CEDIA EXPO 2011: A Marketing Matters Recap
by Scott Moody, Director of Public Relations
I don’t care what the attendance was or how many exhibitors where at this year’s CEDIA EXPO compared to previous years. From anyone who attended or exhibited at this year’s show, I heard nothing but great things. All things considered, it was a great show, especially for our clients on the public relations side of the house. We had tons of new products, new technologies, new people and new companies making debuts at the show.
In case you didn’t get a chance to make it to CEDIA EXPO 2011, we wanted to give you a brief recap of what you may have missed from Marketing Matters’ amazing roster of clients exhibiting at the show.
I often hear people say “I don’t like 3D” and to that I say “B.S.”. A well-done 3D movie or television broadcast is amazing and I don’t understand how anyone would argue differently. However, the 3D market hasn’t taken off nearly as fast as many had anticipated and one of the biggest reasons is consumer hesitation to rush out and buy new 3D-ready displays. It was just a few years ago that we saw many consumers buying brand new displays thanks to the major price drops in flat panel TVs pushed by the digital TV transition. Naturally, homeowners would be reluctant to replace those fully-functional TVs so soon.
CEDIA-newcomer 3D Now used CEDIA EXPO 2011 to offer of its new technology which converts any 2D HD display to an amazing 3D experience in just three steps. Attendees to the show saw exactly how 3D Now’s products can be incorporated into virtually any existing home entertainment system, offering a great retrofit solution for customers who want 3D without having to purchase a new TV or projector.
The key to success in any business, especially in an industry such as AV where technologies, products and trends change by the minute, is continuous education. I would find it hard to believe that any industry professional would argue against the idea of expanding their expertise through product or business training. However, sacrificing time away from the office or job site to attend off-site training is a luxury most professionals can’t afford. At the same time, it’s becoming equally difficult for manufactures to allocate resources to organizing in-person training for customers.
As attendees to the show learned, Bedrock Learning’s new Bedrock Vortal is the perfect solution for installers and manufacturers. The Bedrock Vortal is a new comprehensive, cost-effective, online distance learning training portal with exclusive manufacturer-specific educational resources and benefits. The interactive delivery system provides a quick, easy path to online training and can be customized with manufacturer branding, content, state-of-the-art video animation and clips, voice-over capability, reporting tools, randomized quizzes and more. Additionally, there is no software to install or learn. Training sessions are self-paced and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week—allowing users to access content when their schedule permits.
I can proudly say that Clare Controls garnered some pretty good pre-show “buzz” considering we helped introduce the world to the new company and its flagship product, ClareHome, in August. ClareHome, the first home automation system managed from the cloud and run on a Mac, enables professional dealers to easily and quickly configure, deploy, service and monitor systems from its cloud-based portal, eliminating the need for service calls for common reprogramming issues. Additionally, end-users may access the extensive library to access, and to create, and customize their own interfaces.
Attendees to the show saw how ClareHome’s functionality is absolutely unique to the home automation industry. End-users not only control their homes through advanced technologies, including Apple iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches, but for the first time, are able to modify their own user experience within the system. No other home automation solution allows users to access new home controls from the cloud and make them functional within minutes—without a professional programmer or technician.
In addition to a booth that was never lacking traffic, despite a poor location on the show floor, Clare Controls took home two industry awards, winning a CustomRetailer EXC!TE Award and a CE Pro BEST Award for best Home Control Product.
CEDIA EXPO 2011 marked a “kick off” of sorts for KEF. In early October, the legendary loudspeaker manufacturer is celebrating its 50th anniversary. This is a milestone that deserves special recognition because If someone could name every other loudspeaker company who has come and gone over the last 50 years, they deserve a pair of KEF Muons. To help commemorate the 50th Anniversary celebration, KEF rolled out the KEF Blade, the world’s first Single Apparent Source loudspeaker, and had it proudly on displayin the amazing-looking . KEF’s Single Apparent Source technology ensures the entire frequency range—LF, MF, and HF – radiates from one point in space, creating a sound that is equal to a live performance. In addition to a one-of-a-kind sound, attendees to the show were drawn in by just how awesome KEF Blade looks.
Along with KEF Blade, KEF used CEDIA EXPO 2011 to introduce a new line of loudspeakers dubbed the R Series. Featuring many of KEF’s premium high fidelity and home entertainment loudspeaker technologies, the R Series delivers near-Reference quality, audiophile sound at a more affordable price.
We also would like to congratulate KEF for taking home a CustomRetailer EXC!TE Award and a Residential Systems “Resi” Award for Best Floorstanding Loudspeaker.
Powerline Controls Systems’ “Make the Switch” CEDIA EXPO 2011 theme could not have been more appropriate. The company and its PulseWorx products are rapidly growing and quickly becoming the preferred lighting control supplier for professional integrators, retailers, distributors and sales reps.
Among the products the team at PCS demoed for attendees was another Custom Retailer EXC!TE winner, Mi LightStyle, an independent, cost-effective hardware/software package. Once installed, Mi LightStyle enables an end user to easily monitor, control and manage UPB-driven PulseWorx and third party products from any device that can connect to the Internet, including smartphones, tablets and computers. Integrators can create advanced times, triggers, email or text notifications and events based on status of the devices, time of day, even local weather conditions delivering an interface that has remarkable breadth while being easy to operate.
Another new product PCS introduced was its CF1LD, which works with LED and CFL lighting, as well as fluorescent, inductive and magnetic LV loads, incandescent and halogen lighting. This gives homeowners the ability to reliably control all of those sources and makes it easier than ever to save even more energy by dimming down the lights to the needed level. It also affords simplicity to the dealer by allowing him or her to carry only one wall switch, as opposed to multiple controls for different light sources.
PCS announced the launch of the PCS Lighting Academy, an extensive online portal that allows industry professionals to conveniently fulfill the training requirements to become a Certified PulseWorx Integrator.
Structured Cable Products (SCP) is actually one of our newest PR clients so I was eager to see the team at SCP in “action” at the show. They did not disappoint me or attendees to their booth.
The manufacturer of low voltage cable and accessories educated attendees about the benefits of using durable, high performance cable. Among the products on display was SCP’s newest introduction to its lineup of Crestron® capable cables to include the new Crest-8G, a high performance cable for data networking and high definitional AV signal distribution applications. The Crest-8G cable supports 1080p HD video with deep color and 1920 x 1200 WUXGA computer signals, plus HD 7.1 multichannel audio and Ethernet control signals up to 330 feet—all in a single wire and without the use of repeaters.
Velodyne rolled into CEDIA EXPO 2011 with a full slate of new product introductions. Highlighting the product launches was the new EQ-MAX lineup. EQ-MAX is the first line of subwoofers at its price-point (the 8” model is just $479!) to feature remote control operation and built-in processing that enables users to maximize bass performance with the simple touch of a button. Available in 8”, 10”, 12” and 15” models, the budget-friendly EQ-MAX’s rich feature set and advanced technologies combine to deliver high performance bass without the typical complications of system calibration.
The new DS-10 is a sophisticated, self-incorporated system that delivers accurate, powerful bass surpassed only by Velodyne’s award-winning Digital DrivePLUS series. Attendees to the show saw how the DS-10 features Velodyne’s Digital Drive room management technology to overcome anomalies in typical subwoofer frequency response due to a room’s shape, size and features.
Additionally, Velodyne showcased its new wireless solution, the WiConnect System, a high speed wireless receiver and transmitter kit that enables subwoofers of any size to wirelessly connect to an entertainment system.
Velodyne’s EQ-MAX was also the winner of a CustomRetailer EXC!TE Award and the CE Pro BEST Award for best Subwoofer.
While I’m sure you may have already seen some of these folks in the news at the show, I’m positive you’ll be hearing even more in the near future. Thank you to all of our valued clients, associates and friends who made this year’s show a success.