New York - The tribulations of the economic downturn continue to plague the custom A/V electronics industry's largest show, with word that two industry stalwarts will not be among the ranks of "official exhibiters" this September.
Spokespeople for Planar, which owns high-end video display resource Runco International, and D&M Holdings, which owns a large stable of major mid-to-high-end A/V brands, have elected not to participate as official exhibiters at this year's Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) Expo in Atlanta, Sept. 9-13.
Representatives for both companies said, however, they plan to travel to Atlanta to meet off-site during the event with dealers and prospective customers.
Planar owns a stable of high-end home-theater display brands, including Runco International and Planar.
D&M Holdings owns a number of prominent audio and video brands, including Denon, Marantz, McIntosh Laboratory, Boston Acoustics, Snell Acoustics, Escient, Calrec Audio, Denon DJ, Allen & Heath, D&M Professional and D&M Premium Sound Solutions.
"Planar will be there as the parent brand of Runco. They will not be exhibiting. Runco is planning off-site events, but locations and times have not been finalized," a Planar representative said in a reply to TWICE.
"D&M Holdings' brands will be taking a hiatus from the show this year, even though they do feel that it is a very, very important show for them," a spokesperson said. "They will be meeting with customers at the show but will not be exhibiting. One of the reasons is that most of the products that [traditionally] would be introduced at this time, have already been introduced into the marketplace."
D&M recently opted to launch a range of commercial-focused products through its Denon Professional and Marantz Professional brands at the InfoComm 2009 show, which targeted commercial electronics professionals.
A CEDIA spokesperson said so far exhibiter attendance is running about 20 percent under last year's number, "as with many tradeshows and "currently, we are experiencing a slight decrease in the number of exhibiter's booths."
"However, we are seeing many exhibiters maintaining their presence on the floor by sharing space instead of having a dedicated booth due to limited budgets," the spokesperson said.
As for attendee traffic, the organization said it is "very optimistic." The show has "diversified the education offerings to highlight some key initiatives our members are focusing on such as getting into the green and retrofit market, understanding LEED certification and the EPA Lead-based paint certification," a spokesperson said. "We are also offering high-level industry panels focusing on 3D, HDMI, Green, etc. This year's Expo will have an element of diversification to it to help our members remain strong in these challenging times."