Being held a month earlier than usual this year, it really does seem like no time at all has passed since CEDIA 2015. In just over one month’s time, CEDIA 2016 will once again dominate the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, this time from September 13-17.
What can attendees expect?
CEDIA is already expecting more than 435 exhibitors (more are being added daily), over 125 manufacturer product training sessions and 115-plus workshops and learning sessions, covering everything from technical mastery to managing a growing business.
Shelly Palmer, an adviser to top tech execs in the Western Hemisphere and a regular commenter and analyst on US cable news outlets, is due to speak about the growth of connected devices in the modern home – after all, it is anticipated that by 2020, there will be 50 billion connected devices across the globe.
Fittingly, Amazon director of Alexa Smart Home, Charlie Kindel will present a Friday morning keynote entitled ‘Creating Voice-First Experiences for the Smart Home,’ which will take place at 8:00am in the Forks Ballroom, focussing on voice control experiences in the home and the natural user interface ecosystem.
A plethora of shorter presentations are also due to take place during the exhibition, including the series of bite-sized, TED-like CEDIA talks. Delivered by industry experts and visionaries, these 20-minute sessions will cover a broad range of topics that affect an installer’s business, from the development of security and surveillance in the coming years, to working with the real estate industry.
New this year are a series of six panel discussions, which will see CEDIA bring in multiple voices to guide home tech pros as they work with architects and interior designers, navigate the latest voice control technology and learn about the opportunities presented by 4K Ultra HD.
The Exhibit Hall
The show floor will include a pavilion dedicated to unmanned systems and drones (complete with a drone cage for live demos), the Innovation Alley (where first-time exhibitors show their wares) and an area dedicated to the two-channel audio experience.
The CEDIA Booth will be open to provide info on member services and benefits (along with hosting the CEDIA Talks), while Security Solutions Central will provide demos and data on how to leverage this growing market segment into recurring monthly revenue.
High-end audio demos will be found at the Omni Hotel, away from the bustle of the convention. Speaking of bustle; this year the exhibition is introducing the CEDIA BIG Lounge, an area dedicated to relaxation, yet simultaneously containing a mechanical bull for those wishing to try their luck.
Training and Certification
The CEDIA show includes a vast array of options for training and certification; professionals of all skills and experience levels can benefit from the sessions offered by both CEDIA and a plethora of manufacturers.
The CEDIA Training Pass provides access to an unlimited number of courses, which are split into four categories: Business Growth, Emerging Trends, Operational Excellence and Technical Excellence. Sessions range from info on best business practices to high-tech learning labs, and a-la-carte pricing is available for each course.
There are bonuses for those looking to take a certification exam. Review classes for every level are being offered prior to testing, and results of the examinations will be available immediately upon completion. Textbooks and pre-test assessments are available online.
CEDIA App, Social Media And A Texas Celebration
The CEDIA 2016 App will available for download soon at cedia.net/app, which syncs seamlessly with the CEDIA Digital Show Planner, a tool that allows users to customise their own agenda so that they can prioritise their time and navigate the hundreds of displays and demos on the convention floor.
CEDIA is also offering a chance for conventioneers to chat with staff via a live link at cedia.net/show regarding any questions about CEDIA 2016.
Beyond the social media channels CEDIA already maintains, CEDIA Tweeps will be microblogging from the show. #CEDIATweeps (use the hashtag to connect) are industry pros who’ve volunteered as social media tributes, who will be there to keep the wider world up to date with all the latest from the show.
And it’s not all work: CEDIA is holding a celebration at Dallas watering hole, Gilley’s on Thursday night, which will include nods to CEDIA’s 2016 award winners for excellence in the industry.