In January of 2016, Dave Chic (CEDIA’s Senior Director of Industry Relations) and I had an epiphany as we walked through the sprawling displays of Design and Construction Week.
We were in the midst of 100,000 potential business partners.
Builders, remodelers, interior designers – these were all people that are influencers. Referral sources. Market upon market just waiting to be tapped.
By February of last year, Dave had buy-in from the National Association of Home Builders and the National Kitchen & Bath Association, and the CEDIA Smart Home Pavilion at DCW was born.
Just a few short weeks ago, CEDIA’s staff and volunteers “closed the deal.” Not only was the Pavilion filled with household names such as Nest and Andersen (along with up-and-comers like RAYVA and Glance), the CEDIA crew was able to undertake a marathon myth-busting session. No, smart home tech is not just for the “one percent.” Yes, the modern consumer expects these automation features much like they expect a proper fridge. No, troubleshooting wouldn’t fall to the builder – that’s one of many reasons the CEDIA channel is so robust.
And as we’d hoped, the feedback has been nothing short of tremendous.
Production builders are now interested in package deals: good, better, best. Designers are interested in the elegant solutions we provide. Architects are beginning to understand the need to include technology and its attendant gear in the earliest stages of a build or renovation.
Thanks to the media saturation of the phrase “smart home” (one I’m not terribly fond of, to be honest: home should simply be “home”) nearly everyone is familiar with the products. But that overwhelming amount of information needs interpreters – and CEDIA member companies proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they can fill that need with the CEDIA Talks and Panels that were delivered at DCW 2017.
Our 10,000 square foot exhibitor and education center at DCW is demonstrative of our commitment to industry relations and education where other industries are concerned. Our presence was a wonderful illustration of CEDIA as a resource, a thought leader in the home technology universe.
And most importantly, we proved to thousands of professionals in the building trades that CEDIA member companies aren’t competitors – they’re collaborators.