All my bags were packed, I was ready to go... but my first CEDIA EXPO would have to wait as I was delayed for hours on a plane in Newark because of bad weather conditions. I am not a good flyer, so this was not the best beginning to my trip. It did, however, allow me to meet Rebecca Villareale, a PR representative for Middle Atlantic Products, who was also attending CEDIA. Funny how things work out... like I always say, you never know who you are going to meet. She ended up being stranded with my colleague Mark Feinberg (VP of sales for my new Home Theater Advisors division) and I all the way to Indy.
It was late by the time I landed in Indianapolis and my nervous energy for the next day had me so revved up that I couldn't sleep a wink. I was like a little kid waiting for Santa on Christmas. As late as I went to bed, I was up bright and early at 5:00 a.m. preparing for the big day ahead of me. I got my business cards tucked away, my iPad up and running, and my notepad and pen by my side.
The cool thing about this trip to CEDIA EXPO was that I wasn't going with my Source Installer hat on, but as blogging member of the press. Walking in and getting my press pass was an experience in itself, but the level of interactions that this little tag brought to me was priceless. At every booth, manufacturers seemed to focus their attention on every question I asked, hoping for their moment in the spotlight. This was awesome because I got to see the best of the best of what each company had to offer.
Todd Anthony Puma (center) with Residential Systems' Jeremy Glowacki and Lindsey Adler.
When I walked into the huge convention hall, the first booth I visted was a company called WASP. They presented me with their new wireless transmitter that allows for speakers throughout the house without the hassle of running wires. I found this to be a great selling point for my renter clients.
Steve Horton leads training at NuVo's booth.
The next booth I visited was the NuVo, where Desiree Webster walked me through new wireless products like bridges and wireless apps that the end user will love.
My stop at Crestron's booth really hit me with the “wow” factor. The grandeur of this enormous display set the bar high as far as presentation. Wide aisles displayed keypads, processors, lighting, and amps, yet allowed plenty of space for the numerous demos and trainings the company had set up.
My favorite booth of all, however, was URC’s. I won't get into them too much as I’ll be writing a separate blog on them, but I will say that this booth was creatively built into a two-story structure where they could effectively lay out their entire product line and walk each attendee through.
URC displays surveillance solutions in its CEDIA EXPO booth.
The atmosphere at CEDIA was overwhelming... in a good way. Like I said before, it is not every day you get the opportunity to be in a room filled with like-minded people who are all not only interested in the same things you are, but just as excited about it. I learned so much from my peers and distributors, met almost all of the people on "my list" and then some, and really got to experience where this industry is headed and speak with the people who are branding the products of the future. It completely exceeded all my expectations as a newbie, and I can't wait to share all of my new knowledge with my team and clients.
Todd Anthony Puma is president of The Source Home Theater Installation in New York City.