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.