RES: Last year was the first time you fully hosted the CEDIA Expo. Was there anything that surprised you about the custom install industry? What did you learn from that event?
BRIAN PAGEL: Nothing really surprised me about this community, as we have had a relationship with CEDIA and CEPro for years. However, what impressed me most was the reception we received from the market and the positive feedback from our efforts to elevate and expand the show experience. As you know, we went to great lengths to make it easier for people to navigate the event once they got to the show site. Additionally, we added some new programming on the show floor and launched the Design+Connection initiative, which exposed architects, builders, and designers to CEDIA Expo for the first time.
Last year there was a big focus on the Design Connection — will that continue at this year’s event?
Absolutely! We see a huge opportunity to leverage our strong position with the design/build channel at CEDIA Expo. There is strong interest among builders, designers, and architects to incorporate connected technologies into projects, but in many cases they don’t know where to start or who to partner with. That said, there are really two key goals with this program. First is to create awareness and educate the design/build space on all of the innovations coming out of the CEDIA Expo channel. Second is to create meaningful connections between integrators, architects, builders, and designers that we believe will translate into opportunities to collaborate on projects in the future.
Where do you see the custom integrator’s role with builders and architects, and how will that be represented at CEDIA Expo?
We believe the role of the custom integrator will increase in the future as they are such an integral part of any design/build project. Builders, architects, and designers are being asked to design for connected spaces, but in many cases lack visibility into the latest products/technologies and are rarely qualified to tackle any level of technical integration. We have been an advocate for elevating the custom integrator with the design/build community so that they are viewed as a strategic partner in the process, adding tremendous value to the finished project. To help further our efforts, we continue to enhance programming on this topic at events like CEDIA Expo, KBIS, and IBS.
Are there any new areas of focus this year?
We will be expanding on several areas in Denver. Specifically, we are expanding our security pavilion to have a deeper focus on surveillance products, which we have found is an area of crossover based on surveys from our sister publication, Security Sales & Integration. We will also have some activations on the show floor focusing on the emergence of wellness in design as this is an area that we believe integrators are well positioned to address. Finally, we are working to expand Innovation Alley as a launch pad for new brands and technologies that are coming to market.
What can attendees expect at the new Security Solutions Pavilion?
Security cameras and surveillance are a natural point of entry for our integrator community. We are expanding the pavilion to have more emphasis in this area and hope to expose our attendees to new and different brands.
What do you see as the greatest benefits for integrators who attend CEDIA Expo?
The benefits of CEDIA Expo are pretty significant in terms of professional development. Between the expansive learning programs from our association partners, to on-the-floor programming covering a wide breadth of topics, to the latest products and technologies coming to market. In addition to exposure to the latest products, technology, and learning, CEDIA Expo is a great platform for expanding your professional network and meeting up with some old friends. As the premier event serving the custom integrator, I hope that the market is as excited about returning to Denver in 2019 as we are.
Registration for CEDIA Expo 2019 is now open.