Without using any cuss words, 2020 has been a unique year to put it kindly. Underscoring the uniqueness of 2020, for the first time in its history the CEDIA Expo just completed its first virtual event, and in my opinion five buzzy worth manufacturers emerged from the show.
With the first-ever virtual CEDIA Expo now in the books, there are a number of takeaways from the event. Overall, it’s my opinion it was a great show. Sure, there were a few hiccups, but that’s going to happen with an online event with participants literally spread across the globe.
The highlights of the event were the access and interaction to CEDIA’s educational sessions. The sessions were informational, and they were well attended. The level of attendee interaction was also excellent during the Q&A portions of the sessions.
Further silencing the critics, the show’s virtual booths also provided a range of content that included everything from press releases and videos that outlined the training and products the respective companies were showing, to live chats. Many of booths also offered prescheduled Zoom calls in which visitors could interact with manufacturers on a one-on-one level to help attendees learn more about specific products or whatever other type of information they needed.
Following the event and stepping back to assess the show as a whole, I would say it went great as I said earlier.
Digging deeper, beyond the education, the products and the live chat options the show offered, there were some companies that rose above the rest to create an almost-omnipresent type of vibe to their show exhibit.
Here are my five buzz worthy companies that I felt did identify themselves as CEDIA Expo Virtual standout exhibitors:
It seemed like Access Networks was everywhere. The company’s presence cast a wide shadow over the expo through its sponsorships; its educational efforts and its marketing efforts, which were easy to see on social media.
Focusing on its educational efforts, the company had a nice array of downloadable materials in its virtual booth and its participation in “Ask the Experts” session was informative.
Additionally, Access Networks new A750 wireless access point (WAP) may quietly be one of the most important products at the show. This new Wi-Fi 6-based WAP can serve as the wireless backbone to modern home network, which may be the single most in-demand solution from the entire custom installation industry.
Crestron was an extremely busy company during the expo and rightfully so. With its Home platform quickly maturing, Crestron provides integrators with a next-generation control and automation platform that also supports work from home (WFH).
Literally working hand-in-hand with high-performance network offerings, WFH is one of the few positive developments to happen in 2020. Through its ability to integrate its commercial division’s unified communications (UC) products, and the launch of the Mercury Mini all-in-one UC solution, Crestron is positioning its dealers for market success in 2020 and beyond.
At this point Delos may be more famous as the company at the heart of the West World show on HBO, but the real company should eclipse the fictional company’s public awareness soon.
As one of the most buzz worthy companies at the show, it was one of the brands everyone cited as a leader in the emerging wellness category.
At the show Delos worked with companies such as Crestron; it sponsored a Design+Connection Session, and it participated in the show’s other educational sessions.
Supported by top dealers that include HEDSouth, Delos is poised to be one of the go-to brands in the smoking hot wellness market.
Flexing its muscle as the only manufacturer that could use its internal resources to create a live broadcast of a virtual show booth, Sony showed once again why it is an A-list brand.
In its booth Sony conducted live walk throughs of a virtual booth it created in its San Diego headquarters. The company also launched several projectors and some new televisions.
It’s really nice to see Samsung’s commitment to the custom installation industry. Not only is the company developing innovative products like The Frame and The Wall product lines, it is providing access to its commercial products.
Helping dealers to take advantage of the new “resimercial” opportunities that are happening for residential dealers to provide systems that include corporate, retail, and restaurants and bars, Samsung’s business line of displays can be used in the corporate, retail, hospitality, food and education markets.
For a more detailed look at the show, including these buzz worthy companies, here is CE Pro Podcast #24 recapping the major products, news and trends that were witnessed at the expo.