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Why Planar, D&M Won’t Be at CEDIA Expo 2009

D&M says it’s about allocation of funds, while Planar says they're still exploring options.


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Planar/Runco isn’t scheduled to exhibit at CEDIA Expo 2009. Shown is their large booth at CEDIA Expo 2008.

D&M Holdings and Planar, two CEDIA Expo fixtures, aren't exhibiting at CEDIA Expo 2009 in Atlanta.

That means CE pros won’t find Planar’s Runco brand or D&M’s Denon, Marantz, McIntosh, Boston Acoustics and Escient brands on the CEDIA Expo 2009 show floor.

Does this surprise you? In this economy it shouldn’t.

“The trade show industry is seeing an overall decrease of 20 to 25 percent,” says CEDIA director of PR Jamie Antcliff. “CEDIA Expo has experienced some downsizing of exhibitor booths.”

“We consider residential and custom installers as crucial to our current and future business,” says Bob Weissburg, president of D&M Holdings NA. “The decision not to participate [in CEDIA Expo 2009] was a very difficult one.”

D&M’s Explanation


The decision for D&M was about “allocating marketing investments,” Weissburg says. “This year my team and I agreed to focus on demand creation for all of our brands, most importantly, driving business to our specialty dealers and retailers.”

Weissburg points to a cross promotion that will allow its dealers to bundle Boston Acoustics and Denon and the company’s plans to put 1,500 dealers through its custom installation certified training.

“Our whole focus is on driving new business for our dealers by bringing them new customers. Right now, it’s all about bringing in new customers,” Weissburg emphasizes.

Weissburg does say that D&M, undoubtedly, would like to be at CEDIA 2009. “We think CEDIA [Expo] is a terrific show and we’ve participated for years and we fully intend to be on the show floor in 2010," he says. "In 2009, based on the financial impact to the industry, we felt that our focus on driving business for our dealers was a priority over displaying new products at a trade show.

“This is not a knock on CEDIA. There’s just so many dollars to spend and our customers are our priority.”

D&M and its brands will be in Atlanta during for “by appointment” meetings with dealers during CEDIA Expo 2009, according to Weissburg. The location has yet to be determined. “We’ll be local and convenient.”

As for CES 2010, which takes place January 7–10 in Las Vegas, Weissburg is leaving the door open for a similar arrangement that wouldn't have D&M on the show floor. “We expect to be at CES. The exact venue is TBD, but we’ll certainly be there.”

Planar’s Explanation


Speaking of leaving doors open, a Planar spokesperson indicates that there is still a chance that Runco could find its way onto the CEDIA Expo 2009 show floor.

“Runco is not an exhibitor right now, but we are working directly with CEDIA and reviewing our options,” according to the Planar spokesperson.

However, it’s not clear if the options Planar is reviewing would actually put Runco on the exhibit floor or if it would involve a nearby, by-appointment presence, such as the one D&M is planning. The Runco spokesperson declined further comment.

The Planar brand, meanwhile, had a large booth and launched commercial video and digital signage products at InfoComm 09.

Neither Planar nor Runco is listed as an exhibitor for CES 2010.

CEDIA’s Explanation


Given its assessment that the trade show industry is down 20 to 25 percent and that the 2008 Expo’s attendance was down 14 percent, CEDIA is probably not surprised to see a couple high-profile exhibitors back away.

The CE industry would probably be more surprised if Planar and D&M are the only high-profile exhibitors missing from CEDIA Expo 2009. If the trend from 2008 continues, CEDIA Expo 2009 will see exhibitor attendance and total attendance drop, but non-exhibiting attendance rise.

That means there will be fewer exhibits at the show, but there will be more CE pro-type attendees visiting booths and taking in classes. CEDIA says it has added a lot of value in terms of new training and cost-savings for the 2009 show.

One reason for the trend toward fewer exhibitors is that manufacturers probably don’t bring as many booth attendants as in previous years. Also, some exhibitors are “downsizing and/or aligning themselves with partner manufacturers to share space,” Antcliff says. This, she adds, shows that manufacturers “understand the importance and benefit of CEDIA Expo” but want to cut costs.

“We have seen some cancellations but more than half of those cancellations have been from companies who have been with the show for five years or less," Antcliff says. "We are strategically focusing on ways to help our exhibitors and members, both new and veteran, cut costs while still being able to participate in CEDIA Expo."

Robert Archer contributed to this article.




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Article Topics

News · CEDIA · Expos · All topics

About the Author

Tom LeBlanc, Senior Writer/Technology Editor, CE Pro
Tom has been covering consumer electronics for six years. Before that, he wrote for the sports department of the Boston Herald. Migrating to magazines, he was a staff editor for a golf publication and an outdoor sports publication. Now, as senior writer/technology editor of CE Pro magazine since 2003, he dabbles in all departments and offers expertise in marketing. Follow him on Twitter @leblanctom.

7 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by JoeAV  on  07/02  at  07:04 AM

Doesn’t surprise me. After all the years of some of these groups spending a ton of marketing funds on these shows its about time they took a serious look. When people attend the show they have NO IDEA just how much these shows cost. I think the industry dealers might have a heart attack if they knew just how much money a major supporter like Crestron and others spend on show space, exhibit itself, exhibit building, convention services, food, shipping, travel, hotel and entertainment. SCARY. Hey Julie do an article about that and ask Sony, Crestron, Life-Ware, Runco and others what these cost in the past.

Time for these groups to spend their money on helping the dealers find new business, vertical markets and not so much on advertising to the choir.

Posted by AV Spec  on  07/02  at  10:03 AM

I heard ELAN Home Systmes won’t be their either!

Posted by Audioplus  on  07/02  at  10:22 AM

Another indication that these ‘HUGE’ holding companys don’t get it. CEDIA has and never will be intended as a sellers show. It supports manufacturer visibilty for the benfit of their custom clients and supports the entire custom A/V and integration industry as a whole.

Why advertise in CE Pro or Residential Systems when you could advertise in Stereo Review or sell through Amazon? Why ? because A/V specialists and systems integrators don’t read Stereo Review and we don’t buy through Amazon.

I can understand taking a pass at CES, but not having Runco, Marantz, Denon, Escient present at CEDIA?

Sounds like their stabbing themselves in the back.
When did CFO’s start designing new products and applications, or maybe there’s nothing new this year to talk about, what about 2.40 displays?

Maybe Planar should get with Amazon?

Posted by AV Spec  on  07/02  at  11:02 AM

The simple fact is that there is NO money left here guys. Nearly everyone on the CEDIA floors of the past years has not been in the black for some time now and many won’t ever be again. Many will go away or vastly restructure over the next 12 months or less.

The industry as a whole is simply way too large for the current small pool of CI consumers. Too many dealers, tradeshows, reps, manufacturers, employees, distributors, etc.. pushing useless new irrelevant gadgets to ghost buyers whose spending priorities have shifted.

This industry needs to (and will) shrink back to the pre boom 2002 or so capacity levels (as the rest of the world has in other industries) to stay viable and profitable. We simply don’t need 15+ TV brands, 30+ speaker brands, 20 amp brands etc…anymore. The industry grew over the last 6 years on the back of grossly over exaggerated home prices and a booming economy that was fundamentally baseless. It’s over now, time to wake up and actually be sensible about expenses and business. These companies that basically closed their eyes and threw a dart, yet still hit a pile of money over the past decade, will surely fade away as they got complacent with 30% growth every year, and forgot how to actually lead in their marketplace    

Tradeshow reductions is fully expected for the next 2-3 years or more as this reset is far from bottoming. The mega holding groups like D&M;and Nortek that grew blindly are now debt laden, woefully unstable, vastly over capacitated and right now and are in dire straits with regards to funding their operations going forward.

If you thought the last 18 months hurt the less then prepared, the next 18 will see a total transformation of the CI industry and consumer electronics as a whole.

Posted by JoeAV  on  07/02  at  11:35 AM

Hey AV Spec, well put. When i look at where and how some of these groups were spending their money it is amazing to me that it took this long. I also blame management of CEDIA for not having the foresight to see this coming and figure out ways to make the shows remain viable. They have RACKED in funds from these shows, the expense and the overly inflated sponsorship fees they have been charging. Well time to pay up.

You are so right that some of the firms who have seen incredible growth these past 7 years WERE NOT that profitable and well run prior to the boom. Now it becomes a real test of true business. Are they poised for the next step? Most are not. The product selection in some categories is a joke!? And some of these firms have been supporting the wrong ones or more than they should.

Yes things will be better generally speaking but we will see a mindset change in all levels of customers that will remain for many years to come. I know some hate to hear this and thing its “the sky is falling” syndrome but I think deep down we all have seen this from all levels of clients.

Now the last scary point. Technology and product offerings we will be seeing at a wider array of distribution is going to seriously HURT the CSI community. If you’re not finding a new way to develop business model growth into the future you’re going to be is serious trouble.

Posted by Dave Stevens  on  07/02  at  02:53 PM

To JoeAV & AVspec: Great perception & comments!

Let’s face facts… Why bother with all of the expense & headaches of attending any of these shows? Are we as dealers going to stop ordering from them because they don’t show up? No.

Does anyone complain when they fire their sales reps who have been with them for years to try to save their bottom line? No.

I hate to say it, but it’s our fault… We made it too easy and comfortable for them. We are simply on their “paper route” and now they don’t care if the paper is thrown into the bushes every day.

Posted by Gary  on  07/07  at  06:56 AM

Joe AV, you are right that mfg’s should be focusing on helping dealers find new business and grow, and the days of building demo houses on site, etc. is a waste of money.  With that being said there are mfg’s who are supporting their dealers and put on a quality presentation at the show’s to let us know their commitment to us and the industry by investing in the opportunity for people to come together outside of the office and see some cool new products and get to meet some of the people from these companies that they don’t usualy get to see.  It’s a nice change from the daily grind.  If the people you buy your products from don’t have anything new to show, don’t come by and keep you updated on new products when you can’t afford to leave your business to attend, or aren’t helping you with your business then perhaps attending these shows will give you the chance to find someone who will.  I would fault those that are doing the right things and still are willing to shell out the money ($1 Million for some)and the time of many individuals to show their commitment.

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