Once a year all ingredients for success come together for four days only. Four days of learning, experiencing, connecting, and educating. By now I hope that you have made the decision to attend CEDIA EXPO; you have booked your flight and your hotel. You also have made your appointments with current reps and with those companies that you’ve considered bringing on. These appointments can be clutch, as you never know when you will need to jump ship or add on another line.
If you’re smart, you also have registered for training classes, investing in the wealth of knowledge at your fingertips over the course of those few days. Everything from financing to networking is available in the CEDIA course book, and I implore you to get yourself into classes, if you have not already.
Have fun! Don’t be the one who stays out all night and then cannot remember anything the next day, but do plan on attending the various parties at CEDIA. Start early with the Opening Keynote and Reception on Wednesday night. It is a great way to kick off the show, hang out with old friends, and meet some new ones. Just remember what hotel and room you are staying in before downing too many adult beverages (take a picture of your hotel room number just in case).
Another great event added this year is the AV Tweeps TweetUp hosted by AV Nation to be held on Friday September 12 from 4:30-6:30. This will be a fun who’s who of the AV world along with food, drinks, and maybe even some giveaways. It’s a great place to network with your fellow AV integrators and meet some of the people you have been following. The event, sponsored by Crestron and Middle Atlantic, will be held in booth 1550 on the show floor.
Plan some free time: Yes this is a bit of an oxymoron, and yes, if you could see my schedule, you would know that I am very bad at this. However, you should take time to walk the show floor and visit every demo you can get into. A demo is a great way not only to experience a product, but also learn how to demonstrate a product yourself, when you get back home with your clients.
Don’t forget the bare necessities: While packing, make sure you throw in a few extra granola and/or protein bars. If you’re like me, you will be running from place to place with little time in between to eat, and some sustenance thrown in your bag will be sure to come in handy. Grab a refillable water bottle, as well, since we will be in the Mile High City where dehydration can occur fast. Stay hydrated! It is also wise to invest in a battery backup for all your electronic devices. You never know when you will need to be on the phone with home base talking through some crisis and end up with only 2-percent battery life. Plan ahead, and throw one of these great useful devices in your bag (Do be sure to charge it first).
With all the right ingredients in one place, CEDIA EXPO provides the fuel for continued growth and success. Make the most of your time—not only on the EXPO floor but also in the classroom (should the cost be an issue; there are an abundance of FREE manufacturing courses from which to choose).
And if you see me on the show floor, be sure to say hi!
Heather L. Sidorowicz is the president of Southtown Audio Video in Hamburg, NY.