CEDIA Expo 2018 Keynote Speaker John Penney on the Collision of Content and Distribution
Navigating San Diego Tips on Maximizing Your Expo Experience
10 12 18 22 28 30 34 36
I AM CEDIA Meet NEEO, which puts experience ahead of tech
MAXIMIZING EXPO (OR ANY SHOW) How to make the most of your time on the show floor
A HOME FIT FOR 007 Two-time CEDIA Award Winner delivers a project fit for a superspy
SPECIAL EXPO SECTION The who, what, when of CEDIA Expo 2018 begins here
KEYNOTE PREVIEW John Penney (20th Century Fox) on the junction of tech and content
NAVIGATING SAN DIEGO So much to do and see, we point out the not-to-be-missed attractions
SPOTLIGHT ON TECH ED What if we rated home cinemas like fine wine?
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS ED Courtney Berg will teach you how to hire (and when to fire)
It'S SHOWTIME This issue of Communicates is chock-full of info about this year’s CEDIA Expo in San Diego. We’ve got a ton of great tips and tricks for maximizing your time at the show and a terrific guide to help you navigate the area of town around the Convention Center, with a handy map to boot. John Penney, an exec at 20th Century Fox, will be presenting this year’s keynote, and we’ve got a preview in the pages that follow. He’ll be speaking about the place where tech and content meet, and how the two inform one another. We’ll preview a couple of classes that are among the dozens and dozens offered as part of the 2018 Expo education catalog — two that represent just how deep these dives go when it comes to both technical and business training. This issue also provides a rundown of what new features to expect at this year’s CEDIA Expo. There’s more than just Expo chatter within, of course: We’ll spend time with the firm Neeo in our continuing series of “I AM CEDIA” profiles; we’ll look at a wholehome integration project that would impress James Bond himself; and we’ll have tips on how to create that sometimes elusive, intuitive, and easy-to-use control system that every client begs for. Thanks for picking up this issue of CEDIA Communicates. We’ll see you in San Diego. All the best,
Tabatha O’Connor CEDIA Global President and CEO
7150 Winton Drive, Suite 300 Indianapolis, Indiana 46268 USA Email: email@example.com Telephone: +1 800.669.5329 www.cedia.net
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All material in Communicates is the copyright of CEDIA and any reproduction of said material would require written permission from the publisher. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of content published, CEDIA cannot accept responsibility for any factual errors that may occur. CEDIA cannot accept responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributors.
NEWS IN BRIEF
CEDIA CONNECTS COMMUNITY WITH MOBILE APP CEDIA members can now connect to the popular CEDIA Online Community on-the-go with the all-new CEDIA mobile app. This development is part of CEDIA’s ongoing commitment to offer programs that make it easier for members to connect with one another, both in their own region and worldwide. Following the launch of the CEDIA Community in 2016, the online platform has grown extensively, allowing members to engage with one another year-round.
How to Download the App CEDIA members can download the app by searching for “MemberCentric” in the app store. Once MemberCentric has been downloaded, the member will simply need to search for CEDIA and log into their community profile.
The online forum gives members a platform to freely discuss industry news, share ideas, and provide advice to their peers. Members also have access to a variety of downloadable resources. The new mobile app has the same look, feel, and navigation as the desktop version of the CEDIA Community, with features including discussion groups, private messaging, news and announcements, and upcoming events, so members can stay connected, wherever they are. “CEDIA puts its members in the center of a thriving community where connections are formed and new opportunities for growth can be tapped into,” says Jenny Scott, CEDIA director of member engagement. “The mobile app offers greater accessibility to this thriving community, and we’re pleased to make this available to our members worldwide.”
Find “MemberCentric” in the app store
Find CEDIA when the app opens,
Enter your email and password, and
NEW MEMBERS CEDIA welcomes 115 new members across the globe this quarter. AUSTRALIA > BMR Group Pty Ltd Westan Australia Pty Ltd Wired By HTD BAHRAIN >
Smarter Living Cayman Ltd.
Balance Systems Limited
AKUVOX (XIAMEN) NETWORKS CO, LTD
NEW ZEALAND >
CJ Electrical Contracting Services Ltd
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC >
Archibald Acoustic Design
Cornerstone Electrico Systems Ltd
Dixeritis Smart Homes
DAWSONS BANG & OLUFSEN
Add On Sound & Security Systems Inc. Danby Appliances Dependable Electric FCFP Ron's Security and Audio/ Video Security Concepts Smarthomes Ottawa Solid Tech Three60 Electrical Services
OF IRAN >
Automated Project Solutions Ltd
CAYMAN ISLANDS >
AVA Concept Ltd.
FRANCE > Qobuz StormAudio INDIA > DTI Automation Pvt. Ltd. Lumos Building Automation Pvt Ltd ISLAMIC REPUBLIC
SPAIN > Intesis Smart Business UNITED ARAB EMIRATES > SIBCA
Deco Shade Electec Electrical Ltd Garden Tunes Home Control Scotland Ltd Ideal AV Limited
UNITED KINGDOM >
iEvolution Network Ltd
Intelligent Digital Solutions Limited Karma AV Mi-Living
CEDIA ALIGNS STAFF LEADERSHIP WITH STRATEGIC PLAN CEDIA recently welcomed two new members to its Education Leadership team. Thomas Darling has joined the CEDIA staff as the senior vice president of development and education. This newly created role will lead CEDIA’s professional development department, specifically focusing on strengthening the education programs and increasing the scope and quality of CEDIA’s curricula. Darling brings significant experience in higher education. For the last eight years, he served as the executive portfolio manager for career and technical education at Pearson Education, and prior to that served for five years as the executive director of workforce, economic and community development for Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, Indiana. Darling has worked with public and private companies as well as state government agencies to drive accessibility to training and workforce development. CEDIA has also hired a new director of education. Samantha Ventura joined the CEDIA team in late March. Ventura is a PhD candidate in organizational leadership specializing in virtual leadership and cultural intelligence and has her master’s degree in teaching. Ventura's entire career has been dedicated to developing and implementing learning programs. Most recently as the director of learning initiatives for the DevOps Library, she designed and developed online offerings supporting open source learning for a global audience. Further aligning staff leadership with the strategic plan, CEDIA has promoted Cris Pyle to vice president, marketing and industry relations and Olivia Sellke to director of public relations and industry relations.
In her new role, Pyle will lead a key area outlined in CEDIA’s strategic plan — driving awareness among architects, builders, and interior designers. Pyle joined the CEDIA team in August of 2015, but she is no stranger to the industry having spent over 10 years earlier in her career overseeing marketing at Klipsch.
For her part, Sellke will continue to be responsible for all public relations efforts including increased outreach to the design and build press. She will also oversee the growth of the CEDIA Certified Instructor SAMANTHA VENTURA (COI) program, which trains CEDIA members to deliver presentations for CEU credits to architects, designers, and builders. Sellke has been a key member of the CEDIA marketing team taking on progressive responsibilities over the last eight years. “All of these staffing decisions are going to help drive the success of the strategic plan and ultimately the organization as a whole. I am incredibly proud of the direction we are heading, and I am excited for the future of CEDIA,” said Tabatha O’Connor, CEDIA president and CEO.
Optikos AV Limited
Clark Automated Solutions
Lux Products Corporation
Smart Talk Tech, LLC
Partner Retail Services Ltd
Sound Dynamics LLC
Smart Home and Smart Building Technologies
National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA)
Sonic Vision AV Ltd Stewart Security Systems Ltd TCONTROL Trafalgar Electronics Uber Smart Homes USA >
Digital Home Northwest DRS Smart Solutions Electronics Plus Empire Solutions Enzo AV Front Row Audio Video Garrett Integrated Systems
Newport Audio & Video
StreamLife Home Technologies
Quality Home Integration LLC Quest Acoustical Interiors Real Content Solutions Red Mountain Technology Solutions
Synergy Electric + Technology Tactical Security Associates Inc The Inside Wire The Sound Vision, LLC
Scottsdale Shade & Light, Inc
TheaterWorks of Colorado
Security & Entertainment Solutions
Service Nation, Inc.
Unitec W. Harley Miller Systems
Busch Electric, Inc.
K and S Access Systems, Inc.
Sharp Display Smart Home Boutique
Walts TV & Home Theater
Smart Homes of Oklahoma
Altro Smart Inc. Amaze Home Automation Antenna Star Satellites Inc. ASE Telecom & Data Bob's Smart Home
HiTech Homes HomeFront Systems Ingen Acoustics Innovation and Tech Today
Timberline Audio Video Ubiquiti Networks
It has been a busy time for CEDIA’s global community, with events happening over three continents at the same time. These events provide the industry with access to manufacturer product training, technical knowledge, and valuable peer-to-peer networking. They also allow CEDIA to continue its mission to educate the design and build community on the merits of the home technology industry.
MEXICO CEDIA hosted a Tech Forum in Mexico City in May, where 96 attendees from Venezuela, El Salvador, and Mexico enjoyed an event packed full of education and networking opportunities. The first day began with a breakfast meeting specifically for women in the industry, where renowned U.S. author, speaker, and trainer Leslie Shiner hosted a session on “Managing Businesses as a Woman.” For the next two days, event sponsors Belden, Cleerline, Control4, Emotiva, Integra, Lutron, ML Audio, McIntosh, and Origin Acoustics all presented training sessions, while CEDIA presenters hosted workshops on industry trends and business training, as well as a keynote from Rich Green. Industry veteran Antonio Legorreta ran the CEDIA Certification exam in Spanish during the two-day event.
AUSTRALIA May and June were busy months for CEDIA in Australia, as it also hosted three Tech Forums — in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth, a new venue for CEDIA Tech Forums this year. CEDIA welcomed Amber Technology, Audio Visual Distributors, Avation, Blustream, Connected Media Australia, and Ivory Egg Australasia as the sponsors of the events. CEDIA Director of Technical Content David Meyer hosted an emerging trends discussion at the events. Accredited COI (CEDIA Outreach Instructor) Rob Sanders of Entertaining Environments presented CEDIA’s “Designing Integrated Future-Ready Homes” CPD at the DesignBUILD Expo.
AROUND THE WORLD INDIA CEDIA welcomed over 80 industry professionals to its training and networking event in Bangalore in May. The event sponsors — Artnovion, Crestron, Lutron, and Lyngdorf Audio — dominated the first day by hosting manufacturer product training sessions. The second day saw two CEDIA instructors, Guy Singleton and Geoff Meads, present classes to 50-plus attendees such as “Home Cinema Design,” “Essential Math and Science of Cables and Connections,” “Residential Lighting Control,” and more. There was also the opportunity to take a CEDIA Certification exam, followed by a “Connect with CEDIA” networking event — many thanks to Lutron for their sponsorship. Non+Ultra hosted a wine and cheese event, and Crestron conducted a tour of their facilities later that same week.
CHINA Looking ahead, CEDIA will be presenting its EST325: Audio Set-Up & Calibration class at the Beijing CIT Expo. The four-hour class focuses on teaching attendees how to design an audio system, verify and calibrate home theater audio, operate audio calibration equipment, and analyze data. CEDIA has experienced great attendance at the education events it has hosted with its training partners in China this year, so excitement is high for this forthcoming event.
TRAINING & EVENTS CALENDAR August 15-17 15-16 CEDIA Training Mexico City, Mexico
Tecnomultimedia - Mexico
Integrate (with CEDIA Training)
CEDIA Awards Asia Pacific
CEDIA Training in Spanish: Colombia
Mexico City, Mexico
5 CEDIA Awards Americas
San Diego, CA
San Diego, CA
CEDIA Training in Spanish: Colombia
CEDIA Awards EMEA
NY/NJ Technology & Business Summit
Tecnomultimedia - Columbia
CEDIA Training in Spanish: Colombia
NY/NJ Technology & Business Summit
New Member Webinar
Southeast Technology & Business Summit
Arizona Technology & Business Summit
CEDIA Training in Spanish: Colombia
Book training at cedia.net/cedia-training
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I AM CEDIA RAPHAEL OBERHOLZER, NEEO INC. Who are you? My name is Raphael Oberholzer, co-founder and CEO of NEEO Inc. What’s your company and where is it based? At NEEO, we strongly believe that using technology in our homes should be fast, simple, and fun. That’s fundamentally why we have launched our start-up company, NEEO, which is based in Cupertino, California, and Switzerland. Give us a bit of an update of the history of your company and where it is now?
In 2014, three of us launched NEEO. With a small team, we started to work on a smart remote. Our goal was to truly replace the cumbersome mess of user interfaces, like the growing number of apps and all the remotes people have to manage today. We saw some early approaches from others in this direction in the home technology industry, but we felt that it was time to go much further. As an example, it was very clear to us that a smart remote needs a touch experience similar to what people were familiar with from their smart phones.
I BELIEVE WE SHOULD NEVER FOCUS ON THE ACTUAL TECH — IT SHOULD ALWAYS BE ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE IT PROVIDES.
Once we had working prototypes, we launched a crowdfunding campaign where we raised well over $1 million. We then developed mass production facilities in China and started to deliver our first products in 2017. Today, we are a team of over 40 designers and engineers, bringing NEEO to over 30 countries. How did you get into the industry? I got started with Bang & Olufsen systems in 1998. This was really when I began to feel that technology can create magical experiences. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with making people smile with thoughtful tech experiences. This passion was certainly also what made me co-found a European custom installation company in 2005 (which was later successfully acquired by the largest infrastructure and energy company in Switzerland). Which home technology do you consider the most important today and why? I believe we should never focus on the actual tech, it should always be
about the experience it provides. It is much easier to say this than actually understand and truly implement it. If I would have to pick one product though, I would choose the (still secret) prototype that I have installed at home… How long have you been a CEDIA member? We’ve been a CEDIA member since 2005, when we launched our installation company. What do you enjoy most as a CEDIA member? I believe work should be inspiring and fun. CEDIA has been exactly that in so many ways — every tradeshow, my time on the CEDIA Board, the training courses I have attended and the ones I have taught, all the friends I have made in the industry, and all the brainstorming around the “ideal” solution have been awesome experiences, and I keep learning from all these inspiring people. What’s the best product that NEEO has launched into the home technology market in the last year? Our first product, NEEO – The Thinking Remote, became
available in November 2017. Being able to launch it, after all the hard work that went into it, was a very special moment. It’s beautiful to now see broad adoption among customers and professionals in Europe and the U.S. alike. NEEO is currently growing at a rapid speed. What is the next focus for NEEO? This year, we will heavily invest in CI market specific developments. With our industry background and our deep understanding of the integrator’s pain, we believe we can provide a lot of tools
that will help dealers grow their businesses and amaze their customers. If integrators want to see your products on display, where and when can they do this next? Next up is CEDIA Expo 2018 in San Diego. We will unveil several of the developments we have been working on for many months now. If there was one thing you could change in the industry what would it be? I would love to see more start-up companies. If you weren’t in the home technology sector, what would you like to be doing and why? I would most likely be inventing and engineering magic tricks.
NEEO AG Niklaus-Konrad-Strasse 8 4500 Solothurn Switzerland
NEEO Inc. 20432 Silverado Ave #215 95014 Cupertino Unites States
Navigating Trade Shows: — Tips and Tricks What’s priority one for you when attending an exhibition and why? SE | I love dedicating time to doing it all, however, for me personally, the number one priority has got to be networking. I have been attending CEDIA Expo for four years, and I have gotten the chance to meet the most spectacular people. This results in not only having personal contacts with manufacturers, system integrators, and other industry leaders, but I have the honor of calling some of them friends. We keep in touch beyond trade shows and share ideas, resources, and the occasional drink. AB | Priority number one is ALWAYS education. That being said, the delight of being introduced to new technology is a close second. SR | As head of procurement, my main priority is to meet up with
manufacturers and distributors. Not only is it an opportunity to build and improve communications and relationships, but I can catch up on ongoing projects, discuss upcoming projects, and make new contacts. I also see exhibitions as an opportunity to see the new technologies available.
How do you budget your time properly? HD | I always budget my time around the training schedules. I then look at the exhibitors whose products I’m most interested in. But above all, I always seem to find lots of time for food and coffee. SE | Months before the actual show, I schedule meetings with the people and brands I want to see and use the CEDIA website to manage the sheer number of courses I look forward to taking during that short period of time. I always leave the last day to walk around the show floor.
AB | When I have training classes scheduled, then my time in between and after classes will be spent researching new tech and networking. If I’m not attending training, I schedule the first half of my day(s) to acquaint myself with new tech and industry partners. I then use the remainder of my time for every other possible invention that catches my eye — lighting, furniture, recliners, etc. The goal is consistent — keep your eyes peeled for any potential business idea. MR | I avoid pre-arranging any meetings or booking educational sessions during a show floor event. They put a monkey wrench in the works, and you have to plan your day around them. I feel that systematically zig-zagging my way up and down every aisle is the most effective way to get around. That way, you never miss anything or anyone. You may spend more time at some stands than others, but it balances out as you skip past
Dayatech (HD) Australia
Archimedia (SE) Egypt
Sound Sense (AB) India
Smart Life AV (MR) UK
irrelevant stands and eventually cover the whole show before it finishes. EC | I build a plan for what booths I want to see, including the actual order I will see them. I’ll then set aside time to meet with other dealers for coffee, lunch, or dinner, and plan to attend at least a couple classes on improving my business.
Are there any tools you find personally useful for time management? AB | I prefer to use the iPhone calendar app. It is simple yet effective and provides me with event and meeting scheduling/ reminders. MR | You won’t see me without a watch on my wrist. Google Calendar is sufficient enough to quickly put appointments in on the fly and a simple Notes app to keep track of things to action after the event. SR | I find that having an app with the exhibition map and the stand location by manufacturer is key. It saves time as it allows me to plan my route, mark off the interesting booths, and makes getting from one meeting to another more efficient. KC | We create a WhatsApp group so we can all stay in touch while at the event.
What’s the strategy for staying in touch with the home office? Do you set aside time to answer those emails?
HD | Anytime we attend a conference, it means traveling to a major city, which means our home office is thousands of miles away, as we are based in a remote area of Far North Queensland, Australia. The easiest methods of contact are good old-fashioned phone calls and messaging. We are also looking at using Microsoft Teams and other CRM apps for all messages, calls, files, customer connects, and so on. SE | I usually do that during my downtime. It can be difficult, especially with the time difference between the different countries. I get most of my emails/ communications done outside of the trade show hours. Jet lag can come in handy when its 3 a.m. and you can’t sleep. AB | With the way our business works, there is never a way to schedule a fixed time to respond to emails/queries from the office. I must manage as the need arises, and hence, need to stay connected 24/7. I do this in two ways — by having all email pushed to my phone and have the mobile number I use in India activated for international roaming. MR | I tend to let clients and partners know beforehand that I’m attending a show or event, if it’s likely they will get in touch. Emails do not get checked until the evening, and if someone calls, I either call them back after the show or take the call if it’s important. SR | I always allow a little break of 10–15 minutes between meetings to check emails and return phone calls to the office. For exhibitions that are over a day, I use lunchtime to both network and catch up with work emails. MF | One of the things I constantly
Priority number one is ALWAYS education.
work on as a leader is to improve my ability to delegate. I have an awesome team at home that takes great care of all important issues while I’m overseas or even when I’m attending a convention locally. I do check emails for urgent issues three times a day when I’m away — early in the morning, at noon, and before dinner. If anything requires my attention on the spot, my team will reach me at my mobile at any time 24/7over a day, I use lunchtime to both network and catch up with work emails.
What are the main trade shows that you attend during the year, and why? HD | I attend CEDIA Expo and lock that into my yearly schedule first. Then, it’s an order of priority based on what my schedule permits. I then
Smartcomm (SR) UK
TrendHouse S.A. (MF) Argentina
Intelligent Abodes (KC) UK
The Loop (EC) Boise, ID USA
focus on Integrate, local industry events from the Master Builders Associations and the Chamber of Commerce, and assisted technology exhibitions, including ARATA.
relevant information for our business. It’s where I am most energized and can immerse myself into the industry via amazing people and like-minded businesses.
SE | CEDIA Expo and ISE. Our company mainly focuses on residential projects. These two shows offer a wide variety of manufacturers, courses, ideas, training, and experience in that field, and it is where I find all I look for to constantly improve myself, my company, and our clients' lifestyles.
SE | The thing I love most about CEDIA Expo is that I feel it is more focused, compact, and generally has a great vibe to it. The CEDIA education that is offered during the show is also one of the things I look forward to while I am there. It offers a wide variety of courses that cater to all different aspects of our field.
AB | CEDIA Expo, ISE, and CES for training, new tech, and networking. We have made long-term business deals/relations with many contacts at such exhibitions.
AB | The training, of course.
MF | During the year we try to attend CEDIA Expo, ISE, CES, and InfoComm. The reason is very simple — they present all the innovation in the industry, and at the same time, we have the possibility of getting in touch with different people to expand the quality of the services we offer by learning from our colleague’s experiences. We also like to attend local construction events. The main reason is to have a close understanding on the need of our potential and current clients. Of course, one my personal favorites, are events like CASA FOA that face design from the point of view of construction.
What makes CEDIA Expo different from other trade shows? HD | I find CEDIA Expo is the main event that brings together the most
MF | I believe that the main difference that CEDIA Expo has with most of the trade shows that we attend is that the attendees feel something in common with each other. Somehow, you feel part of the same family or community where you can meet incredible people, who in another area, could be inaccessible. The warmth you feel during the show and the peripheral events makes you feel very comfortable and very welcomed.
EC | A focus on the custom channel. There aren’t other products like
cameras, fitness gear, car audio, etc.
Staying hydrated and fed seems obvious, but it can get away from folks. Any strategies here? HD | The strategy for keeping replenished is easy — coffee and cake at every opportunity! I find that with so much coffee, I also need to keep a bottle of water on hand to keep hydrated. SE | I walk around with a water all the time, but every time I walk into a booth, I am offered drinks and snacks. It’s a very welcoming effect and makes going thirsty at these shows very hard. AB | To be honest, thirst and hunger take a back seat when I’m doing what I love. When I attend a trade show, it becomes worse. Sad but true! MF | Set an alarm every two hours to get 11 ounces of water and, if necessary, bring my own bottle. Avoid energy drinks and coffee.
Build out a walking plan so that you are not doubling over the same path.
We rarely have downtime at these events, but the socializing in the evening is usually fun!
Those drinks will keep you awake for a short period of time, but will dehydrate you, causing fatigue and you to lose your attention span later in the day. Having a protein bar is key to keeping my energy levels balanced if it’s been a good amount of time without having a meal. KC | Most of the exhibitors keep us hydrated, thankfully! We tend to be hearty eaters at breakfast, which keeps us going most of the day until our evening meal. EC | I carry protein powder, trail mix, apples or bananas, and granola bars for while on the floor. The food has to be something I can eat or drink in a couple minutes while walking between booths. I also always start my day with a good “attempted” low-carb breakfast from the hotel.
If there is any downtime, what do you do with the R&R hours? HD | At every exhibition, I think there will be some great downtime for me to just chill. The reality is that the connections you make at these
events keeps you out all day and night! Due to flying from Australia to the U.S. for CEDIA Expo, I now travel a few days earlier to make sure the jet lag stays under control. I’m pretty sure that my previous routine of six coffees a day in order stay functioning is not sustainable if I want to be in this industry for the long haul! SE | That part I enjoy the most. I usually stop by the CEDIA booth or meet up with other industry friends to discuss what we’ve seen and what’s new. We share stories on our experiences and offer to help each other moving forward by sharing resources or expertise. AB | Downtime? With the way the trade exhibitions are these days, multiple days are not even enough. There’s just so much to see and learn. MF | I always try to have downtime and what I do is to listen to relaxing music and meditate, even for half an hour. This really helps me focus. If it’s my first time in town, I try to experience the local culture and food. KC | We rarely have downtime at these events, but the socializing in the evening is usually fun!
Everyone’s Fitbits log lots of steps at these things. What’s the preferred footwear? MR | Trainers are preferred or casual shoes with good soles. You tend to be on your feet all day, so uncomfortable footwear is the last thing you want to be thinking about. SR | Definitely FLAT, comfortable shoes, every time. I keep the heels for the evening events. EC | Comfortable shoes are obviously critical, so I stick with running shoes on casual days or wing tips with arch supports on the formal ones. For events like this you just need to suck it up. It’s only a couple of days.
Any other tips or tricks you’d like to share? SE | Enjoy and make use of the show in every shape and form. There is a lot to see and a lot of people to meet. Not to mention the courses to take advantage of. But definitely plan ahead and always leave room to enjoy the wonderful booths various companies have set up. Also, stop by the innovation area for new and developing companies and technologies. AB | Try to get a floor plan and map of all participants and chart out the booths that you MUST go to, followed by those you WANT to go to. MF | Speak with everyone. Shake a lot of hands and bring a LOT of business cards. Keep your mind, eyes, and ears open. EC | There is way too much on the floor to stop and see every booth. Look through the vendor list before ever going to the floor (hopefully you’ve also been building that list throughout the year), and highlight the booths/companies you plan to see. Build out a walking plan so that you are not doubling over the same path. Allow one to two hours to investigate new products on the floor that could improve your business.
CHALLENGE AND SOLUTION
Programming Complex Automation Solution — With Minimum Hassle Challenge: Deploying and configuring a whole home automation solution at speed What’s one of the biggest challenges facing the professional home technology industry? “The ability to deliver a complete home automation solution that encompasses every facet of the home, such as shading, lighting, video, audio, and security, and delivering it at speed, on one consistent platform with the best profitability.” That’s according to Michael Short, global residential marketing manager at Crestron. For many years, deployment and configuration has been time consuming and complex, which can be expected when you bear in mind the level of professional systems that have been installed over the last 40 years — pioneering and pushing the industry. This increases the time that integrators need to spend on projects and, inevitability, eats into their profit margin — or they tie a full system in at speed, but not necessarily with the best performing products. Solutions that take the complexity out of programming can revolutionize home automation and really benefit the industry. “Emerging platforms can enable the setup and control of home automation in just a few steps, straight from a tablet or web app,” says Michael. “This type of solution, where the configuration utility is baked into the product, marks the future of integration, and it’s here now. By integrating the configuration within the product, dealers don’t have to worry if the professional on site has the correct version of software on their laptop or ask that typical question of ‘who’s got the latest file or program’ for that specific project.” “With configuration included, the project is backed up in the cloud, so it’s reliably available, wherever and whenever it’s required, including
Global Residential Marketing Manager, Crestron
Solution: Removal of complex, time-consuming programming
on site,” adds Michael. “This equates to a key benefit for dealers and integrators — speed of deployment.”
time spent on site, dealers can sell more projects with the same staffing levels and, therefore, be more competitive.
Deployment also means training. Dealers are always under the microscope to make sure that their staff are trained to the highest level.
“The first solution is removing complex programming to solve an industry challenge,” explains Michael. “The second is making it scalable so that it can be tailored to grow with the client and/ or property. If manufacturers can tick both boxes, it’s a winning formula for the future growth of our industry, creating more ‘customers for life’ for dealers.”
Michael continues, “The great thing about platforms like the one we’ve introduced
Emerging platforms can enable the setup and control of home automation in just a few steps. recently (Pyng® 2.0, in this case) is that it delivers a consistent experience every time. This means a dealer’s training sessions, sales demonstration, and customer support remain the same across the board, making it easier and quicker to learn, sell, and, ultimately, deploy.” Margins on equipment remain largely the same, but it’s the margins on labor that can make or break a project. Being able to keep labor costs down, from the training right through to maximizing the
The desired result is, of course: Once you have deployed an incredible system at speed, you’ve left the client with the best user experience possible. “Clients want to be empowered, so that they can confidently and intuitively make changes to their home automation, whether it be lifestyle scenes, settings, and even system schedules with just a few taps on an iPad or touchscreen,” says Michael. “They don’t want to have to call a professional to make simple changes to their preferences. They want a system that doesn’t require complex programming but updates with them, simply and automatically, for a user experience that is perfect just for them.” Solutions with in-built configuration and cloud-based programming are the future. “They provide the best automation service for both integrator and end user. Not only does it mean a brighter, more profitable business for dealers, but it also creates the most personalized and adaptable experience EVER for your customers — now and into the future.”
This smart home was recognized twice in the 2017 CEDIA EMEA Awards. London-based integrator NV Integration won two of the highly contested categories: Best Integrated Home ÂŁ360,000 and over (Level IV) and Technology Meets Design, an award that recognizes an integrator who, by working closely with a design/build team, has installed home technology that complements the design scheme for the room or home.
The client wanted to build a fullyautomated five-bedroom home in Thailand. NV Integrationâ€™s proposal included integrated control of all core systems, along with a custom user interface. As this was the clientâ€™s third smart home, he challenged the integrator to deliver some creative features to impress his visitors, as one of the primary functions of the home was entertainment. To effectively manage a project of this scale, NV Integration chose a Crestron control system. The subsystems comprise all AV (including a home theater with cinematic-motion seats and distributed audio and video), internal and external lighting, window treatments consisting of
both single and double curtains and blinds, CCTV, gate entry, climate control, and management of a wine cellar. With entertainment in mind, an AV system that offered the highest level of quality and performance was required. NV Integration used Autonomic's Mirage Media Server to stream audio to 25 zones from sources including Tidal and Spotify, delivered by Bowers & Wilkins speakers. Alongside this, Crestron's Digital Media 4K video distribution system delivers centralized video content to 16 zones, making it available on all of the screens at any one time. Meridian products were also in the mix. NV Integration worked with a local
Thai lighting designer and used Lutron HomeWorks QS to integrate lighting. Each of the lights within the 350 lighting circuits can be turned on or off or set to turn on automatically at certain times of the day. Lighting has been used to stunning effect. In the upper stair hall, DALI lights around a fish art installation have been sequenced to give the impression that they are swimming. The fountains have also been integrated within the Lutron system and are programmed to run at select times of the day to ensure the ponds are oxygenated for the fish. Control of the sub-systems is accessed through a combination of options. They include Crestron in-
wall touch screens for whole-home functionality, touchscreen remotes for local areas with TVs and guest rooms, and a Crestron app via an iPad. The HD color wall touch panels, located throughout the building, guide the user through simple, intuitive operation of the various options. There are a number of personalized features, such as access to major news sources and weather, plus a welcome screen for guests. The owner also wanted a "global" page with the ability to look at a custom plan of each floor of his home and view and control the status of lighting and air conditioning.
EQUIPMENT LIST • Artcoustic Bespoke soundbar and subwoofer
• DrayTek enterprise router
• Autonomic Mirage wedia server
• Fortress D-Box home theater seating
• Bowers & Wilkins CCM Series speakers
• JVC X900 projector and Panamorph lens
• Bowers & Wilkins Mini Theatre surround
• Kaleidescape Premier Line movie server
• BPT XIP Entry System
• Lutron HomeWorks QS lighting control
• Cellar Tracker wine inventory system
• Lutron Sivoia QS shade control
• Cisco managed network
• Meridian 9.4 Digital Theatre
• Crestron 3 Series processor
• Pakedge remote power management
• Crestron Digital Media video system • Crestron Sonnex audio system • Dahua IP CCTV system
• Sonance DSP power amplifiers • Sonance Sonarray Landscape speakers
The integrator has programmed a variety of scenes, incorporating lighting, music, and AV to simplify setting an atmosphere. These comprise a variety of entertainment modes, including “informal,” “formal,” or “birthday party,” as well as pre-sets for the home cinema and a shutdown sequencer if the residence is unoccupied. If the PIR detects activity during night hours, a dedicated TV in the master bedroom automatically switches on and displays the camera images too, enhancing security. The owner can access the control system remotely using an iPad and so can get his home ready for his arrival after he's been absent. One of the innovative elements of the system is integrated control of the wine inventory. The wines are managed by scanning a barcode on each bottle via the CellarTracker app and a wallmounted iPad. The Crestron app then displays the wines available and is searchable by criteria such as regions, producers, or "readiness to drink." The integrator was faced with some significant challenges in delivering this project, predominantly stemming from the its location in Southeast Asia. Every scenario needed to be carefully thought through to ensure that every possible piece of equipment was pre-ordered and shipped. The logistics of getting everything and everybody safely on site was complex in terms of visas, import duties, and taxes. Although most of the local contractors spoke English, the team of electricians did not, which resulted in multiple site-visits and checks. Not content with eye-catching features and extensive customization of the system, the client also wanted the technology to be hidden. In three of the rooms, custom woodwork conceals the TVs, which create an impact when they are revealed. This spectacular house took five years to build. NV Integration delivered an outstanding automated home with the wow factor that the client desired. The judging panel at CEDIA says, "The winning project is the definition of a smart home. It stands out on so many levels and truly feels like James Bond’s house."
WHO THE HECK ARE THESE PEOPLE?
How the team creates the Have you heard the expression, “If you want something done right, then you better do it yourself?” It’s a fallacy. The realization that I couldn’t grow the business with this mindset was an epiphany for me. I was working with a sales trainer at the time, as I felt this was where my time should be focused. As a result, I was struggling to find enough hours in the day, since I was also micro-managing much of the business, from admin to engineering. It was the sales trainer who asked me, “Why?” Nick Pidgeon Why was I doing all of Managing Director this? I clearly remember and Owner of blurting out, “Because Visualization Limited they don’t do it how I would.” From here on out, the only micromanaging I did was working with the team to create processes for anything and everything that was a recurring event within the business. This now sets clear expectations of the needs and requirements when onboarding new employees, creating accountability, and providing a clear roadmap to the Visualization way. We pride ourselves on being process-driven and regularly add, review, and update to keep processes current.
with growth, I found this transitioned to mainly focusing on the long term. I can’t stress enough — the long term is only possible if you are planning and managing the short term, so moderation is key.
A key extension to the processes are the managers within the team. Trust and acceptance that not all things are going to be done exactly how you would — but getting done nevertheless — is a key tool which is essential to growth.
Two processes we’ve used to great effect at Visualization are: KPIs — Key Performance Indicators allow us to measure, analyze, and continuously tweak key elements of the business, increasing efficiencies. KRAs — Key Related Areas has revolutionized the focus of our staff, ensuring everyone knows what they should be accountable for and focussing on and redirecting what they shouldn’t. Planning is key to any business. In the early stages, I was focused on the short term, but over time and
Too often people spend all their time planning and never doing. It has been said that there are two types of people that go into business — the salesperson and the engineer. The salesperson is great at finding opportunities, but how do they deliver the project? The engineer loves what they do, but how do they deal with sales and capacity constraints? As someone who fits into the latter category, I’d like to a few other keys I’ve learned during my time running a business.
Never an easy task, hiring is something we are still trying to perfect internally. We’ve got a great training and development process for the early year trainees, but often find it hard to retain staff in the long-term after spending significant resources to develop their fundamental knowledge. The one thing I have learned is not to rush the interview process. A short telephone interview is a great way to ask a couple of key questions and raise any initial concerns on the CV without ruling out an individual too early on. Leading questions looking for traits and characteristics that match the job role and even a practical assessment will give you the best chance of finding a fit for the business. Remember all new hires require a period to
Grow Your Business By: Understanding how to hire Creating a culture behind a business Who and what to outsource Tracking the right things Empowering others to allow you to focus on key result areas Planning the big and the small things Leveraging experience from others
culture of your business onboard and need their hand held while they get up to speed. If you’re struggling to retain staff early on, you may be missing one of these points.
people, so no amount of time spent on this subject will be without gain. This can come from books, mentors, blogs, etc.
We are very proficient at taking entry-level employees and imparting a massive amount of knowledge over their first six months to maximize
I’m not sure when it first became apparent that “culture” within the business was important, but it is a fundamental element for staff retention and belonging. We’d all love a Google culture, but this can’t be bred overnight. I recently read a LinkedIn post from a company owner who said he had “created” the culture within his business. I really feel while it is the obligation of the business owner to influence the culture, it takes the team to create one. A couple of favorites at Visualization are “Filthy Friday” (which involves indulging in a takeout lunch), a game of pool now and then, and the occasional “beer o’clock” at 4 p.m.
We’d all love a Google culture, but this can’t be bred overnight.
OUTSOURCING Outsourcing can be a great asset to a business, both limiting overhead and increasing efficiency. It’s key you don’t do this “backwards.” During the early years, I often focused my time on key responsibilities that I neither enjoyed nor was proficient in and hired subcontractors to assist in core business functions. In later years, I learned to keep my focus on our core business and leverage the skillsets and efficiencies of others, including outsourced accountancy and virtual administration. LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT For the learning and development of the team to be effective, it must start and continue with the owner. For the initial years, and at times after that, they will be the driving force behind development. As per outsourcing, ensure you’re not wasting excess time learning outside your core area of business, but are continually seeking to improve your knowledge. Running a business is fundamentally managing
their value. This hasn’t always been the way. Around seven years ago, we identified a lack of a clear process to bring new starters up to speed. Rather than leaving them to just learn on the job, we identified the key requirements they needed to know and structured repetitive training in visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles. Within our long-term development process, we conduct annual reviews looking at where expectations are being met from both sides and where training and personal development should be implemented for progression. Additionally, we are constantly looking at industry certification that will add credentials to our team — and thus add value to our business. We don’t have all the answers, and there’s not always time to learn them for ourselves, so don’t be afraid to take a shortcut. In recent years, my team and I have found that finding mentors is a great way of mining info from others’ experiences — and mistakes — to use it to our advantage.
IN SAN DIEGO CEDIA Expo 2018, September 4–8, 2018 in San Diego, California, powers the disruptors, innovators, and integrators in the intelligently connected built environments by providing the only platform for discovery and collaboration.
AT A GLANCE
With 500 exhibitors, 20,000-plus attendees, and more than 110 education sessions — 35 of which are new this year — CEDIA Expo remains the one can’t-miss event for those in the residential technology industry. Along with home technology professionals on the front lines of tech adoption, this year’s Expo aims to gather the design and construction professionals on the front lines of consumer wants — both in the home and the home-away-from-home environment. These architects, builders, and interior designers need to accommodate soughtafter tech amenities, and they need the home technology integrators to make that happen. CEDIA Expo is where these groups intersect. We’ll preview various aspects of the show in this special section of CEDIA Communicates.
Tuesday, September 4 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday, September 5 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
CEDIA Awards Americas (Petco Park)
Thursday, September 6 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
CEDIA Expo Exhibit Hall Open
Friday, September 7 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
CEDIA Certification Exams
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
CEDIA Expo Exhibit Hall Open
Saturday, September 8 9-11 a.m.
CEDIA Certification Exams
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
CEDIA Expo Exhibit Hall Open
Conference: September 4-7, 2018 | Expo: September 6-8, 2018 San Diego Convention Center | San Diego, CA
EDUCATION IS EVERYTHING CEDIA’s Dave Pedigo (vice president, emerging technologies) explains how new classes get added to the Expo offerings (and how some old ones get dropped) — it’s something that’s evaluated after every Expo: “We look at the data, see what classes went well. I break them up personally into quadrants, so I can look at it. Classes that are highly attended and highly evaluated, we'll bring them back.” As Pedigo and the rest of the CEDIA team evaluates the sessions that have already been on the books, they’re also looking for input. There’s a “call for presentations” process that runs parallel to the team’s work on the existing catalog. Pedigo explains: “The call for presentations is, people say, ‘You know what, I'm an expert in this particular area, and I think that this is something that I want to teach.’ We go through, and we look at all of them, and this year we were just overwhelmed by the number of people who offered to share their knowledge. The topics range from how to make money on service all the way to the changes in cabling from the National Electric Code.” A DOUBLING OF PROFIT Pedigo’s especially proud of what the industry’s done over the past decade — and he believes CEDIA’s commitment to education has helped. “We had a technology council meeting. It was a three-day meeting — this is probably 2010, 2011. We were looking at the emerging trends, opportunities, threats, and the number one threat to the industry was a lack of business
acumen by our membership. Not technology changes, those kinds of things, but lack of business acumen. “Fast forward to 2018, we've seen a doubling of the amount of average gross revenue that our members are making, which is good. I don't think we can take much credit for a stronger, healthier economy and those kinds of things. What I think we can take credit for though, is that we also saw a doubling of net profit. That means that the education in this arena’s having a terrific impact — when you run a business better, you see more in the profit column.” Pedigo notes that the volunteers who teach CEDIA classes have a broad array of approaches: It’s not cookie-cutter, lecture-with-PowerPoint stuff. Handson learning labs are key, along with sessions that encourage attendee discussion with facilitators — these are approaches one can find at various CEDIA sessions. And Pedigo appreciates the time these experts donate to the mission: “They're doing it because they want to see the betterment of the industry. These folks don't get paid, they're not paid speakers.” But Dave Pedigo always comes back to a central thesis: The man is an absolute evangelist for continuing education. “There's a document that was written by the World Economic Forum. It's called ‘The Future of Jobs,’ and it really talks about where jobs are heading from 2018 really to 2022. The big takeaway for me? I’ll sum it up: To be successful moving forward, you have to switch your mindset to be a lifelong learner.”
Conference: September 4-7, 2018 | Expo: September 6-8, 2018 San Diego Convention Center | San Diego, CA
THE DESIGN/BUILD TRADES One of CEDIA’s biggest strategic pushes is outreach to the design/build community, and the people managing the Expo exhibition floor — Emerald Expositions — are providing an assist. “I've been going to CEDIA since 2009, and one of my various hats is running the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS),” says Brian Pagel, Emerald’s senior vice president. “The National Kitchen and Bath Association's been working with CEDIA for a number of years in terms of trying to create that connection between the integrator, the builder, the designer, and the architects, because that's been a relationship to some degree that has struggled. I fear that some builders over the years have viewed integrators as another trade that they have to manage. We believe exactly the opposite. I think that if it's done properly, these are great upsell opportunities for builders, designers, and integrators, because you're selling a more robust package to consumers looking for these solutions.” Pagel and company are marketing the annual Expo to the other relevant trades, specifically those that have a close relationship to the industry. Emerald Expositions also owns and operates Kitchen & Bath Business magazine, the official publication of KBIS. Pagel adds that “KBB magazine has dedicated an entire section on home technology and CEDIA Expo in their July/
August edition to increase awareness and interest in the industry.”
provided a forum to showcase our technology and educate the channel on how Domotz could improve our clients’ business models. I’m looking forward to continued success within the CEDIA channel.” “We are excited to bring the newest technology players to the forefront of CEDIA Expo,” says Brian Pagel. “Over 70% of all CEDIA Expo exhibitors launched products and services exclusively at the 2017 event. We have no doubt, that with all the innovation in the market today, this robust roster of new brands will hit the road running.” At press time, the Innovation Alley brands include AV Junction, Clovitek, Montavue, Weconekt, Altro, iGlass Technology, Iminate, SeeLess Solutions Mysa, and Danby Appliances.
Innovation Alley is a unique section of the CEDIA Expo show floor devoted to celebrating new-tomarket technology products and services for the built environment. In the past two years, over 40 brands have launched their new-to-the-world products and services at the CEDIA Expo Innovation Alley. No fewer than a dozen attribute their success to being a part of this novel platform. Participating brands will be offered an exhibit package to assist in launching their business, including membership to CEDIA. All selected brands nominated by another party (media, technology, design, and construction professionals) will have their nominating party recognized as part of their booth presence. Innovation Alley has been a tremendously successful launching pad for some of the industry’s best and brightest. “CEDIA Expo has been a great way for our company to get exposure to integrators and manufacturers,” says John Braden Fowler, chief product officer of Domotz Integration. “Innovation Alley
DON’T GO CHANGING One concern Pagel’s heard more than once: “Will I still recognize the old Expo I know and love?” “Our commitment when we went through the process of acquiring Expo was that we did not want to assume we knew everything. It was clearly working well. Our commitment from day one has been to enhance the event. One of the great advantages that we have is that CEDIA Expo has an incredibly loyal following. All we want to do is build upon the solid foundation it already has. Where we hope to impact the Expo is directly in the attendee experience: Make it easier for them to navigate the floor, make it easier to get around and seek out the products that they want, give them as many opportunities as possible to network with their peers or partners, and continue their professional development. Emerald Expositions is very clear that we are not the group that should be developing technical content. CEDIA is the leading global authority in this space, and part of the long-term strategic partnership with CEDIA is to support their continued efforts to create educational content and professional standards that help to elevate the trade.”
Conference: September 4-7, 2018 | Expo: September 6-8, 2018 San Diego Convention Center | San Diego, CA
BY THE NUMBERS
event in connected technology full days of CEDIA training
DESIGN CONNECTION Design and construction professionals are hungry for information, introductions, and relationships that can give them a leg up in understanding how to deliver intelligently built environments. Technology integrators have that knowledge. CEDIA Expo is where they meet. The Expo is pleased to announce the Design Connection Tour and the Design Connection Pavilion, along with a networking event — Bourbon and Brownies — where industry professionals have the opportunity to learn and better understand the others’ roles and challenges. DESIGN CONNECTION PAVILION The first-ever Design Connection Pavilion is specifically designed to allow brands never before at CEDIA Expo — in the design and construction space — to introduce themselves to the technology integrator professionals as well as the designers and other construction professionals in attendance. DESIGN CONNECTION TOUR There will be two tours taking place at CEDIA Expo 2018, one on September 6 and the other on September 7. The two-hour tours will be led by Joe Whitaker, founder and president of The
Thoughtful Home, and David VanWert, principal of VanWert Technology Design. The September 6 tour starts at 11:30 a.m. with a light lunch and runs from noon to 2 p.m. The September 7 tour starts at 10 a.m. and culminates with lunch at noon. The guides will curate their tours, choosing exhibitors that best illustrate their integration experiences and expertise. BOURBON AND BROWNIES Kicking off this year at CEDIA Expo is the first-ever Bourbon and Brownies, a networking event that will draw design professionals, media, integrators, and exhibitors. This exclusive event is slated for September 7 from 5:30-7 p.m. More than 75 guests will be invited to attend and enjoy catered bourbon and brownies. The Design Connection Tour guides, participants, and sponsors will also be in attendance, as well as the NKBA San Diego chapter officers, members of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), and members of the local NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) chapter. In addition to these guests, a select roster of VIP media will attend including writers, editors, and bloggers covering content in the connected home-tech arena.
3 3 120 100
full days of exhibit hall + CEDIA classes
+ media outlets covering CEDIA Expo
billion home technology
CEDIA member companies worldwide +
industry professionals that manufacture, design, and integrate goods and services for the connected home at CEDIA Expo + exhibitors
BY THE NUMBERS
of attendees are CEOs and principals More than
of exhibitors launched products at CEDIA Expo 2017
+ brands presenting at TechBites
brand new CEDIA training classes
LIVE AT CEDIA EXPO CEDIA Talks | CEDIA BOOTH #1527 CEDIA Talks are 20-minute, TED-style talks that feature the best minds in the industry and cover topics from business acumen to technical trends. Presented (as always) in the CEDIA booth on the show floor, these talks feature some of the best minds in the industry, covering topics from the growth of AI and AR/VR technology in the residential space to the abundant opportunities presented by lighting control and design. This yearâ€™s schedule of CEDIA Talks is being finalized at press time, so keep an eye on cediaexpo.com for developments, times, and topics. TechBites | THE SMART STAGE New to the CEDIA Expo 2018 Smart Stage: TechBites. TechBites are a quick-paced, speed-datingâ€“style series of presentations where selected companies will each conduct a three-minute presentation, immediately followed by a three-minute Q&A. The session guests will be comprised of purchase influencers, as well as elite media who are interested in reporting on the latest and greatest innovations in the intelligently connected environment. The presenting companies must deliver their latest product or service in only three to five slides. An Advisory Board comprised of industry influencers, media, and CEDIA Expo marketing professionals will evaluate the entries and decide on the presenting brands. Frank White, a partner at Weld2 & StayTuned, will host the lively TechBites events, which will occur on the CEDIA Expo Smart Stage.
Design Connection gallery space bottles of bourbon and 20 pounds of brownies
+ brand new companies appearing for the first time at CEDIA Expo
TechTalks | THE SMART STAGE Another content series to hit the CEDIA Expo Smart Stage is TechTalks, an all-new series of inspiring and educational talks. These talks feature connected technology experts sharing insights into what the future holds for the custom integration industry. Partnering with CEDIA Expo to bring TechTalks to life on stage is CE Pro, the leading industry authority on consumer electronics for the connected technology professional. TechTalks will take place on the CEDIA Expo Smart Stage September 6-8 at the San Diego Convention Center. A few of the TechTalks topics planned for CEDIA Expo include:
• Breaking into the Lucrative Lighting Fixtures Market • Working Effectively with Interior Designers • Breaking Down Smart Home Objection Barriers • Julie Jacobson’s Future Technologies/IoT Panel • Capitalizing on New Home Security Technologies Also contributing to the content on stage is CABA (Continental Automated Buildings Association), WICT (Women in Consumer Technology), and Parks Associates, an internationally recognized market research and consulting firm specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services.
A preview of the CEDIA Expo Keynote with speaker John Penney John Penney is expanding his horizons. Penney, who’ll be presenting the keynote speech at CEDIA Expo 2018, plans to speak on subjects beyond his day gig: He’s executive vice president of consumer business development and strategic partnerships for 20th Century Fox. WHAT’S THAT TITLE REALLY MEAN? “It’s actually pretty simple,” says Penney. “I focus on moving the studio towards a consumerdriven strategic approach rather than a wholesale model. Right now, the studio is selling to theaters around the world on a one-way basis, and the rest of the world has gone to digital distribution in homes, in cars, in every facet of our lives. Digital is embedded in the core of all we do — a two-way data stream. My job is try to bring the studio closer to the consumer by creating strategic partnerships with companies that have either direct consumer relationships or stand closer to the consumer than the studio does.” Penney’s been on the job at 20th Century Fox for less than a year, so those partnerships he speaks of are currently in development. His resume prior to this position is indicative of the chops he brings to the job,
however. “I was a Wall Street equity research analyst in media technology,” he notes. “For three years, I worked at Viacom; I worked at HBO for six years around digital distribution and content and technology. I worked at STARZ for seven years helping to launch direct-to-consumer businesses, one that's domestic and one that's essentially the Netflix of the Middle East. It’s called ‘STARZ PLAY Arabia.’”
INTRODUCING THE 2018 KEYNOTE SPEAKER JOHN PENNEY
FROM CONTENT TO GEAR TO EXPERIENCE Penney’s summation of the presentation you’ll see at Expo makes it clear that he’ll be stepping outside the confines of his office at Fox: The connected home is constantly evolving into a richer and more varied technological ecosystem where hardware, software, and entertainment content come together to deliver truly powerful experiences. As this evolution continues, those who distill simplicity from complexity will win. This keynote will reveal how the powerful hand of human and machine-based personalization will further change the content and distribution landscape and bring about opportunities for your business. Penney explains, “I am hopeful the keynote will deliver a holistic
“In the traditional model, there's the way that the director wanted you to see it or the way the artist wanted you to hear it — but now there's all this other stuff in between where there's lots of opportunity for your members to create value in the home.” view of how the home as a dynamic and evolving environment where hardware, software, and services requiring integration come together to provide consumer experiences that are even richer and more compelling.” Penney understands — after watching algorithms sort content for end-users — the impact that AI and machine learning will have on the home of the (very near) future. After all, it’s not a big leap from a machine learning “This user likes rom-coms” to “This user likes the lights to be raised slowly around 6 a.m. — except on the weekends.” THE SPACES BETWEEN As something of a content specialist, though, Penney’s fascinated by what’s happening in the entertainment universe: “That experience — watching a movie, what have you — is rapidly being modified and changed by software companies, new types of hardware companies coming into the space, new types of distribution technologies.” Penney paints the picture of where that content is headed: Imagine an AR production that allows you to choose the characters and drive the narrative as you direct your phone at a point in space. Suddenly, a story complete with
Hollywood acting talent is unfolding in your living room — or perhaps a virtual “you” is starring in a sci-fi setting. (Imagine if the “Pokemon Go” game that was all the rage a short time back included characters that carried on conversations — or even became your “enemy” or “ally”?) What gear will that need to bring it to convincing life? What kind of service will be needed when that experience is inevitably upgraded? “In the traditional model, there's the way that the director wanted you to see it or the way the artist wanted you to hear it,” notes Penney, “but now there's all this other stuff in between where there's lots of opportunity for your members to create value in the home — create a service opportunity in a way that they didn't in the past because complexity is increasing at home at such a rapid pace. That's the world that I work in: The interface between the technology, the content, and the economics of it.” And that range of study can translate into specifics when it comes to client interaction. Every integrator has heard the request: “Make it simple enough so Grandma can use it.” Penney understands what that really means: “When people use the grandma example,
it's often because of their own fear — because they're unwilling to say to themselves 'I don't understand how this works.' It's like a guy who doesn't like to ask directions.” And Penney’s advice when this discussion pops up: “Think like you're a psychologist. Think like you're a social scientist. What does ‘Grandma’ really need to understand? And how do you handle the rest — both at that first sale and then as you enter into a longer relationship?” For a lot of people, what’s happened in the tech universe runs parallel to the experience they’ve had with medicine, says Penney. “You went from being able to call the doctor whenever you want to hardly being able to get in touch with them, and now to this other idea that’s developing: ‘concierge medicine’ where you pay a retainer, a subscription.” That “middle stage” is where the average consumer is living: A lot of folks are buying DIY stuff and are becoming frustrated by the lack of tech support for those products (and are likely blithely unaware of the security risks they might be facing, too). The metaphor continues: “What I see is that you're going to have a world in which a more aware consumer will be more discriminating, and just like people who are purchasing health plans understand, it’s very complicated. They’ll want a trusted party to help them make the multiplying decisions about proliferating tech in their home.”
CEDIA EXPO 2018 Keynote
John Penney EVP, Consumer Business Development & Strategic Partnerships, 20th Century Fox September 5 5:30–6:30 p.m. Room 20A
A QUICK GUIDE TO
SAN DIEGO Known for its wonderful climate, terrific food, and booming craft beer scene, San Diego once again plays host to the annual CEDIA Expo. The map at right includes areas of interest near the downtown Convention Center. THE SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTER It’s long, and it’s narrow — which means that the venue housing CEDIA Expo 2018 affords both great views of the water and town and ensures you’ll put a healthy step-count on your fitness tracker. There’s also a terrific walking/ running path along the waterfront that passes the Convention Center and nearby hotels. You’ll further note the downtown San Diego Trolley makes two stops near either end of the center. THE GASLAMP QUARTER The Convention Center is located directly across Harbor Drive from the edge of the Gaslamp Quarter. It’s 16-plus blocks of dining and entertainment wrapped in
and served in the Persian Gulf. It’s been retrofitted for jet landings and sailed the Arctic Circle, and it’s even seen duty as an NCAA basketball court. Now a floating museum, the Midway was also the host venue of the 2017 CEDIA Awards. SEAPORT VILLAGE/THE HEADQUARTERS Shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues abound in this area tucked between the USS Midway and the Convention Center. The area also includes the converted former HQ of the San Diego Police Department. LITTLE ITALY San Diego’s 48-square-block Little Italy is the largest of its kind in the United States. Of course, there’s an abundance of restaurants where you can get your
OFF THE MAP OLD TOWN Old Town is the birthplace of San Diego and its original Spanish settlement. Only a five-minute ride from downtown, the center resembles a Mexican village market. There are a variety of dining options, some outdoors on big plazas with live mariachis or folk music. CORONADO Just across the water from CEDIA Expo 2018 is Coronado, a gorgeous and upscale community in the middle of San Diego Harbor that’s centered on the famous Hotel del Coronado, co-star of the classic old comedy “Some Like It Hot.”
MISSION AND PACIFIC BEACHES
brilliant Victorian architecture. There’s a tremendous variety of eats and drinks in this beautiful little stretch of San Diego. PETCO PARK Home of the San Diego Padres, Petco Park is also the venue for this year’s CEDIA Awards ceremonies for the Americas division. The festivities begin on the evening of September 5 with a reception between second and third base on the field which is followed by a meal and the ceremony itself. THE USS MIDWAY It was an active warship throughout the Cold War, saw action in Vietnam,
fill of pasta and vino, but you’ll also find sushi, craft beers, and pub food — even an Argentinian restaurant. BALBOA PARK Balboa Park was built for the PanamaCalifornia Exposition in 1915, and its size is perfect: You can see it all easily by foot, and the variety of vegetation, architecture, culture, museums, and sights within the park are incredibly varied.
There are several shops along Mission Beach Boulevard that rent bicycles and riders can either cruise along the quiet bay side or the crowded ocean side of the boulevard. Boats and sculls are also available for rent from the Mission Bay Aquatic Center and numerous other retailers. THE SAN DIEGO ZOO The San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park is immense, built in hills and valleys with heavily varied terrain. The zoo includes bus tours, a sky ride, and animal shows, and has a massive plant and tree collection in addition to its vast animal inhabitants.
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THE VALUE OF
Richard Colman, company director at Luxe Smart Homes, discusses how attending industry training allowed him to set up a successful installation company and why all integrators should maintain standards by regularly signing up for education courses. I joined CEDIA just over a year ago, as I wanted to gain access to their training program at the membership prices. I was the first inductee under the “individual membership” program. I was transitioning from a different industry and needed to gain a solid understanding of how to set up an installation company and all the various aspects involved in doing so. I’m now 12 months on from this stage, and looking back, I don’t think I would be where I am today if it hadn’t been for that CEDIA training I initially undertook. I traveled to the CEDIA EMEA HQ for three consecutive weekends as I threw myself into the Boot Camp, Technical School, and Networking School classes. While my brain may have been slightly overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of information I was taking in, it was all fitting into place and building upon the knowledge I had already learned myself through playing around with AVRs, projectors, and computer networks in the past. I think the biggest thing I took from those first few weeks was the confidence to go into a new industry and be taught with the highest of standards that CEDIA is committed to delivering. Once I had completed my ESC-T and ESC-N certifications, I was able to apply what I had learned instantly when working onsite. When I encountered fellow technicians who had years more experience than I had, who didn’t understand the reason for using one wireless radio channel over another, or when to use a Cat 6a cable instead of Cat 6, I knew that the investment I made in training myself was immediately paying off. After I completed the previously mentioned
A well-motivated, fully educated technician is going to have a calmer and more professional demeanor when facing challenges that present themselves on site.
CEDIA classes I then dove into productspecific training courses with AWE, Invision, Control4, and Lutron. This advanced my knowledge even further — to the point where I can now design, specify, install, and maintain an overall home automation control system that can incorporate a home cinema, lighting routines, and smart home security. Another benefit of continued professional development that has helped me grow my business is all the fantastic people you meet through these classes. There are usually plenty of breaks and lunchtime chats to discuss the state of the industry or the latest technological innovation. Not only that, after leaving the classroom, it’s been invaluable to be able to communicate with colleagues and friends on a regular basis. I’ve been able to build up a network that has years more experience than I have but have all happily helped me along my way. Even junior technicians who I have met at these classes have been able to make connections post-classroom that have led them to further employment opportunities. My company is growing at a rapid pace, and I’ll be looking to take on new staff members in the coming months. I’m a firm believer in investing in human capital as a means to attract, secure, and retain talent in the future. A well-motivated, fully educated technician is going to have a calmer and more professional demeanor when facing challenges that present themselves onsite. So, for all those companies that have wondered where the value is in sending their staff on training courses, be it at CEDIA Expo or at one of the many distributors and manufacturers that offer excellent training, think about the time a knowledgeable technician will save you on site, the extra money that will keep the smile on his or her face, and the more significant number on your bottom line for having a fully trained workforce.
CEDIA Expo Tech Education Spotlight:
ARCHITECTURAL CINEMA John Bishop speaks about the high-end home cinema class he’ll teach at CEDIA Expo 2018
John Bishop’s resume is pretty impressive. Bishop, who’ll be teaching a class at CEDIA Expo 2018 called “Architectural Cinema,” needs a minimum of three business cards by way of introduction: • Personal cinema architect and president, b/a/s/ (Bishop Architectural-entertainment Services, a tech rep firm for highend entertainment systems and sales engineering); • Director of architectural audio services for James Loudspeaker Company (including training, presentation, and design consulting for music and cinema systems) and; • Founder, T/PCA The American Society of Personal Cinema Architects (a design group applying professional cinema standards to high-end residential entertainment systems). As you’ve likely guessed, Bishop’s been around for nearly the entire lifespan of CEDIA itself. “I was an original Runco International HT guy (from 1993 until they closed shop in 2016) and developed a design utility program for Sam Runco to help launch CineWide,” Bishops recalls. “I called the program the ‘Personal Cinema Architect’ and did many trainings in Cabo and on the HT Technology Cruises with
“My 'Experience Mapping to the Academy Theater' process tells the truth about the quality of a movie experience driven by a genuine cinemaviewing geometry.”
Content Marketing Manager, CEDIA
WSR [Widescreen Review]. Before setting up my rep firm in '93, I was EVP of a/d/s/ and helped launch their 'Architectural Audio' CI series of loudspeakers and an audiophile multi-zone electronics system driven by LCD keypads. So, I'm very attuned to architecturally designed homes and the entertainment systems appropriate to them.” Bishop continues, “As James Loudspeaker's director of architectural audio services, I just launched a series of pre-engineered immersive audio sound system designs for specific room sizes, from 1,500 cubic feet to 24,000 cubic feet with imaging system criteria included. These are simple 7.4.6 architectures, but in the process, I developed a rationale for immersive sound design that takes into account seat proximity to elevated speaker positions for all three codecs. I'm looking at it in a new way that addresses the practical realities of ceiling heights and wall distances. I also address perimeter sound system design for opaque screens, both projection and direct LED.” Bishop tells us that all of this informs the class content, which he calls “a survey of high-end architectural cinema; a 90-minute
overview of these issues.” That 90-minute survey is stuffed with practical information, says Bishop. “I’ve just benchmarked a cinema we designed in the Boston area using my 'Architectural Cinema Proof of Performance' procedures, which I'll cover in the class.” The project Bishop references is clearly close to his heart, as one can feel his excitement when he shares the specs: “This is a cool room: It’s SH Acoustics acoustically ‘architected,’ with my imaging design using the Barco Prometheus Blue Laser DCi 4K projector driving a 10' x 24' Stewart Filmscreen Vistascope on an ST100 reference surface. We set up seven pixel-mapped and masked ARs and three light-level modes for SDR, HDR, and ‘lightsup’ entertaining, so one might watch sporting events like the Kentucky Derby in the room while having enough light to socialize.” That excitement extends to the rest of the class Bishop’s presenting: “If you attend, you'll see a lot of images and hopefully get something useful from some of it, or at least a little food for thought. For example, one of the topics that gets good reaction is my 'Experience Mapping to the Academy Theater' process. It tells the truth about the quality of a movie experience driven by a genuine cinema-viewing geometry. It guarantees design outcomes in that regard.” True to the client base that often asks for Bishop’s service, he’s developed a “Wine Spectator” ranking system for the final overall “cinematic quality of experience.” Bishop explains, “We call it 'Cinema Spectator' and it's on the same 100-point scale as wine and concours d'elegance events.” Bishop welcomes cameras and smart phones in his classroom, telling us that he uses dozens upon dozens of images in his presentation: “The slides may reach cinema-frame rates at times,” he says with a laugh. “As a result, I not only allow recording, I encourage it!”
Left: Phoenix Audio Video receives a “Cinema Spectator Score” for its Connecticut Showroom Theater, 96 points. The wine gift box is Coppola’s top shelf red called ‘Cinema Director’s Cut.’ A fitting message on the bottle. The Micro Cinema left (with a viewing area of 5' x 12' in a 15' deep room) is in contrast to the Macro Cinema below (with a viewing area of 10' x 24' in a 40' deep room). Both deliver a genuine cinematic experience at the highest levels.
A sophisticated Micro Cinema, (1500 cubic feet) with Audiophile Cinema Sound and a native 2.55:1 aspect ratio screen. The SFC VistaScope side masking screen has 11 preset aspect ratios.
The James Loudspeaker Mavericks Theater in the Napa HQ & Training Center. A framing and resolution pattern shows the quality of image, the perfect timbre matched Quad Tweeter Array speakers in the 3D audio array show the quality of sound.
Expo BUSINESS Education Spotlight:
Courtney Berg speaks with us about the Expo courses that she’s presenting for CEDIA. Courtney Berg has managed retail stores, handled insurance underwriting, studied at med school, and eventually landed at an ambulance company. Along the way, she picked up a unique set of human resource skills that led her to open her own firm specializing in helping small businesses: CourtSide Consulting in Colorado. She’s also taught a number of courses at CEDIA Expos, and she’s returning with a pair of courses that cover hiring, team building, and even the thorny questions that surround discipline and termination. When it comes to her day-to-day client interactions, Berg says she’s “a practical strategist. I figure out what's the right strategy for that
Content Marketing Manager, CEDIA
organization by asking questions, by listening, by really zeroing in on a company’s culture and needs.” But, while her one-on-one advice is tailored with precision, she’s uncovered some general principles that can help firms both large and small in the CEDIA universe. THE EMPLOYEE LIFE CYCLE On Thursday, September 6, Berg presents a three-hour class called “The Employee Life Cycle Workshop.” The “life cycle” covers the following for those making hiring decisions: • What to do before you hire someone • How to orient them to your company • How to effectively set expectations and manage their behavior • How to discipline and terminate employees safely
Berg shares that she covers “preparing attendees to hire people, how they go through the hiring process, how they make a hiring decision, even the interview questions … I give them examples. Then once they get on board, how do you manage that employee dayto day? How do you manage their activity? How do you keep them engaged? All of those things are going to be in the Employee Life Cycle.” THE END OF THAT CYCLE And Berg covers both hiring and firing in that “life cycle.” “It's not easy to sit down with somebody and say, ‘Hey, you're not meeting expectations,’” says Berg. It's not easy to say, ‘I've got to fire you.’ You know that your conversation is not just impacting that individual, it's impacting their family. “How do you have those
Through all of the courses that Berg presents, she’s well aware that the material can be dry — so expect a good dose of humor that’s drawn from realworld examples. “You've got to find the humor in HR, or you're not going to keep anybody interested,” says Berg. “A lot of times, it's stories. It's the, ‘Wow, somebody really did THAT?’ kind of stories, that draw the audience in; stories like, ‘I can't believe somebody thought that was okay. How can a manager think tying up a female employee and squirting her with water is okay?’ ‘I don't know, but that's what they did.’”
THE EMPLOYEE LIFECYCLE WORKSHOP Thursday, September 6 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Room: 30B THE 5 KEYS TO BUILDING TEAMWORK AND TRUST Friday, September 7 1-3 p.m. Room: 30C
conversations? What I do is set up a system — a system where you don't start at the point where you're disciplining. You start at the point you notice there's a problem.” And one way to avoid that discussion? Ensure you’ve got your priorities straight at the outset of that employee’s “life cycle.” “If you're not ready to hire the employee, and you bring somebody on, chances are that person won't be successful because you're not exactly sure what you want them to do.” TEAMWORK AND TRUST Berg’s Friday class, “The 5 Keys to Building Teamwork and Trust,” covers her philosophy of giving employees enough autonomy to become real stakeholders in a firm’s success. The example she uses is that of a farm: “I'm not going to give you the keys to the farm, but what I am going to do is say that barn right there, that outbuilding over there, that's yours. You get to decorate it the way you want. You get to lock it up at night the way you want. You and I are going to meet once a week, and we're going to talk about why you're doing those things. If I need you to correct something, I'm going to tell you, but I'm not going to do a daily inspection of your outbuilding. I want you to own it. “I gave you some guidelines on where you can make decisions. I gave you some parameters on what those decisions can be. Maybe they're budgetary, maybe something else. Then I'm going to say, okay, now I'm going to give you another outbuilding. Here you go, now you have two. What are you going to do? Can you duplicate your effort from that first building to the second one? Can you transfer those skills? “What I've done is started to teach you and lead you down that path, so that you build your confidence. I'm not giving you the entire farm, because you're going to blow up if I do that. I'm not giving you the entire farm, because I'm going to blow up if I do that.”
CEDIA Certification Expo Business atEducation Expo 2018 WHY?
Spotlight: HR 101
From the Electronic Systems Certified (ESC), the most general certification that covers the industry at large, to the specialties of Certified Technician (ESC-T), Certified Designer (ESC-D), and Certified Networking Specialist (ESC-N), a CEDIA Certification demonstrates one’s mastery and knowledge. “It certainly is a credential that ensures that you have the right abilities, that you've learned the right technologies, and deployment, and skill sets, to be able to deploy properly, and get the work done right. So as an employer, I would want to make sure that I've got certified people working for me. And as far as a homeowner? Yeah, that'd be really comforting to know.” — Mitchell Klein, Z-Wave Alliance
UPDATES TO THE CEDIA CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
Thursday, September 6 and Friday, September 7 9-11 a.m. 12-2 p.m. 3-5 p.m. Saturday, September 8 9-11 a.m. Exam Fees:
ESC: $150 (member) / $300 (non-member) ESC-T, ESC-D, ESC-N: $200 (member) / $400 (non-member) Need more info on how to prep for the test? Check out cediaexpo.com/ education/certification/ for all the details. Review classes will be held on Friday during Expo — check the site for more.
Can't make it to expo? you can still be certified With Kryterion as a new test partner, CEDIA now has over 1,000 test centers globally, so your staff can take exams locally and don’t need to wait until the CEDIA Expo, Integrate, or ISE show. Kryterion’s test development platform makes it easier for CEDIA to make more frequent updates to the exams so that certifications stay current.
ONLINE TESTING FOR CERTIFICATION RENEWAL With the release of the updated ESC-T earlier this year, CEDIA also announced a new 50-question renewal exam that can be taken at the end of the certification cycle in lieu of submitting CEUs. These exams can be taken from the convenience of a personal computer and are proctored live via webcam and microphone by Kryterion Global Testing Solutions. Anyone whose certification is more than six months expired must retake the full exam but may do so using the online testing option.
CEDIA is committed to supporting your professional career and the growth of your business. Here are just a few of the initiatives that you can take advantage of as a CEDIA certified professional. • New Certification Structure — CEDIA’s four certifications (ESC, ESC-T, ESC-D, ESC-N) represent professionals through various stages in their career and are supported with extensive online training, books, and live certification review courses. For business owners, this new certification scheme provides clear pathways to evaluate, train, motivate, and reward employees. • New Logos, Digital Badges, and Marketing Tools — CEDIA has updated its branding and issued a digital badge to every certification holder. This digital badge is a custom link that you can embed in the certification logo, so that clients can see with a single click what it represents and your current status and expiration date. They are easily added to email signatures and LinkedIn, and they are sharable on social media. CEDIA has also added other materials to make it easy for you to show off your certifications and enhance your company’s professional brand. • Access to the New Amazon Home Technology Engagement Program — Companies with a CEDIA membership and CEDIA Certified individual on staff are eligible to sign up for this opportunity. Learn more at: cedia.net/amazon
September 4 - 8, 2018 San Diego, CA
Residential tech is your industry. CEDIA members receive a FREE badge and discounted conference pricing.
Register Today! Get Your FREE Badge and Register at CEDIAExpo.com/register
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“The toughest part of a job? Sometimes it’s the last 5%.” - ANON “I like the intimacy of it. I'm not just lost in 150,000 people on a five-mile trek. I can really bounce around to different people, have one-on-one conversations — it's up close and personal.” Lewis Franke (LED Systems, USA) on CEDIA Expo
“Cloud computing can have latency … when you’re local, you don’t have access to a lot of devices and processing … and fog is that inbetween.”
WISDOM FROM OUR MEMBERS (And Some Others, Too)
Alex Capecelatro (josh.ai, USA) on “Cloud, Mist, and Fog Computing,” a CEDIA Tech Council Podcast (No. 1811, Episode 50)
“Are we inducing ‘gadget fatigue’ amongst our clients?” Michael Heiss (M Heiss Consulting) on the huge range of available devices
“It's a great congregation for likeminded people and to bounce ideas off of one another to say, ‘Hey, this is what I've been successful with, and this is what I haven't been successful with.’ Networking is crucial for me whenever I come here.” JJ Canon (Digital Delight) on CEDIA Expo
“Whether you decide to build a traditional cinema, a themed parlor, or a space-age galaxy, have fun.” Mark Withers (Cornflake) on the key to a happy career
“5G will help the arrival of selfdriving cars — and it’ll be part of the answer as to how we help people age economically, comfortably, and in place.” Brian Markwalter (senior vice president, Research and Standards, Consumer Technology Association) on a CEDIA Tech Council Podcast (No. 1819, Episode 58)
“We’re here to see the new technologies, to see what's projected to come down the road. We see a lot of stuff that doesn't make it to market, but the ideas are there. What's the next cutting-edge thing? We know it might be a luxury item now, but down the road it's gonna be a mass market product, just like 4K TVs.” Jeff Cooper (Simply Sight and Sound) on CEDIA Expo
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CUSTOM INTEGRATION PROGRAM
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Special Edition: A preview of CEDIA Expo 2018 CEDIA Communicates is the quarterly publication of the international trade association and ce...
Published on Jul 5, 2018
Special Edition: A preview of CEDIA Expo 2018 CEDIA Communicates is the quarterly publication of the international trade association and ce...