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Vox Pop – How was CEDIA Expo for you?

Paddy Baker 30 June 2009

Despite well-publicised troubles in the run-up to the show, CEDIA Expo drew the crowds to the ExCeL centre in London’s Docklands on 23 to 25 June. We polled some key residential technology companies for their views on how the event went for them – as well as their opinions on where the show should be held next year. Paddy Baker reports.

What were your overall impressions of the show? Did it meet your expectations?

CEDIA Expo 09 not only met, it exceeded my expectations. Everyone at CEDIA worked tirelessly to make this a successful show under the hardest of economic conditions and I was confident of a credible show. However, with numerous major exhibitors not being present and the inevitable rumour-mongers, it felt an uphill struggle to maintain momentum at times. I can say this having had one of our best shows ever and as Expo Chair having received a huge number of positive visitor and exhibitor comments.

– Stuart Tickle, AWE Europe

Manageable size, not overwhelming. One main problem was from the home cinema suppliers – their high volume demos drowned out our conversations with visitors to our stand. The show was better than I expected – more serious visitors. We were busy the whole time; in fact there was not enough time to look at other stands.

 – Graham Gunn, Domotics

Although smaller than previous years, the show was focused and this gave those that visited a chance to concentrate on the important manufacturers.

– Rachel Beeching, Artcoustic

CEDIA Expo 2009 exceeded our expectations in both the quantity and quality of the visitors. We had a constant flow of interested visitors to the BMB booth, also thanks to its great location.

– Renny Vos, BMB

I am sorry to say that out of the three days, only one of them was a really good day and that was Day 2. Both Day 1 and Day 3 had to little attendance to keep us busy. In spite of that I feel we met our own expectations, as our main aim with attending the show was to launch our new distribution partner in the UK, Source Distribution. We had a well-attended press gathering and we hope we got the message out.

– Lars-Olof Janflod, Genelec

CEDIA Expo 09 exceeded our expectations, in terms of the quality and interest of the visitors, nearly all from the CI/AV industry with a genuine interest in the growth and prosperity of CEDIA and the CI/AV channels. This was highlighted in Jeff Boccaccio’s HDMI presentations, by the enthusiasm, level of enquires and informed questions we received about HDMI, and also our new Low Cost Fibre Easy Termination Kit.

– Jason Dando, Asheridge

As a visitor, not an exhibitor, I have to say that I don’t think CEDIA Expo worked. Yes, the economy will affect exhibitions, but that is not the only reason. However, it must be an incredibly difficult job to balance the excellent ideals of training, which I fully support, against running a successful commercial operation including an exhibition.

 – Tony Leedham, Control4

The number of visitors to the Smart-e stand was maintained at the previous year’s total and all had genuine projects ‘on the boil’ with many at ‘second fix’ stage, looking to purchase equipment on the day. The busiest days were Days 1 and 2 with an equal number of visitors spread throughout the day, whilst the company’s ‘Trade Supplier Product Training’ seminar was well received.

 – Jon Lane, Smart-e

What were the high points for you?

Wednesday must have been one of the best days ever at a CEDIA Expo in terms of the feeling around the show. The designer conference walking the floor, Richard Farleigh’s key note speech and our Xantech Drinks Reception all proved to be a big success.

– Stuart Tickle, AWE Europe

We were glad to see large numbers of new types of visitors, like interior designers and electrical installers. Instead of seeing this as competition, we should consider this as extra support for the custom install industry, so custom install gets even better penetration in the marketplace – not just in the UK, but Europe-wide.

 – Renny Vos, BMB

Our high point BRE and Interbuild reps appearing at the same time wanting to include our product on the “Sustainability Street” feature of the next Interbuild. Also, the genuine interest shown by large electrical contractor companies.

– Graham Gunn, Domotics

What were the most exciting technologies for you?

We launched many exclusive products at the show, but the biggest attention grabbers were:

  • Philips Cinema 21:9 – The world’s only 21:9 ratio flat screen TV;
  • DF Solutions’ BASE Media Server – What makes this so exciting is the DVD/Music/HD content/Flickr photos/Last FM functionality from under £3k SRP!
  • DMR-850 Blu-Ray recorder with twin Freesat & HDD from Panasonic.

– Stuart Tickle, AWE Europe

With the transmission of Freeview HD TV by the BBC from November of this year and the increase of available Sky HD channels, practically every visitor to our stand was interested in the smartmix solution. For the first time we nearly ran out of literature, and along with the enthusiastic response to smartmix, which we launched at the show, this year’s CEDIA was a hit for us.

– Jon Lane, Smart-e

On our stand everyone went crazy about the Aurus touch panel – eight capacitive touch technology buttons, glass front plate with built-in feedback LEDs, IR sensor, temperature sensor, and an OLED display for button function icons, messages and alarms, temperature settings, etc. There are four selectable display panels, which means that 8 x 4 = 32 functions can be managed from each Aurus.

– Graham Gunn, Domotics

For ourselves we had the opportunity to really engage with both new and old faces and show what a fantastic and varied brand Artcoustic really is – with a range of products to suit small AV systems with the award winning Superstar up to dedicated cinemas with the professional Spitfire range, proving that Artcoustic is not just about good looks. We were also able to show our commitment and level of support that is crucial to the AV installer in these times.

– Rachel Beeching, Artcoustic

If it was your decision, where would you hold CEDIA Expo 2010?

Either West London (Olympia, Earls Court) or North London (Angel), NEC or Central Birmingham if it is easy to reach by public transport.

– Graham Gunn, Domotics

Artcoustic would be happy to see Cedia 2010 at ExCeL, as it is an excellent venue for both visitors and exhibitors and is our preferred venue for any show.

– Rachel Beeching, Artcoustic

Birmingham would be a more accessible venue for 2010; however, if it was London, Olympia has better transport links. Smaller stands work better as visitors can spend more time per stand and don’t get overwhelmed by one company.

– Jason Dando, Asheridge

If demand continues to enlarge the architect/interior designer conference element aspect, then London is the only viable city. If we want a smaller venue we have options but the only place with decent show floor and training suites is ExCeL. If exhibitors are prepared to forgo the architect/interior design prospect and we want to accept a smaller show, then my vote would be Birmingham ICC.

– Stuart Tickle, AWE Europe

I would still vote for the ExCeL and I think it would be silly to move the show around. ExCeL is a good exhibit centre and it’s in London, which must be the biggest market. It may be a bit oddly situated but I think a show needs to establish itself in one place rather than move around. Look at IBC, ISE etc: successful shows and in one and the same location.

– Lars-Olof Janflod, Genelec

 

 

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