff may be found among the smaller, newer exhibitors, and the less well-known names.