For CEDIA EXPO planners, the motto “Hyper-Change” is much more than just a metaphor for the way products and technologies are evolving at a rapid rate in the custom integration channel. As CEDIA chairman Larry Pexton explains it, it also reflects the mad scramble by the association’s full-time staff and army of volunteers to help promote new manufacturers at the September 10-13 trade show and to adjust its educational programs, on the fly, to reflect the most current tech trends.
A glance back at CEDIA EXPO 2013, also in Denver. “We’ve been incredibly nimble on all fronts for this year’s show,” Pexton said. “Whether it’s helping one of our new exhibitors prepare to make their debut at the show or adding a panel on object-based audio, CEDIA is committed to providing attendees with an experience that shows the full picture of the industry, and that includes evolving and emerging technologies and topics.”
More than 95 new companies are exhibiting at CEDIA EXPO this year and more than 90 products are launching at the show. There are specific areas on the show floor that highlight new exhibitors (Rookie Row) and new products (The Product Launch Pad), so, it’s safe to say that CEDIA EXPO is evolving along with the industry.
CEDIA also has added courses and panels on the vital topics that are affecting the industry, such as 4K, object-based audio, and commoditized home automation, the internet of things, and IP networking. Each of these courses features experts that will help attendees see where the industry is going and how these “hyper-changes” will affect their business moving forward.
Pexton, in addition to his role as CEDIA chairman, is also CEO of loudspeaker manufacturer Triad, said that returning to Denver is always a pleasure for him because he started his first business in Aspen and the show allows him to see the hundreds of people he’s met over the years in the CEDIA community.
“I look forward to meeting many of my fellow founding members as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the organization,” he said.
But, like most attendees, Pexton sees CEDIA as part social and part business, with the business end being about exploring new technologies.
“I am personally most excited see and hear the launch of Dolby Atmos on the show floor,” Pexton noted. “Atmos is the first substantial improvement in the structure of creating movie soundtracks in the home in 17 years. The combination of Atmos and 4K/Ultra HD projectors and displays will drive a great deal of new activity in what CEDIA is calling the New Theater Experience as new content becomes available over the next two years.
The Chairman’s CEDIA EXPO
CEDIA chairman Larry Pexton has been a CEDIA volunteer and board member for many years, but this is the first time that he’s serving as the head of the organization during an annual EXPO trade show. Due to his more visible role, he says that he anticipates a different experience in Denver than in prior years.
“CEDIA EXPO has obviously always been a busy week for me,” he stated, “but serving as the chairman adds a new level of pride and responsibility for me. I have a greater understanding and appreciation for all that goes on behind the scenes to get the show ready.”
As the first chairman from the manufacturer community, Pexton believes that he brings a unique perspective to the role. “It has been very helpful,” he noted. “I have a much fuller sense of the whole interdependent ecosystem that is the CEDIA community. From my 30-plus years of manufacturing and another five years of retail, I have learned what is realistic and achievable and what isn’t. The latest fads don’t knock me off course.”