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Tackle the big issues at the CEDIA Business & Technology Forum

CEDIA’s education chair, Matt Dodd, outlines how the programme at this year’s Business & Technology Forum is geared towards providing help for installers in dealing with real industry issues.

CEDIA’s education chair, Matt Dodd, outlines how the programme at this year’s Business & Technology Forum is geared towards providing help for installers in dealing with real industry issues. What are the key issues that matter to your business at the moment? In July CEDIA conducted a survey to find out which topics you felt were the most significant, looking at both the technologies that we work with and the business environment that we operate within.
The results have informed the programme that is taking place next month at the CEDIA Business & Technology Forum. This will ensure that the sessions we run at the event will cover the most relevant talking points and will deliver the most valuable help and guidance for your company. On the technology side, the concept of cloud storage is fundamentally changing the custom installation industry. With virtual hard disk space available in the cloud, consumers can now upload and store music, movies, photos, and/or documents online. They can then access and playback the content over the Internet using a computer or mobile device. So, where does this leave the custom installer? What are the key distinctions between the various cloud-based services on offer? How can they be integrated into a CI scheme? And, how can you be sure that you recommend the right media storage, streaming and distribution solution for your customers? Meanwhile, whole-home HD distribution remains a thorny issue. How can you ensure a reliable, scalable and effective system on your project? What are the cabling options and the implications for switches, splitters, testers and source hardware? And how do you overcome typical problems on site? On the business front we’ll also be looking at the right option for your company – lots of small jobs or fewer big jobs? What are the different challenges from a project management, cash flow, human resources and profitability perspective? And which approach best fits with your business plan? Another challenge we face in the industry as it continues to grow is one of maintaining quality design and installation standards. In a session entitled ‘Protectionist Policies’ we’ll be addressing the issues of monitoring and policing the quality of work that’s carried out in the industry. What are the options and how could such a model work in CI? Each of these topics will be discussed by our assembled panels of industry experts at this year’s CEDIA Business and Technology Forum taking place at Belton Woods in Grantham, Lincolnshire on 4th October 2011. It will be a place where all attendees are invited to help take the industry forward by sharing their experiences and contributing their views in these interactive training sessions. As an additional benefit, if you’re a CEDIA Member attending the day then you can also stay on for the evening and join the CEDIA AGM which will be taking place. It promises to be a packed day of education. I look forward to seeing you there. CEDIA members are able to purchase tickets at a specially reduced rate of £161.56 including overnight accommodation, or £64.63 excluding accommodation and including dinner. Non-members are welcome to the business forum at a price of £223.25 per delegate, including accommodation, or £117.50 excluding accommodation but including dinner. All prices include VAT. CEDIA certified members will also be able to earn a maximum of 6 CEU points for attending the Business and Technology forum. The event is sponsored by Connectivity UK, Opus, Philips Dynalite, Power Ethernet, Rako, Speakercraft and URC who will be showcasing products at the event. For further information please visit the events section of the CEDIA website at or call +44 (0) 1480 213744.