Jason McGraw, Group Vice President, CEDIA Expo & KBIS, Emerald, talks about how the organization plans to keep attendees and exhibitors safe at CEDIA Expo, and what to expect when we get there.
RESI: Do you plan on observing current CDC recommendations such as masks and social distancing during CEDIA Expo?
JASON McGRAW: As we plan for the CEDIA Expo, we are taking extra precautions to ensure a safe and successful event for all. We have developed a Health & Safety plan that outlines what attendees and exhibitors can expect and are taking extra precautions, beyond those mandated by government and local authorities. A few of these include daily temperature screenings, face masks being required, social distancing enforced throughout the show floor, and daily disinfecting that will take place during the event to sanitize all seating, restrooms, and frequently touched public areas. To view the full plan, please visit cediaexpo.com.
We continue to work very closely with the Indiana Convention Center and following all the guidelines set forth by the CDC, state, and local officials. As this plan continues to evolve, we will update accordingly.
Has Emerald consulted with the area hotels for their Covid protocols?
Yes, we have been in close communication with major hotels in the area such as Hilton, Hyatt, Marriot, Omni, Wyndham, IHG Hotels & Resorts, and First Hospitality. A full list of their cleanliness programs and travel information can be found on cediaexpo.com.
Has the layout of the show changed as a result of the pandemic?
We have designed the show to allow for social distancing and one-way entrances/exits. We’ll remind attendees to keep a safe distance from others with floor graphics, stanchions, and increased staff and security to provide additional customer service and information accessibility. Furthermore, seating areas will be properly distanced and transparent shields will be placed at food and beverage locations.
Will CEDIA Expo have a virtual presence this year for those who are unable or unwilling to travel?
CEDIA will host around 100 sessions onsite at CEDIA Expo. Additionally, CEDIA will offer an on-demand training pass that includes access to the virtual conference between August 31–September 30. Additionally, this pass includes select, highlighted classes recorded from the in-person conference. Select Smart Stage sessions, our popular program featuring industry thought leaders, will be live-streamed on CEDIA Expo social channels. We will also have virtual show coverage via the digital edition of the CEDIA Expo Show Daily. The online exhibitor directory is also available.
What can visitors expect to find in Indianapolis? If public places continue to have reduced capacity, will it be difficult to, say, find a place to eat?
Bars and restaurants are currently operating at 75 percent capacity indoors, and 100 percent capacity outdoors. With 200 downtown restaurants within walking distance to the Indiana Convention Center, show attendees should have no problem finding a place to sit and have a good meal after walking the show floor. For the latest information and restaurant guides, please visit visitindy.com/cedia2021.
How important do you think it is to have an in-person CEDIA Expo this year?
Extremely. By this September, it will be two years since the industry last gathered in person at CEDIA Expo 2019. There is a strong desire from manufacturers to be able to show their new products to integrators and channel professionals. And, as the industry has remained surprisingly strong, attendees are seeking new solutions, product training, and education. Nothing can really replace the value of meeting face to face, getting hands on with products, and creating new relationships. CEDIA Expo is committed to helping our community get back to business and serve as a platform for connecting the residential integration channel.
What can attendees expect to find at this year’s event?
We are expecting over 350 exhibitors by show time. Thought leadership sessions will be held on the Smart Stage. New-to-market exhibitors can be discovered in The LaunchPad exhibit area. CEDIA Expo Sound Rooms, High Performance Audio Rooms, and Manufacturer Training Rooms will continue to feature the opportunity to experience products hands-on. And, new for 2021, the Innovation Hub on the show floor will feature brands and programming focused around emerging industry trends such as work from home, resimercial, outdoor living, security, and lighting, in addition to our DesignWell Pavilion that will feature products and sessions on healthy living solutions.
Registration for CEDIA Expo opens June 9. Stay in the know by subscribing to the CEDIA Expo newsletter at cediaexpo.com for all show news. See you there!