Tradeshows are Making a Strong Return
As evidenced by the design-build community’s standout showing at KBIS (which collocated with the International Builder’s Show), in-person events are in high demand right now. It’s an opportunity convene, connect and collaborate with peers and frequent partners on projects, and that’s expected to be no different for this year’s CEDIA Expo.
In recognition of the intermingling between designers and technology professionals on projects, the show, which has always been a massive event for integrators, has begun to introduce a variety of educational sessions and programming to allow designers and builders to get plenty of value out of the event.
With that in mind, Jason McGraw, group vice president, CEDIA Expo and KBIS, for Emerald, joined Katye McGregor Bennett, of KMB Communications and host of Design Uncut Live, to discuss exactly what’s in store for the event.
CEDIA Expo Makes a Big Statement in Dallas
McGraw and Bennett presented “5 Things for Designers to Know at CEDIA Expo” on Instagram Live to outline why kitchen and bath plus other interior design professionals should be enticed to attend the tradeshow.
“Well the number one reason attendees of almost any tradeshow [go] is they want to see new products, they want to see what’s next, they want to see what they’ve been missing,” McGraw says.
“We’re very pleased, we’re excited to have all the major brands back at the show this year,” he continues. “The whole broad spectrum from audio/video to control systems, lighting is a growing segment at our show. Networking, security products, home theater, basically any product that’s electronic and integrated into your home is a product you’ll see at CEDIA Expo.”
So, while attendees and exhibitors – and designers – won’t see the “innards” of the home such as building materials and physical infrastructure innovation, like at KBIS and IBS, McGraw notes, they do experience items that homeowners will engage with on a daily basis.
“We deal with all the components that go into making your home interactive. The motorized shades, the lighting instruments, the in-wall speakers, power outlets, touchpanels, and security cameras. That’s the most important part, seeing those products on the show floor firsthand, getting to talk to the manufacturers and finding out what’s new, what’s hot, what’s trending, and finding out how those products can make your clients’ home experiences even better.”
Education and Networking Opportunities Abound for Designers at CEDIA Expo
While members of the design build community can use CEDIA to get up to speed, McGraw says the second reason to come is for knowledge building around the growing side of technology in the home.
“How do you implement these technologies? How do you work with a system integrator? What are the design considerations and ergonomic considerations of a system when you’re designing it? How do you create flexible spaces today, that’s a big trend,” McGraw says, for instance. “Outdoor living … technology is pervasive both inside the home and outside, so do you know enough about that to incorporate it into your design?”
Designers will encounter no shortage of learning opportunities at CEDIA Expo in Dallas. He cites education from CEDIA, training from manufacturers, and show floor sessions on the Smart Stage and Innovation Hub Stage among ways designers can bolster their custom integration knowledge base.
“We also have a Design + Connection program on Friday, September 30 that designers can sign up for and get curated show floor tours, to visit major brands at the show, and the networking reception,” he says as another draw.
A Chance to See Many of the Newest and Most Popular Technologies Firsthand
There’s also something to be said about being able to put your hands on a product vs. just seeing a photo of a new solution. McGraw also notes that designers can use the event as an opportunity to visit the popular Dallas Market Center while in town, or perhaps check out a local integrator showroom with a connection made on the show floor.
“I think it’s really going to set the stage for the rest of this year into next year if you think about business opportunities,” McGraw says. “There’s going to be a need for continued investment in remodeling … the high-end market is still there. About three-quarters of CEDIA members do their business in the luxury, upper end of the market, certainly, those folks have funds to invest and embrace new technology.”
Another version of this article originally appeared on our sister site CE Pro.