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CEDIA, CES Both Target High-End CE In ’07

CEDIA plans a national spring trade show to complement its September show and will co-locate the new show with its Electronic Lifestyle Forum, which is targeted to architects, builders and interior designers.

Meanwhile days earlier the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), producer of International CES, said that high performance audio will move to the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas for the 2007 event.

CEDIA’s first spring show will be held April 18-21, 2007, at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, just a little more than a month after the March 6-9 EH Expo event. The trade show floor will be open April 20–21. The announcement was made the day before this year’s EH Expo.

“One Expo annually is not enough to meet industry demand for the high-quality trade show experience CEDIA delivers,” the association said. Co-locating the two events “has the added benefit of being inclusive of the architects, builders and interior designers who are participating in CEDIA’s outreach programs.” CEDIA president Andy Willcox said. The 2007 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Forum and Expo “will truly offer unparalleled business development, industry outreach, networking and education,” he contended.

The forum portion of the combined event “is focused on increasing collaboration between architects, builders, interior designers and custom installers,” said forum chairman Utz Baldwin. The forum will include panel discussions, networking opportunities, and keynote addresses.

The new national show isn’t CEDIA’s first crack at staging additional trade shows to complement its signature September event. In 2002, the association held its first mini regional trade shows co-located with its three regular regional education seminars for installers. Exhibitors were limited to 10-foot by 10-foot booths.

The intent was to secure convention center locations to accommodate all of the manufacturers and installers who had been turned away from the education seminars in previous years because of a lack of hotel space, the association said at the time. One of the 2002 events attracted about 700 installers and 200 manufacturer personnel, but the other two events attracted only about 300-350 installers.

CEA will move high-performance audio from the Alexis Park to the Venetian Hotel for its 2007 International CES in 2007.

The move comes as CES expands its space at the adjoined Sands and Venetian venue, CEA said. “With the phenomenal success of CES’ expansion to the Sands in 2006, CES is confident that moving to the Venetian is in the best interest of the high-performance audio market,” said Karen Chupka, events and conferences VP at CEA. “The Venetian space allows us to expand the category to include exhibit options for high-performance home theater companies as well, plus it provides both attendees and exhibitors with the ultimate demonstration experience.”

The high-performance audio and home theater product categories now will be represented under the same umbrella at CES, which allows exhibitors to take advantage of increased space at the Sands and Venetian. Exhibitors in the new high-performance audio and home theater category will choose between traditional convention space in intimate Venetian ballrooms and demonstration suites in the Venetian Tower. — Additional reporting by Steve Smith