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CEDIA Slates 2008 Spring Show

CEDIA (the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association) plans to operate two trade shows per year starting in 2008, when the association’s first spring show for electronics systems contractors (ESCs) will be held in Las Vegas from April 8-11.

The new event “will truly be a CEDIA Expo but in the spring,” board member Jeff Zemanek told TWICE. He contrasted the planned event with a spring show held in April of this year. That event was targeted mainly to architects, builders, and interior designers, he explained.

In a letter to potential exhibitors, CEDIA said the September Expo’s success underscored the need for a second show. The Spring Expo, the letter said, will “accommodate new exhibitors that are unable to participate in CEDIA Expo due to a continually sold-out show floor,” and it will offer current exhibitors a chance to “grow their booth and obtain a greater presence among the CEDIA ESC membership.”

The letter also said that with the opportunity to exhibit at two shows, “you will increase your one-on-one time with key ESCs and maximize your exposure with these individuals.” Two shows will also enable exhibitors to “effectively focus your sales goals regionally,” the letter added.

Semiannual events on different coasts, Zemanek also said, will attract installers from different regions, as did the January and June Consumer Electronics Shows of the 1980s and early 1990s. For exhibitors, two venues will enable suppliers “to get more of their people there more economically,” he noted.

In 2008, the spring show will be held in the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, and the September show will be held for the third consecutive year in Denver. In 2009, however, the September show moves to Atlanta, delivering on the potential to reach installers from different regions, Zemanek said. The venue for the spring 2009 show hasn’t been determined, but Zemanek said it would likely be on the West Coast.

Last September’s Expo drew almost 29,000 attendees, and this year’s spring event attracted only about 2,000, including about 80 exhibitors, because of its target audience, Zemanek said. For next year’s spring show, the association doesn’t expect 30,000 attendees the first time around, he noted.

At press time, it wasn’t clear if CEDIA would hold another event targeted to architects, builders and interior designers.

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 logistics of traveling to so many shows per year, Zemanek told TWICE, proved to be “tough for manufacturers.”

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