The Mile-High City has welcomed CEDIA attendees from 85 different countries with attendance that is “up substantially from last year,” according to Don Gilpin, executive director and COO of CEDIA.
While the association does not release any attendance numbers until the show concludes, Gilpin noted that the number of individuals taking education courses is up 51 percent. CEDIA has really retooled its educational offerings, employing smarter marketing and embracing the more peripheral industries, like security. “The education side of it is a real harbinger of what we believe is going to be a great 2014,” he predicted.
The positive homebuilding economic data coming in advance of the show has served to elevate the mood of attendees. The move to Denver was a big part of the high spirits leading into today’s opening day. “It has the feeling of CEDIAs of old. There’s a real excitement and buzz going on,” he said.
The EXPO theme this year is evolving technology, representative of all the different segments of home automation that are increasingly present on the show floor.
“What that theme is trying to demonstrate is that CEDIA [members] should be seen as the experts of home technology, and those experts should be on top of the evolution of technologies. They should be on the cutting edge of networking, of integrating all these technologies,” Gilpin explained, noting how overwhelmed and confused consumers are with all the home technology they are bombarded with different information about. “I think that theme demonstrates itself on what we want the industry to be and what we see the industry turning into and that is a technology expert that is highly trained, highly educated, and serves as that personal concierge consultant to the homeowner.”
As far as special events on opening day go, Gilpin is particularly excited for the EXPO After Hours party from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. in the Four Seasons Ballroom 2-4. The Monte Carlo casino theme is particularly targeted at a new demographic the association is committed to drawing. Gilpin said, “We need to attract that next generation of installers, designers, and technology experts,” Gilpin said, “and if CEDIA is seen as just another tradeshow, that demographic will get bored quickly.”
For more live show news, follow our up-to-the-minute coverage at www.residentialsystems.com/cedialive.