Thoughts on CEDIA Expo and state of the industry.

Whew.

Give me a sec. Be right with you.

I’m writing this fresh off my first CEDIA Expo experience, and while my mind may not be blown, it is definitely smoldering. What a great experience — seeing a ton of new gear and witnessing amazing demos while also getting facetime with the people I’ve been corresponding with for months, not to mention spending some time in beautiful San Diego (although I’m still not sure about all those electric scooters).

Now I’ve just got to process everything I’ve seen, heard, and learned. Fortunately, I’ve got some expert help — and you do, too. Click on the links to read pieces by Henry Clifford, who analyzed the whole event and makes predications based on it for the coming year, and John Sciacca, whose two-part wrap-up extravaganza will make you feel like you were there (if you weren’t, that is; if you were, it’ll give you a nice flashback, organized around product trends).

For me, another big focus that came out of CEDIA Expo came from CEDIA (the association) and its annual “Size and Scope” report. Sponsored by The Farnsworth Group, and reported on by principal Grant Farnsworth, the study showed lots of promise in the residential market, but also some concerns about the state of the housing market in the near future. (Check out our news story about the report here.)

Another point of interest from the report was the trend of residential integrators who are moving into light commercial work. A staggering 94 percent of respondents also take on commercial jobs, which was up 75 percent from 2016. Clearly this is a growing trend and important to this audience. Keep your eyes here for business tips and advice on how to make light commercial work for your company, or work better if you are already including it.

Click here to read all four 2018 CEDIA Expo Dailies. 

In terms of services, control is king for the moment, with smart homes getting smarter and starting off that way from the beginning of the build, creating more opportunities for residential integrators. As far as renovations go, the number one category there is lighting, so it may be time to bring that into your business mix or, if already offered, bone up on your skills and offerings.

Speaking of skills, according to the report, one of the main concerns of business owners is finding a qualified workforce to do all the jobs they plan on getting. Training, which has always been important, is now vital — particularly with new devices constantly getting added to the client’s network. We will also be covering this extensively, including Ted Green’s look at four programs that will bring new skills and certifications to your staff.

CEDIA Expo showed just how vibrant and strong this industry is. Of course, it has its challenges, but those are overshadowed by a plethora of opportunities that are waiting to be taken advantage of.

Let’s get after them!

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