In a post yesterday, I suggested that the evidence seemed pretty clear – this year, attendees would find a very different CEDIA Expo. Today, the opening day of the event has seen a few videos and photos uploaded on Facebook, YouTube and other social media sites which seem to suggest that this is indeed a very different Expo.
See more on attendee’s CEDIA Expo videos…
Today, people started sending me links to videos taken by various attendees of CEDIA Expo who produced and uploaded walk-thru videos on the opening day of the event – typically the biggest day of the Expo. I watched a few until I couldn’t really look any longer.
So before I get into a description of what the videos show, to the few of you who have sent me hate mail lately, let me just say publicly what I told you privately – despite what you may think, or allege, I take no satisfaction in the meltdown of this event. This is one show that I go to every year (except last year when I attended virtually). However, I have strived to report the honest facts that have led us to this point, and facts are neither positive nor negative…they are just data.
Not a Surprise
OK, so what I found in these videos was disappointing…sad even…but not a surprise. Events over the last three or four weeks gave ample indication of what was to come.
The photos basically tell the story. For example, take a look at the photo of the on-site registration desk shown above. This is Opening Day of the event, and there are only about a half-dozen folks registering to get in.
The CEDIA Expo show floor has wide and open aisles. Most booths are spaced quite a ways apart. It is probably a very comfortable show to attend, as attendance is very sparse.
Like the Last Day of a ‘Normal’ Expo
Multiple people described it to me this way: it is as if this was the last day of a typical CEDIA Expo when most people have left and the remaining few are roaming the aisles trying to catch an important booth or product they missed during the event. Except this isn’t the last day of the event…it is the Opening Day of Expo.
Opening Day is usually the most densely packed, with crowds literally assembling around the main entrances just waiting for the doors to officially open. I usually park myself at the top of the stairs in the main hallway (a great spot for photos in Denver) to catch wide-angle shots of the crowd buzzing with anticipation at what wonders they will discover beyond the entrance doors.
Here’s my take: It feels like the last two hours of the last day of any large show and felt that way from the get go. Exhibitors that are here are trying hard to justify their presence and investment and the representatives from companies that had pulled out were patting themselves on the back for making that decision based on their perceived ROI.”CEDIA Expo 2021 attendee who asked not to be identified
Vast Unused Spaces; Wide and Open Aisles
As you watch these videos or see some of the photos that have been published, you’ll see lots of unused floor space, some of it dedicated to large concession or hospitality areas. Perhaps the largest space is dedicated to the Smart Stage and its large seating area. If you look up to the ceiling, you’ll see that beyond the draped perimeter there is a whole lot of hall beyond the dimensions of the space that Expo is using.
Most booths, at least at the opening, only had their booth workers in them. Although, clearly there were a few to perhaps even several integrators walking around. The videos also clearly show that there are several defined booth spaces that remain empty.
There are Some Advantages to Smaller Shows
For those working the booths, slower shows do offer some advantages. You tend to have a slower pace which can facilitate longer, more productive conversations or presentations. People have fewer appointments, so the likelihood of getting cut off so they can run to another meeting is unlikely.
At this event, so many exhibitors – including many of the largest and most powerful brands – have pulled out of the Expo, that it can offer the chance for smaller and medium-sized brands to stand out…rather than being over-shadowed. This could potentially open up some more opportunities that might not have otherwise presented themselves.
I have been told that the atmosphere at the Expo is very positive
I wish the best of luck to all who exhibit and attend this event and hope you find your time well spent.
A Video Walk-Thru of CEDIA Expo 2021
See the Jason Bohrman walk-thru video of the opening day of CEDIA Expo 2021…
Learn more about CEDIA Expo by visiting: cediaexpo.com.
Tom Doherty says
It was a very productive day…your not here and your opinion is not based in first person experience.
And you didn’t read my post. Glad you found the event productive.
But for the record, and this is how journalism works, I interviewed multiple sources who are there, looked at multiple attendee-produced “live” videos, obtained a multitude of photos from multiple sources and have many decades of show experience. Experience that includes, by the way, producing events.
I stand by my report 100%. If you’ve found an error please feel free to share it.
Enjoy the show.
Tom Farinola says
Hi Tom – I have vendors at the show and what Ted is describing is accurate. I hope you enjoy the show as it might be the last Audio Video show for Emerald.
Paul Epstein says
I am here and think Ted’s assessment based on research and factual information gathering is accurate but I am also having a productive show. In some ways it’s nice that no one is busy and everyone that you meet with is delighted to see you and isn’t in any hurry because of their next meeting or appointment.
Personally, I would be having a much more productive show if all of the vendors involved with our channel were here. Even if some of them didn’t have unlimited time for me.
Seeing two customers a day is productive?
You live in another dream world my friend.
Scott Soloway says
Given that the first show day has traditionally been on a Thursday and that attendees who are not interested in the training sessions will not need much more than a day (if that much) to see everything of interest, I would not be surprised if attendance will be higher tomorrow.
What struck me about the videos was the lack of masking. Maybe – and that’s a generous maybe – 10% of people were masked. We had other reasons for not attending, although that did play a small role – but I can’t help but wonder if Emerald had beefed up their entrance requirements (masking, proof of vaccinations or negative PCR tests within 72 hours) if some of the vendors and crowds would still have gone? I guess we’ll never know…
Josh, I think that was a missed opportunity by Emerald. Most other shows are increasing their COVID protocols to give a greater sense of safety for attendees and exhibitors. It very well may have had an impact here as well.
Scott Soloway says
Emerald’s expressed policy is:
Attendees who are not fully vaccinated must wear a face mask at all times.
Attendees who are fully vaccinated are encouraged but not required to wear masks.
Masks will also be provided at the registration counter if needed.
We do encourage all attendees to wear masks.
I suspect they are not verifying vaccination status.
Tom Doherty says
Your patronizing is understood.. perhaps emerald should have advertised on stratagem and they could have better coverage me thinks…
The overt and obvious projection in your comment only serves to reveal the way you think. And it also exposes your ignorance about Strata-gee… If you read Strata-gee more regularly, you would learn the obvious err of your ways. And finally, I wonder how my sponsors view your “thinks”-ing behind what you suggest is their motivation for sponsoring Strata-gee? Maybe you should ask them…I think you might learn something.
I fear for your vaunted reputation, my friend…you are putting it in jeopardy.
CEDIA 2021 Attendee says
What is laughable is being asked at registration what color dot you want on your badge to indicate your comfort level with contact or distance. Nothing about your health status. No fever check. No vaccine status questions. Just what believe personally, I suppose relying on your expertise in low voltage or CEDIA certification to make your educated decision.
Here’s the code:
Green dot: I’m fine with hand shakes, no masks, and acting like we always have.
Yellow dot: Let’s fist or elbow bump and mask wearing is OK if it makes you more comfortable.
Red dot: Please keep your distance and wear a mask around me.
So the next time you have a health issue should we go to a plumber or electrician for a diagnosis and treatment plan? Maybe a certified CEDIA installer could give us a second opinion. Forget people that spent four years in undergrad school, another four in med school, and a few more as a resident to become an expert in a specific field of medicine. What do they know. They’ve been brainwashed by the system.
Trust Joe Rogan. He has more followers.
Tom, I disagree with your characterization of Ted’s reporting. I have said it several times – I think he has presented the facts in an unbiased way. Sometimes the truth hurts. There have been time I disagree with him, because he is not saying what I want to hear….reality is a bitch.
I suspect if you had not been able to jump in a car, drive a little, park, see what you wanted and leave your opinions might be more along mine – my CEDIA would have been – Lax to Dallas to Indy, a number of nights in a hotel, then restaurants. All the while snot nosed unvax’ed people without masks spray you down – even fully vaccinated it is still concerning for us older folks. Oh so are you – older that is. No thanks!
I would love to know how many Covid cases come from contact at CEDIA- we will never know. Nor the real number of attendees.
Thanks Ted for your accurate reporting.
A very evenhanded report, Ted. Who would have expected something different, given the absence of so many large companies? The exhibitors who were there stood out and had the ability and time to spend with interested attendees, which hopefully repaid them for the expense and time they invested.