Lessons from a First-Timer

With CEDIA 2016 less than two months away, everyone has begun their trade show rituals and preparations. At Marketing Matters, deadlines are looming for public relations, logistical and other pertinent deadlines that have to be met for our clients. With the ‘pre-CEDIA’ rush well underway, I’m sure there are many ‘first-time’ attendees that are in the same boat I was just a year ago as I was preparing to attend my inaugural CEDIA.

This year will be my second time attending CEDIA and I am very much looking forward to visiting Dallas to take part in one of the most well-known industry events, showcasing the latest and greatest residential integration technology. Since I have one year under my belt, the ‘first day of school’ nerves are behind me and I felt it was only necessary to offer a bit of advice to those attending this year’s event for the first time.

Take Care of Your Energy

First and foremost, eat breakfast! If you can allot just a few minutes to grab a bite to eat, I highly recommend it. Lunchtime will come around and you just might be sidetracked with a client, vendor, potential business opportunity or other activity that’s more important than eating. Also, drink lots of water. Like the ‘forgetting to eat’ issue, you can forget to drink water.

Take Care of Your Feet

When you packing for your travels, keep in mind that CEDIA is not the place you’ll want to break in a new pair of shoes. Pack accordingly and don’t forget to bring along Moleskin – although I hope you don’t need it! If you feel a hotspot forming, fix it fast. The convention center has three first aid rooms available, and it’s good to know where they are. Nothing worse than having a blister while running around the show floor looking for a first aid room. You could also schedule planned stops by the Home Theater Seating or Massage Chair exhibitors, you know, for ‘work’.

Other Tips

Lastly, I would recommend bringing a small notebook (since I like taking notes the old fashioned way), breath mints (self-explanatory) and a battery phone case or external charger (because Tweeting the latest technology from the show floor can drain your battery quickly).

Be a Sponge

If you’re new to the industry, just as I was a year ago, try to visit as many booths as you can and learn about the technology they have to offer. I was able to learn so much about the industry during CEDIA 2015 because my colleagues Coleen and Kyle took the time to show me around the show, introduce me to people they know and explain the innovative technology to me. There’s also lots of great trainings. Additionally, try to attend as many events as you can. The events are a great opportunity to network with other people and you never know – you just might meet someone that’s attending for the first time, as well.

Stay Out of Your Hotel

The folks at CEDIA have planned a few very cool events and I would recommend registering for the first time attendee event on Thursday, September 15 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. It will provide you with a fantastic opportunity to network and meet other CEDIA members and get an exclusive sneak peak of the show floor before it opens! While you’re registering for the first time attendee event, I would also recommend registering for the CEDIA 2016 Celebration at Gilley’s to kick off another CEDIA show with a true Lone Star State experience, set to include a mechanical bull, BBQ, cocktails, and live music.

If you’re still looking for more advice going into your first CEDIA, check out ‘Your First Five Steps for a Productive CEDIA 2016.

Last, but not least, enjoy! CEDIA 2016 will be here and gone before we know it. What tips do you have to share or what are you looking forward to?