Readers of this column know that I usually write about networking topics that are relevant to the custom electronics integration industry and this column will be no exception. However, instead of using networking terms like TCP/IP, HTTP, or FIOS I will be talking about ASID, AIA, AIBD, and NAHB.
For those not familiar with these acronyms, ASID is the American Society of Interior Designers, AIA is the American Institute of Architects, NAHB is the National Association of Home Builders, and AIBD is the American Institute of Building Design. This type of networking is people-to-people (instead of server-to-client) and one of the best CEDIA conferences that I have ever attended to strengthen these networking bonds was the recent Electronic Lifestyles Forum held in Dallas last month.
A New Perspective
The Electronic Lifestyles Forum brought CEDIA Electronic Systems Contractor owners and upper management together with architects, builders, building designers, and interior designers to focus on building better working relationships for smoother, more profitable projects.
Those lucky enough to have attended this event came away with a new perspective on working with others regardless of their learning style or personality. The event truly highlighted working relationships among all those involved in the design/build process and the work it takes to develop and nurture those relationships. CEDIAs all-new Registered Outreach Instructor Train the Trainer course was also offered for the first time in its new format, in addition to powerful keynote speakers, an experts panel, and round-table discussions that fostered cross-industry relationships and increased profitability on all ends.
Engage in Projects Earlier
CEDIA worked with various associations in the architecture, building, and interior design industries to ensure that VIPs from each industry were represented at the event. This raised the level of discussion on the networking side of the event, and allowed industry partners to share what they learned through their own peer networks.
I had the opportunity to spend a good part of these three days in May with a couple of cyberManor builder and architect partners. It was a great experience for all of us. My builder and architect partners gained a much better understanding of CEDIA and the electronic systems contractor trade, and I got to know their respective professions in greater detail. If there was one key lesson learned and often repeated at the dining tables surrounded with designers, architects, building designers, and builders it was a general understanding that the CEDIA member should be engaged in their projects much earlier than the typical just before insulation and sheet rock timeframe. Their greater awareness of the impact of our profession on their homes design and construction bode well for the overall client satisfaction of the custom electronic installation work that we complete.
Training the Trainer
To help foster a higher level of communication with other trades throughout the year, CEDIA has developed three Industry Outreach courses (with more to come by the end of the year) that are written to give our industry partners a better understanding of the CEDIA professional and the value that we can add to their projects. CEDIA members who attend and pass the Registered Outreach Instructor (ROI) Train the Trainer course can present these outreach courses at their local AIA, ASID, AIBD or NAHB chapter meetings. CEDIA is an AIBD and an AIA/CES Provider, so AIA and AIBD members who attend ROI-administered courses are eligible to receive Learning Units (LUs). CEDIAs Industry Outreach courses are listed below:
- Constructing Quiet Rooms: With the proliferation of higher quality building and the increase in owner expectations, quiet spaces within the microcosm of the single family home are becoming commonplace. Life is enhanced and clients are requiring acoustic isolation from the extraneous sounds of everyday life. Design development through construction, this course outlines the achievable results from proper planning and proper client education.
- The Fully Automated Home: Adding Safety and Convenience to the Home: Content is based on the current and future applications of home systems, with a focus on the process required for successful presentation and implementation. Security, lighting, temperature, communications, and entertainment make the homeowner feel safe, comfortable, informed, and entertained. Success for all involved requires finding a technology partner, proper budgeting, design, and communication. CEDIA provides a non-biased, practical view of incorporating technology into building projects.
- Structured Cabling: Structured cabling systems are a mandatory feature in todays home. But why? This course will provide an overview of what makes up a complete structured cabling system for a home. Specific instruction will reveal to the builder what technologies their homeowners are utilizing after they move into their new home and require the presence of a structured cabling system. Additionally, the course will show what specifically must be in place in the home to enable homeowners to use the many services that are available from the telephone, cable TV, satellite, and Internet service providers the day they move into the home. The builder will be equipped with examples of complete system models that will allow them to request specific capabilities from their CEDIA integrator that will give their clients value, and appreciate the technology backbone provided in their home.
The next Train the Trainer full-day session will be offered on August 8 at the CEDIA Training Facility in Indianapolis, and then again in Denver at CEDIA EXPO 2008. I highly recommend that CEDIA full ESC member principals sign up for this course. The time that you invest in promoting your business to your local architect, builder, building designer, and interior designer community can be one of your most profitable business activities. For more information on these courses and next years Electronics Lifestyles event, contact Dave Chic (firstname.lastname@example.org), Peggy Ward (email@example.com), or Courtney Vogel (firstname.lastname@example.org) at CEDIA.