“CEDIA is energized. … We have a swagger like never before,” said new CEDIA CEO Vin Bruno, speaking to membership during the association’s State of the Association webinar.
And judging from the ambitious plans CEDIA has laid out for 2016 and beyond, he is right.
Coming off of a successful CEDIA Expo in Dallas during which its new logo and booth were the centerpieces of its “Life Lived Best at Home” rebranding campaign, the association plans to keep its momentum moving. During the webinar, leadership laid out goals that will include consumer-facing trade shows, a referral relationship with a major real estate agency, packaged online education for new hires, and even possible a new headquarters.
The webinar was moderated by Laura Hockstra, senior director of membership, and featured Bruno along with Dennis Erskine, chairman-elect of the association and CEO of the Erskine Group, and Dave Pedigo, CEDIA’s director of learning and emerging technology.
CEDIA membership growth through 2015
Highlights of the 2016 plans are:
- Consumer Awareness Shows – Bruno announced plans in 2016 for several trade show events aimed at consumers. Exhibitors would be both industry suppliers along with local integrators. The first event is planned for London in 2016, with other key cities on the radar for either later in the year or subsequent years, including New York City, Miami and Los Angeles. “Any city that has a football team” is a potential target city, according to Bruno.
- ”Drive to 5,000 Members” – The association has experienced solid growth in membership over the past several years, ending 2015 with 3,747 members, which is 145 more members than in 2014. Since 2012, the association’s membership has risen by 31 percent. (See chart) “I am not satisfied until we have 5,000 members globally,” said Bruno.
- Continued Expo Growth – The 2015 CEDIA Expo was a hit, with 18,700 attendees, 6,456 training seminar attendees (a 7 percent increase) and 510 exhibitors (including 124 first-time exhibitors). Among Home Technology Professionals, there was a 16 percent increase in attendance, including a 33 percent rise in first-time attendees.
- 2016 CEDIA Business Exchange – “If you were not able to make it to the event this year, you missed out,” said Pedigo bluntly. The inaugural 2015 CEDIA Business Exchange was held in Houston and gathered integrators for moderated peer-to-peer meetings to share advice. The 2016 event will be held May 11-13 in San Diego, Calif.
- Coldwell Banker partnership – CEDIA is working to forge a relationship with Coldwell Banker (CB), one of the largest real estate brokerages in the U.S. It sold more than 21,000 homes in 2015 that were valued over $1 million, but few of those homes were automated. Coldwell Banker reports that homes with automation sell for 18 percent more than homes that do not, according to Bruno. So, the plan is for CB to refer a local CEDIA home technology professional to a seller so the home can possibly be upgraded prior to listing on the market.
- New Hire Training Package – Since onboarding new technicians is a major problem facing many integrators, the association has packaged 10 online courses representing more than 20 hours of training into an affordable $299 training program aimed at helping new hires get up to speed more rapidly. It represents one-year’s worth of training, according to Pedigo, and optionally can include the CEDIA Fundamentals book and testing. If the courses were purchased individually, it would cost an integrator $799.
- New CEDIA Headquarters – This idea is still in the speculative stages, but the association is investigating a possible new location that would include an experience center.
- Global Certification – Pedigo outlined how CEDIA is working with Butler University to develop training pathways for the particular situation an integration company might find itself in. For example, courses on “how to grow,” or “how to obtain capital investment” might be on tap. At the same time, CEDIA has settled on a single, global certification: the Electronic Systems Certification (ESC) that integrators can use to showcase their credentials to prospective clients.
The webinar also touched on the financial state of CEDIA.
The association’s unaudited revenues for 2015 show $11,547,217 in revenue, 52 percent of which comes from the Expo. Other sources of revenue come from the ISE event in Amsterdam, membership, education, and investments.
In terms of spending, CEDIA spent $11,356,753. Erskine says spending was a bit higher in 2015 due to the new rebranding campaign mostly.