I recently had quite the week — starting it off in Dallas at CEDIA Expo 2022 and wrapping it up at the NY Comic Con. And while you’d think the shows could not be more different, perhaps because of how close the events were to each other, I could see how the audience for one could provide a great deal of potential to the other.
First, let’s talk about CEDIA Expo. I won’t say too much about it because John Sciacca’s daily recaps (Day 1, Day 2, and Days 3 and 4) and his “CEDIA Expo 2022 Superlatives” story really do say it all perfectly. However, I did want to add to the chorus of people saying what an incredible show it was. There was an abundance of new gear to experience and an almost palpable feel of community as nearly 12,000 attendees and 317 exhibitors came together in force for the first time in more than two years.
And I can’t leave off my favorite part — the return of demos to the show floor. My eyes, ears — and sometimes the rest of my body due to the subwoofers — experienced some remarkable systems. There were a few I unfortunately missed due to time constraints, but I did want to give special callouts to the “Ultimate Immersive Demo,” which featured an 11.12.6 room from a partnership of luxury brands that included Trinnov Audio, McIntosh Labs, Sonus faber, madVR Labs, Kaleidescape, and Officina Acustica, and the Quantum Media Systems room, which held its 16-foot-wide Theatrical LED Wall System that looked and sounded amazing.
I arrived home late Saturday from CEDIA, and then on Thursday, it was off to NYC’s Javits Center for Comic Con. I went on the first day figuring it would be less crowded, and while that may have been the case, the show floors were still packed with people — some in costumes that took up the space of two people.
Despite the name, Comic Con covers all areas of entertainment, including film, TV, video games, live theater, novels, and, of course, comics. It is filled with people who are extremely passionate about content.
It made me realize that if the “Ultimate Immersive Demo” was also on this show floor, then it would have had a line longer than the one for the Funko Pop exhibit, which was ridiculously long, but I didn’t have the interest to find out why.
And, yes, I am sure that most of the crowd could not afford the solutions we offer, but I am also sure a portion of them could — including many of the creators in attendance to speak on panels — and may not be aware of the ways we could help them enhance how they experience their favorite movies/shows/games/etc.
We have an awareness problem in this industry in that there are many people who could use our services but don’t know we exist. Home theater and smart home demos with engaged audiences at events like Comic Con could help change that.
Another industry problem is hiring and finding entry-level help to add to staffs. If only we could find a large crowd of young people who are passionate about consuming content and who know how to wire a giant-sized Optimus Prime costume with working lights and sounds… If they aren’t coming to us, maybe we could go to where they are.
I don’t think Comic Con offered anything that CEDIA Expo could use, but it would be fun to see some cosplayers in Denver next year.