Last week I spent a few days at CEDIA headquarters as their membership chairperson. As we talked about the benefits of CEDIA, it made me wonder, “Who is CEDIA?” Sure, the quick answer is that it’s the trade organization CEDIA, that stands for Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association, but who is CEDIA—really?
CEDIA is the benchmark of education in this industry. Not only are there classes at the expo, but free webinars, paid training, videos, white papers, certification, and more.
EXPO: Here in the U.S. we think of CEDIA as the EXPO, but truly they are much more than that. EXPO would be the dress that CEDIA wears, or the suit if we’re thinking of CEDIA as masculine (which, let's be honest, CEDIA is probably a boy). EXPO is the part we see and understand. The Awards banquet is also at the expo where the best and brightest are awarded for the best work in the industry. CEDIA EXPO is tangible, but CEDIA itself is much more.
Groups: Groups is a new-member benefit where likeminded individuals are united. Five to seven people will be put together in a group after they put in a request on the website. The group is meant to become a personalized “club” where one can ask questions and deal with everyday issues. Two groups currently exist, with more forming every day.
Volunteering: Volunteering is an opportunity for one to grow and learn. I have been a volunteer with CEDIA for a few years, and I’ve grown as an individual and business owner. My personal social network has grown as well, giving me resources for advice along with building some great friendships.
CEDIA groups and volunteering are part of making connections. Many of us preach during the EXPO to turn to the person next to you in a class or while waiting in line for a demo, and make a connection. Ask questions. Find out how others do business. Connections are a priceless addition to your business model. Volunteering or being part of CEDIA Groups takes this connection to the next level. Of course, you will only get out what you put into it.
Education: CEDIA is the benchmark of education in this industry. Not only are there classes at the EXPO, but free webinars, paid training, videos, white papers, certification, and more. Beyond that, they’re working behind the scenes to find placement of such classes and certification in schools around the country, providing us with the future employees of tomorrow.
Government: This may be the most important and least recognized arm of CEDIA. We might say we are not political, so we do not become involved. However, if it were not for CEDIA, you may not even be able to do business today. Not too long ago, a law was almost passed statewide in Utah that would not allow one to control HVAC without a specific license. CEDIA jumped in to get one sentence changed, and no license is required. #CEDIAinYourCorner
In their words, “Our mission is to influence public policy to protect CEDIA members, the electronics industry, and consumers. The Association achieves this mission by developing, monitoring, and disseminating information regarding legislative and regulatory issues; developing and implementing public policy strategies; and driving participation at a grassroots level.”
Career Placement: The most visited page on CEDIA’s website is its career placement/jobs page. Found not only those in the Association, but by a father reach.
Discounts: Beyond the above, there are many discounts associated with being part of the association. Some have found the discount equals more than the membership. Members can receive Verizon Wireless discounts, association insurance, payment processing, and more.
Future: It is CEDIA’s full-time job to watch the industry, collect information, and disperse it to us (hello Benchmarking Survey). They have their hand on the pulse of the business.
It is a misconception CEDIA is there to give you leads or jobs; they are there to give you the tools for you to find leads and better your business.
Whether you are a distributor, manufacturer, or custom integrator, if you are not a member of CEDIA, you are not a member of the collective team. Our ecosystem is a quickly changing one, and we are more powerful as a voice together than apart. CEDIA is that collective voice. That is who CEDIA is.