Road to CEDIA: My Four Roles at CEDIA EXPO: Mission Impossible? - ResidentialSystems.com

Road to CEDIA: My Four Roles at CEDIA EXPO: Mission Impossible?

The mission that I’ve chosen to accept… well, I’ve accepted many missions for this years’ CEDIA EXPO. This year I’m attending as a CEDIA volunteer, a CEDIATweep (follow me on Twitter: Tech_chi!), a live blogger for Residential Systems, and as a dealer.
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Cue Mission Impossible theme music.

The mission that I’ve chosen to accept… well, I’ve accepted many missions for this years’ CEDIA EXPO. This year I’m attending as a CEDIA volunteer, a CEDIATweep (follow me on Twitter: Tech_chi!), a live blogger for Residential Systems, and as a dealer. With the show being only mere days away, I have to admit, I’m getting a bit nervous. Have I created an impossible mission?

CEDIA Volunteer: Why add on to my already hectic schedule by volunteering? EXPO has changed my life. Small companies tend not to have a training program. When I came into this business over a decade ago the company consisted of my father (owner), a tech (fixed VCRs, TV picture tubes, and installed satellite dishes), and a sales guy. None of them were keen on teaching me all they knew. I would browse through magazines and cut out articles that I found valuable (Side note: while cleaning my office not long ago I found one of those saved articles, and who was it written by? Our very own John Sciacca!) I had the chance to take a few classes at my first EXPO and loved it. I was hooked. I’ve gone to almost every EXPO since then, and each year I’ve taken classes to further my knowledge base. This year I’ll even be auditing one for CEDIA, which is very exciting.

Since EXPO has been such a high point for me, I wanted to give back. CEDIA has come up with exciting (and easy) ways to get involved. While I would love to head up a tour, I regret, I don’t have the time. However, I will be helping host one of the “Dining with Strangers” events. Mine will be a lunch at Katie Mullens on Thursday. This is a great way to give back and meet new people. For more info on volunteering check out: cedia.net/contact_us/volunteer.php. CEDIA will be expanding these opportunities in 2014, so stay tuned!

CEDIATweep: As I said, I’m a big believer in CEDIA; I drank the Kool-Aid years ago. Last year, and again this year, I’ve had the honor of being part of the CEDIATweeps team. This team of 10 helps social network all things CEDIA EXPO. If you follow me on Twitter you’ve noticed my daily #CEDIA13 posts. Being part of the team has been a launching pad for me. Through the group last year, I was asked to write my first blog for John Sciacca’s website. I had never done such a thing in my life, and declined. John (and I’m sure you find this a shocking surprise) persisted until I agreed. Through that blog Residential Systems contacted me and asked me if I would blog for them, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The reason I signed up for Twitter three years ago was to find out what was going on at CEDIA and next week attendees will be following us. Sometimes you just need to put yourself out there. You never know where the path may lead.
If you’re social network savvy at all, I highly recommend you enter the CEDIATweeps contest next year. Being one of the top 10 gets you some very cool benefits like a FREE hotel room, an education pass and a ticket to the Awards Banquet on Saturday night (very fun event!). More info can be found here.

Residential System Live Blogger: I’ll be flying to Denver Tuesday night to cover any and all things press related on Wednesday. Then throughout the show the Resi team and I will share anything we see that stops us in our tracks. Make sure to follow the team HERE.

This team is stellar (not just because I’m on it). You’ll be following people who do this for a living—not just cover the trade shows. We are the peeps out in the field using this equipment each and every day. We know what really works and what doesn’t. I’m honored to be a part of the pack.

Dealer: Then of course I have my appointments with my reps (My Crestron appointment is 90 minutes long!). Having both press and “regular” appointments allows me different views and perspectives of the show. It will also keep me insanely busy. However, I can’t afford to miss those CEDIA deals, so I have to keep my ‘dealer hat’ with me at all times.

So there I’ll be everywhere, and loving every minute. I may have been over zealous in my commitments to this years’ show, but I can’t imagine cutting anything out. This is my Mission Impossible.

If I fail, CEDIA and Residential Systems may disavow any knowledge of my actions.

This blog will self-destruct in five seconds.

Good luck! See you in Denver.

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