CEDIA Expo 2019 wrapped up on September 14, 2019 after three days of main show floor hours long with events and classes in the days prior. The show returned to the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, where it welcomed 500 exhibitors and 20,000 attendees spread out throughout 200,000 square feet of convention floor space.
Attending and/or exhibiting at the show were technology integrators, manufacturers, and design professionals who went to see new and upcoming products and brands in the custom residential and light commercial integration, automation, and AV categories, listen to trending discussions within the industry, and seek out business development opportunities.
"CEDIA Expo made its long-anticipated return to Denver for the 2019 event and based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees and exhibitors alike, CEDIA Expo 2019 was a huge success," says Brian Pagel, Executive Vice President, Emerald Expositions. "Market feedback from the 2018 event was foundational to our strategy and drove many of the innovative new activation areas throughout the show floor. This was supplemented by engaging content and networking opportunities all week long."
"CEDIA offers the most diverse and industry-leading educational courses each year, more so than any other event within our industry," adds Tabatha O'Connor, Global President and CEO, CEDIA. "With 125 courses covering all ranges of experience and six courses offered in Spanish at the 2019 show, CEDIA Expo continues to be the destination for beginning a new career or gaining expert-level educational credits in the residential technology field."
CEDIA Expo saw a return of show floor programming as well as a debut of new programs for exhibitors, attendees and media.
TechStarter was a new program specifically for Innovation Alley exhibitors at the 2019 show, giving new exhibitors a chance to pitch their business models to three leaders of the residential technology market. After the pitches, the winning brands participated in a panel discussion, received media training, interviews and a chance to win $2,500 cash.
The 2019 TechStarter judges were Alex Capecelatro, CEO and founder, Josh.ai; Hagai Feiner, founder and CEO, Access Networks; and O'Connor.
Starting with judging on Thursday of the show, the TechStarter judges walked the Innovation Alley section of the show floor to choose the five brands that demonstrated the most promise for a successful business model. After judging and deliberation concluded, the "TechStarter FIVE" were chosen. They were: Hero Labs (overall winner); SandTrap Audio; Konnected; Artio Lighting; and Caavo Inc.
"CEDIA Expo is Hero Labs' introduction to the North American market, and we are excited to debut our product in Denver," says Krystian Zajac, founder and CEO, Hero Labs. "Exhibiting in Innovation Alley and being awarded the grand prize for TechStarter exceeded our expectations as a first-time exhibitor. We are thankful for the support from CEDIA Expo and their industry leaders."
The brands also convened on the CEDIA Expo Smart Stage for a panel discussion, moderated by Walt Zerbe, Senior Director of Technology & Standards, CEDIA, to discuss business models as well as how to stand out in a competitive new market.
Powered by the NKBA and ASID, and headlined by the Control4 Tiny Smart Home, the Design + Connection Pavilion at CEDIA Expo served as a bridge between the design and tech communities.
"The numerous connections and partnerships made at CEDIA Expo are a crucial component to our ever-changing world of kitchen and bath design," says Suzie Williford, NKBA's Executive Vice President of Industry Relations and CSO. "Our presence at CEDIA Expo shows technology integrators that we're ready and willing to come to them in pursuit of true industry collaboration."
Joining the NKBA and ASID in the Design + Connection pavilion were AION LED, Brondell, and Danby Appliances.
Helping to guide the conversation between designers and integrators was Tech Collider, a new program in 2019 that took place within the Design + Connection Pavilion and featured three lounge style chats from industry leaders. Topics ranged from healthy home living to making connections between designers and integrators and featured representatives from the NKBA, AIA, Seura, CE Pro, and KBB, among others.
Now in its second year, the Design + Connection Tours once again took to the show floor and saw technology integrators Peter Cook and Jamie Briesemeister led 34 VIP designers, architects, builders, and media to 20 brand booths. Control4 served as the title sponsor and was joined by the NKBA, ASID, Salamander and Samsung as tour support.
"Bridging the gap between technology integrators and interior designers remains a high priority for Control4 and SnapAV," said Brad Hintze, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Control4. "Thanks to events like the Design + Connection tours at CEDIA Expo, we're able to make professional connections between the two industries and highlight the need for collaboration."
The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) hosted its Thought Leadership Summit as well, a two-day event when around 70 certified design professionals were immersed in conversations surrounding connected technology via a series of curated tours of the show floor, presentations and networking events, and panel discussions.
Viewing wellness and health-focused technology as a potential opportunity for the CEDIA crowd, the CEDIA Expo Wellness Pavilion launched at the 2019 show. The pavilion featured new wellness technology products and education on themes like biophilia, biodigitry, indoor air quality (IAQ), and human centric lighting. Brands that had booths within the CEDIA Expo Wellness Pavilion supported by Delos were Delos Living, Broan - Nutone, Aprilaire, RAYVA, and
Green Builder Media.
Within the Wellness Pavilion on the show floor, Delos created a Wellness Room where show attendees could take refuge from the busy show floor to enjoy ambient power naps, guided mediations, biophilic soundscapes, and narrated journeys through nature.
CEDIA Expo 2019 also saw the return of a dedicated security pavilion with brands like Amaryllo, Axis Communications, Bosch Security and Safety Systems, Digital Watchdog, Leviton Mfg. Co, OPTEX, Inc., Platinum Tools, ProdataKey, and Schlage Lock Company LLC showcasing their security products.
TechTalks took the CEDIA Expo Smart Stage Thursday through Saturday of the show and featured new thought leadership panel discussions programmed by CE Pro. Panelists, moderators, and panel sponsors took part in a series of educational talks from technology experts on IoT trends, business management, voice activation, the impact of technology on architecture and design, and more.
TechBites, a series of brand "speed-dates," say spokespeople from brands like Savant, Vanco International, and Wilson Electronics debut products and take follow-up questions from the audience in brief, six-minute sessions.
The CE Pro BEST Project and Product award winners were announced during two separate ceremonies on Thursday. Aimed at honouring the most noteworthy new products and technologies of 2019, top product honours were issued in the following categories: Business Operations, Control and Automation, Home Theater/Multi-room AV, Household Enhancements/Installation Accessories, Loudspeakers, Most Promising, Object-based Surround Components, Peripherals and Enhancements, and Tools, Testing and Calibration.
BEST Project winners were awarded in categories for both spaces and functions, and included gold, silver, bronze, and honourable mention levels.
The Best Booth Awards, which debuted in 2018, recognized these brands for their creative, engaging and impactful CEDIA Expo presence: Best in Show: Google Nest; Best Booth (small): Control4 Tiny Smart Home; Best Booth (medium): Leon Speakers; Best Booth (large): Sonance Best Booth; and Honourable Mention: Josh.ai.