CEDIA Expo 2005 Review

Submission by Eleanor – CEDIA Expo 2005 ReviewSHARP INCREASE IN VISITORS FOR “OUTSTANDING” CEDIA EXPO 2005 – The European custom installation sector is in a positive, upbeat mood, following an overwhelmingly successful CEDIA Expo, which saw attendance leap by more than 50% compared to last year’s figures.

A total of 4,714 visitors came to the event during four concentrated days of education and three showcase days which saw the leading industry brands pack all the latest innovations into two exhibition halls of Birmingham’s International Convention Centre. This number included a high proportion of overseas visitors attend the event, 569 in total from 57 countries outside the UK.

“We were absolutely thrilled and delighted with CEDIA Expo 2005” says CEDIA Chairman, David Hyman. “There was a real buzz about this year’s event, reflecting the positive spirit around the industry and the rapid year-on-year growth currently taking place. We saw packed stands, busy aisles, seminar sessions which were very well-supported and, in some cases, completely sold-out. We are confident we can build on this success next year, when we move CEDIA Expo to ExCeL, London. In fact, already 70% of exhibition space has been reserved for next year’s event”… CEDIA Expo 2005 featured exhibition stands from over 100 companies, including all the major players from the world of custom home electronics. This year the exhibition was focussed around Halls 3 and 4, and the Hall 3 Foyer, a move which gave a more integrated focus to the event and ensured easier navigation around the venue for visitors. The reward for exhibitors was a steady throughput of high quality visitor traffic, including a high proportion of installers new to the industry or the event, and delegates from house builders, interior design and architectural practices.

The CEDIA Expo training programme, comprising 77 educational seminars, 15 manufacturer product training sessions, forums and workshops, was also well-subscribed. Generally, programme attendance stood at 1510, up over 100 on last year, with completely full courses including New Technologies Update and Technical Foundation Course (Practical). A hands-on, full day workshop enabling delegates to grow in knowledge, confidence and skill as a forerunner to the Designer and Installer training and exams or as a quick start for newcomers into the industry was a new development which was singled out for special praise, attracting fresh blood into the industry.

Attendance from the building specifier community at CEDIA Expo was impressive at 231. For the first time CEDIA Expo hosted a special, one day Design Professionals Conference aimed at architects, interior designers and other building specifiers. Entitled “Home Electronics in Architecture and Interior Design”, this conference was chaired by Ruth Slavid, Editor of the Architects Journal magazine, supported by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the British Interior Design Association (BIDA) and sponsored by Lutron. Over twenty delegates attended the conference, receiving a grounding in the different aspects of custom installation, led by Steve Moore. These visitors were also able to broaden their knowledge by visiting the Expo itself and engaging directly with a number of exhibitors.

Social activities and networking also featured strongly at the event. The Chairman’s Reception hosted by David Hyman brought exhibitors and delegates together in the relaxed environment of the Zinc Bar – a great and safe place to watch the spectacular thunderstorms which hit Birmingham on the Tuesday night. Meanwhile, the CEDIA party, sponsored by Digital Home, at The Living Room was another social success with the centerpiece entertainment of “Duelling Pianos” keeping party guests enthralled until the small hours (and in some cases, beyond!).

CEDIA Expo 2006 will run from 20th to 22nd June 2006 at ExCeL London to accommodate growth within the sector. CEDIA would like to extend a warm thank you to all the volunteers and exhibitors who made the show such a memorable success.
For further information visit www.cedia.co.uk

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