By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
INDIANAPOLIS — The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) will revamp its regional education program next year by adding small trade shows to the regional seminars to attract more attendees.
The association will also trim the number of regional events to three from five and move them from hotels to small convention centers, said CEDIA's Brittany Nimms.
Convention center venues will accommodate suppliers who have wanted to hold product training sessions during past events but were turned away because of a lack of space at hotels, she said. The new venues will also accommodate manufacturer exhibits, which will be limited to 10x10-foot booths.
The events consist of two days of training and one day for installer certification testing, "but perhaps we'll now go longer," Nimms said. Each regional event has attracted as many as 20 manufacturers but the association expects the new events to attract about 50 exhibitors.
In all, attendance per event is expected to jump to about 1,000 from 300-400, Nimms said.
Three events are tentatively scheduled for spring 2002, one on each coast and the third in the central United States. This year, five events were scheduled from January to May.
The regional trade shows and the annual September Expo serve different industry demographics, Nimms noted. "At the regionals, the majority of attendees are mostly new to the industry" and are looking to get grounded in the basics of products and installation. The regional exhibits, like the Expo exhibits, "complement the educational process," she said.
Board member Bill Anderson said he agreed. "Education was always the prominent reason for Expo, but what you learn on the Expo floor is an important part of the education process."
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