5 Must-Attend CEDIA Expo Classes

Bob Archer shares his top 5 picks for CEDIA Expo 2013 training courses in Denver Sept. 25-28, covering project management, business and audio.

Robert Archer · September 6, 2013

With an array of courses to choose from but limited time at CEDIA Expo 2013, here are the five courses I believe give attendees a good mix of business and technical education.

These five classes cover several elements of the custom installation market, including public relations, business operations and technical training.

With instructors Aaron Carmack, Michael Creeden, Veronica Esbona, Susan Sipe and Floyd Toole, attendees can learn from some of the most respected experts in their respective fields.

1. Leveraging Public Relations to Grow your Business
Catalog No: ESCR093-1
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 25 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Location: 105
CEU value: 0.50
instructor: Veronica Esbona, InGear PR

Course Description: Like all small business owners, you need to make the most of your marketing dollars. PR activities can provide a very low-cost means of raising your profile and creating content for your social media and website outreach. The key is leveraging relationships with manufacturers−who are always hungry for case studies involving their gear. Manufacturers are usually happy to foot the bill for turning these into communications that can be disseminated throughout the CE trade media. If you work proactively with manufacturers to inform them of major installations, you will often find your company being “covered” in these stories as well−which then become as much of a plug for your company as they are for the manufacturer. Veronica Esbona, a B2B specialist in the home theater space, explains how the process works and how you can use PR with manufacturers to stretch your marketing budgets and enjoy all the credibility benefits that editorial coverage in the trade magazines provides

2. The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Working with Other Trades
Catalog No: ESCR096-1
Date: Friday, Sept. 27 8 to 10 a.m.
Location: 110
CEU value: 1.0
Instructor: Michael Creeden, Digital Innovations, Inc.

Course Description: Have you ever wondered how to work more effectively and profitably with other trades? This session helps you do just that! Hear candid comments and take part in an interactive discussion with a panel of design and build industry leaders. Tips, suggestions, and practical solutions are offered as well as answers to questions about selecting a project lead, including other contractors in client meetings, and managing the budget. Become familiar with best practices, solutions, and resources available from this team of expert panelists as they share the “secrets” associated with their industries, including how they make decisions, and some proven “tricks-of-the-trade” that lead to building mutually beneficial business relationships.

3. Cash Flow Strategies
Catalog No: ESB301-9,
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 25 3 to 5 p.m.
Location: 104
CEU value: 2.0
Instructor: Susan Sipe, Abacus Prime, LLC

Course Description: While technical expertise is essential to running a successful custom electronics business, your ability to operate a tight financial ship is even more critical. A profitable business strategy depends on your financial savvy. In this course, learn the top five strategies to manage your deposits, receivables, and earnings. Plus explore steps for improving sources of cash, managing uses of cash, and using debt as a form of financing. Additional topics include: how cash flow directly affects the bottom line, systems to monitor and forecast cash flows, and procedures for managing receivables from clients and payments to vendors and creditors. You’ll walk away with strategies to immediately increase the financial soundness of your business.

4. Project Management Skills for the Business Owner & Salesperson
Catalog No: ESPM003-B-3
Date: Friday, Sept. 27 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Location: 103
CEU value: 0.75
Instructor: Aaron Carmack, Resolution Audio and Video

Course Description: While you are a visionary for your growing business, we understand how overall growth can be stunted because the projects you worked so hard to get are not going as planned. It happens−the scope of work changed, the contractor keeps moving the due date, the client isn’t paying on time, or your staff is taking longer than you anticipated. In this interactive session, learn from an industry veteran how applying the basics of project management can improve overall project outcomes, increase the quality and productivity of your staff, and finally boost the performance of your business.

5. Home Theater Audio & Acoustics Part 1
Catalog No: ESD301-5
Date: Thursday, Sept. 26 9 a.m. to noon
Location: 110
CEU value: 3.0
Instructor: Floyd Toole

Course Description: To excel as a designer, you must thoroughly understand audio and acoustics. And there’s no better person to learn from than industry luminary Dr. Floyd Toole, the man who has literally written the book on audio and acoustics. In the first course in this comprehensive three-part series, Dr. Toole will explain the basic dimensions of sound so you are able to deliver the best possible results with your surround sound system designs. Topics include the basics of sound and sound reproduction, sound transmission and reflection in rooms, and using room size and shape to predict performance.

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  About the Author

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at

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