CE Pro Podcast #73: Live from Indianapolis, It’s CEDIA Expo 2021!

CE Pro Podcast features roundtable discussion from the CE Pro booth at CEDIA Expo 2021, covering exhibitors, technologies, show themes, education sessions and more.

Listen to this podcast using the embedded player below.

We might be back on Zoom for the introduction to this week’s CE Pro Podcast, but the CE Pro editors could not have been happier to gather at our booth at the Indiana Convention Center during CEDIA Expo last week to record the podcast. Forgive us borrowing from “Saturday Night Live!” on the title.

No, the show floor did not turn out as anticipated after months and months of the industry’s clamoring for a return to in-person events, but energy still ran very high among the exhibitors and attendees who came to Indianapolis for the Sept. 1-3 CEDIA Expo. CE Pro editors Jason Knott, Bob Archer and myself had plenty to see at the Indiana Convention Center.

Our roundtable discussion of this year’s Expo offers our observations as well as those of manufacturers and integrator attendees we spoke with in Indianapolis; thoughts on some of the innovations we saw among companies that are both veterans and newcomers to CEDIA Expo (and there’s plenty of booth footage if you watch the podcast on YouTube); and highlights of other show programming such as education sessions, awards presentations and more.

“Every booth that I’ve gone too, all the integrators I’m seeing in the aisles … they just miss that face-to-face conversation that you just can’t have [truly replicated over Zoom], and the anecdotal information and sharing the conversations of what’s happening in their businesses,” Knott mentions.

“I think just generally being excited to have a sense of normalcy again is the impression I’m getting from everybody.”

CEDIA Expo Sessions Still Online

Archer attended some of the AV CEU sessions on Aug. 31, the day before the show floor opened, and noted that attendance was solid despite the challenges of this year’s show. Education, SmartStage sessions and presentations such as Dr. Poppy Crum of Dolby Labs’ keynote are available online over the next month as part of the Expo’s hybrid learning accommodations.

Numerous booths impressed the editors. Industry AV stalwarts like Kaleidescape, Origin Acoustics and Indy Audio Labs plus relative newcomers like Magna Audio; lighting/shading and design minded companies such as Draper, DMF Lighting, Proluxe, Hide-A-Trim; problem-solvers, tools, signal transmission providers like Midlite, MetraAV, AVPro Edge, distributor Future Ready Solutions and others.

The Launchpad area featured some impressive small companies in particular, and guardDog Solutions came away with as this year’s TechStarter winner of the $5,000 grand prize.

Hear from the CE Pro editors by watching or listening to the audio and video files above. Find past episodes of the CE Pro Podcast by subscribing to the CE Pro YouTube channel or our Apple and Spotify podcast feeds.