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Tech Forum and AGM mark CEDIA success

The inaugural two-day CEDIA Tech Forum provided attendees with learning about the latest technology developments as well as networking opportunities. The first day of the London-held event comprised a showcase of the latest products from event sponsors AWE, Crestron, Future Automation, Habitech, HDanywhere, Invision, Leaf, Pulse Marketing, Savant Systems Europe and Wyrestorm, while a selection also held product training. The showcase continued on the second day, when additionally CEDIA partnered with a number of sponsors and hosted two new workshops which covered 4K and HDMI, and the design and deployment of wireless technologies in the home.

Neil Howes, UK sales director at Savant, commented: “Having technical forums for specific technologies was a great idea from CEDIA, specifically with 4K in mind. As we know this is a technology with many challenges ahead and it was good that CEDIA provided a platform for manufacturers and industry experts to speak openly and educate the industry on what to expect in the near future.”

Giles Sutton, director, James + Giles, added: “I was extremely impressed with the CEDIA Tech Forum this year. There was a good balance of courses including 4K, networking and future technologies. It was also a brilliant platform in which to meet manufacturers and other integrators. Events like this reinforce the role CEDIA has in bringing our industry together and the great relationships you can build with like-minded individuals.”

Over 90 members attended the AGM, where CEDIA offered a detailed review of the Association’s activities in the past 12 months. The trade body revealed that 127 companies have joined in 2014 so far, bringing the total up to 650, its highest point ever for the region. While UK membership still remains strong, international membership has increased drastically, particularly in countries such as Indian, Italy, Poland, Russia and Sweden. CEDIA EMEA now includes 41 countries in total.

In 2014, CEDIA invested in its team by introducing a number of new staff members to ensure all aspects of membership are covered. Alex Brownhill joined as membership development officer while Simon Buddle came on board as education director. Steve Carter also joined the CEDIA team this year and has since been out on the road visiting UK members up and down the country.

CEDIA explained that resources have been a priority this year and have introduced ten new white papers, some of which have been translated into Italian and French. A total of 900 white papers have been downloaded this year. The Recommended Wiring Guidelines document, currently being updated, remains the most popular resource, with over 2,702 copies downloaded.

More than 650 CPD courses have been presented to architects in 2014. This includes presentations from those CEDIA members who have qualified to present the ‘Designing integrated future-ready homes’ CPD. Industry specific training has also remained strong, with around 104 training courses being held in the last twelve months.

The AGM followed a special keynote (pictured) from Maria Ingold, CEO of global tech consultancy Mireality. With a great understanding of consumer technology, Ingold shared her thoughts on how communications, audio, video, smart home, efficient energy and wearable tech are all combining to provide advancements in home technology and to life.

Chris Pinder, managing director of HDanywhere, commented: “This year’s AGM showed great progress for CEDIA and the new Tech Forum approach is certainly the way forward. I look forward to next year’s event, which I am sure will be better still.”

Barry Sheldrick, UK sales manager at Pulse Marketing, added: “Events like these help to raise the standard of knowledge and competence in an ever-changing technology environment. If you didn’t attend this year, I’d encourage you to attend the next event.”