CEDIA 2011 – Let’s roll! Or at least that how I felt after my journey to get to the wonderful city of Indianapolis. I had been in New York City the previous weekend and drove back to London on Tuesday (9 hrs), slept the night and then visited a bunch of customers and job sites in time to leave around 3pm Wednesday for Indy. After another 7+ hours on the road with a break for dinner with my sister and some friends in Lansing, I finally arrived in Indy. I checked in and did some more work in the room, then finally called in a night and tried to grab some sleep in prep for the wonderful experience that is CEDIA!
CEDIA is a wonderful place full of great gadgets, big screens, and amazing sounds. As I walked the floor, I was a little surprised by how small the floor was, there was only 17’600 people registered. I always love going to NAB (Which is a huge show), and made my first venture to the wonderful world of InfoComm (Also a pretty big show). So even though CEDIA is a bit of a small show, there is a benefit to that. I never really waited too long in a booth to talk with a rep, I hate to wait so that is always a big thing. But what I really have started to learn about the CEDIA show is that it’s really just one big family. Let me preface this – I’ve been in this industry for 10 years now (both Pro A/V & Resi) and have always felt like a bit of an outsider. To be honest, it’s probably all been in my head but that’s how I felt. So back to where I was… As I’ve come to really realize and respect, the AV industry is just a big happy family. This has become one of the reasons why I love the industry. Sure I can always get down with all the new specs, cool screens, louder audio demos and all the other coolness that is a CEDIA tradeshow… but what really hit me this time as I drove off after the show was over was how much people in our community care.
I know this is starting to sound sappy, but I don’t care… I’m not a sappy guy, just honest. Trust me, I ‘could’ write this post about all the cool gear I saw at CEDIA but honestly there are many much higher skilled writers then me who have summed that up. Granted I will be writing a post on the top 3 or so things I saw at the show. What really got me at this show even more then other then the gear, were the people I met. One thing that has been huge for me this past year or so has been Twitter and our fancy #AVTweeps hashtag (Thanks @JMOTA3, you rock buddy). It has been a big factor in me discovering the extent of our little AV family. I met a couple of peeps at InfoComm11, but most of them were ProAV guys (nothing against you guys, you know I love you, I’m one of you!). What made CEDIA so special was that I met so many people who are not only amazing people but also willing to give of themselves. Example time:
- My good buddy Steven. He’s a southern dude, got a killer accent but really knows his gear. We’ve been friends since Lutron PSP training a few years ago, Always available to let me bounce ideas off him! Great guy to walk the floor with, seems to always have his ear to the ground on the latest and greatest new gear. Catch him on the twitters @ProAudio_GA
- Johnny Mota, Seriously where to are start with this social media master? If you don’t know him, you should. He’s the inventor of our AVTweeps hash tag and a huge promoter of our industry. He’s also a seemly diehard SF Giants fan, which I guess I can forgive him for! (Yankee fan over here)
- Bradford Benn, I technically met him back at InfoComm, but he totally deserves mention! Every time we get together we have a blast. We’ve pretty much decided that twitter was just created for our own enjoyment if nothing else… If you ever need to know something about pro amplification, he is a genius! Just saying.
- John ‘Lady Phone’ Sciacca – What can I say about John! Well, I’ve read John’s work for quite a few years… and never really put together how awesome he is. Wait, did I just write that… Oh well, can’t take it back now. To be honest, John shocked me. We had been going back and forth on twitter for a while… and finally had organized a time to meet up. So I’m heading in to this thinking ‘Wow, I’m gonna meet John… this is cool, I read his stuff all the time’. I don’t know what John was thinking but I didn’t think it’d be much. Much to my surprise, John comes bounding out of the writers room with this big grin, all excited (seemingly) to meet me! We do the cool handshake/half man hug, as if we’re old friends. (remember that whole big AV family thing). We walk into the room and it’s like we’ve known each other for years. Crazy! Side-note: John – If this was all in my head, keep your comments to yourself! I don’t need to know!
- Richard Fregosa – Wow. I’ve always somehow seem to be blessed to meet people like Rich. I knew Rich as an #AVTweeps man, we really hadn’t gone back and forth much, so when we met at an impromptu tweetup at the Crestron GUI booth I was just happy to meet another avtweeps. Imagine my surprise when I spent the next 2 hours or show walking the floor with Rich as he taught a bit (a whole lot) from his vast 20+ year experience in our biz. Not only that but in the course of us walking the floor, Rich was kind enough to give me a personal introduction to a number of titans in our industry. And for that, I can’t thank him enough. Severely cool of him to do that! We need more people like Rich in our industry to keep passing on the knowledge and keep our industry the amazing way it is!
- Kimberly Fabiano Fassetta somehow managed to stay sane while trying to organize and keep 4 of us in line and on track for the social media forum panel that she was running. And for that alone, she makes my list! She is an awesome person and is insanely knowledgeable on the social media topic, if you don’t know her, you should. Nuff said!
There are many more people I should and could have mentioned, but honestly my wrists are sore. So this is where I’ll leave you… You know what I love about CEDIA even more then the gadgets, the people. We, you, make our industry what it is. We will be here after the latest and greatest technology is surpassed by the next latest and greatest tech. I think we sometimes forget this… Let’s try to remember it in the future!
May your future be bright!