Have you renewed your CEDIA membership for 2018? If you haven’t, here’s a quick refresher on some of the benefits the association offers.
Likeminded folks can visit on the reg’ in groups of roughly half a dozen, all from markets in different geographical areas. This allows the members of the group to speak freely regarding successes and challenges. As integrator Jeff Cooper of Simply Sight and Sound noted, “It's a tough industry; it's not the easiest job in the world. Having other guys and gals that actually do what we do to serve as a sounding board, and to hear that they have similar struggle–it’s just great having this support system.”
Lewis Franke of LED Systems concurs–he’s a fan of “the comradery, the networking and the business savvy of people who have been doing this longer than I have. It's just invaluable to have that kind of mentorship and group family.”
The CEDIA Online Community
The online portal allows for feedback, answers to questions, and acts as a repository for resources uploaded by its members. And when someone asks a question, the responses are pretty robust–after all, CEDIA’s a global organization.
Livewire’s Henry Clifford is a fan: “There are people that I know, people I don't know, relationships that I've made because of the community. It's this cool, raw feed. ‘Hey, has anybody had an issue with this? Hey, what about this? What do you guys think about this announcement?’ You collect, and then you can see what's going on.”
CEDIA’s made it a point to take courses–including certification reviews followed by the relevant exams–on the road of late, and that face-to-face training complements CEDIA’s online offerings quite nicely.
As the owner of an integration firm, Henry Clifford sees CEDIA training as an investment, and the cachet of the brand is invaluable: “CEDIA education is known throughout the country and the world as being top-notch.”
Lutron’s Sam Woodward also has high praise for the quality of the offerings: “At Lutron, I teach lighting controls. But I really need our customers to have a great understanding of networking, and CEDIA has possibly the best networking course out there. And so I always encourage people to take the CEDIA training before they come and see me because then I know that they're going to be somebody that I can really work with.”
Members get discounts on certification exams, and CEDIA’s new, interactive badge program offers links that explain what each of the four credentials mean (ESC, ESC-T, ESC-N, and ESC-D). The badges are a great marketing tool, explaining to everyone from builders to clients precisely what the credentials really mean. Archimedia’s Shery Edward appreciates standardized bona fides: “Before I was exposed to CEDIA, there was really no knowledge of how we do things, or standards that we abide by, and no certifications. It was just you and what you managed to learn off the internet if you had a passion for something. Now that we've become CEDIA members, most of our staff is CEDIA Certified. It's been great. We have new rules. We apply different standards across our projects. It's been a really big step up for us as a company, and we feel like we've become more professional.”
And Mitchell Klein from Z-Wave Alliance hints at the marketing potential inherent in CEDIA Certification: “It certainly is a credential that ensures that you have the right abilities, that you've learned the right technologies and skillsets to be able to deploy properly, and get the work done right. So as an employer, I would want to make sure that I've got certified people working for me. And as far as a homeowner? Yeah, that'd be really comforting to know.”
There are more benefits to CEDIA membership, of course–take a look at cedia.net/cedia-membership/benefits for the complete rundown.