CEDIA Expo is Just Around the Corner
A friend of mine shared this piece of wisdom with me: “Caleb, in five years you will be the same person you are today, except for the places you go, the people you meet and the books you read.”
Which brings me to CEDIA EXPO 2011. I know, I know, it seems like we are constantly preparing for trade shows. They seem to come around faster and faster each year. And every time I come back from a major trade show I’m excited about some new products I saw or some new people I was able to spend time with. Then, reality sets in.
Unfortunately, for many of us, a few weeks go by after a trade show, the blush falls off the rose, and we get wrapped up and focused on our day-to-day lives. Somehow, things just don’t seem very different, regardless of the excitement we had on the show floor.
This year, I am strategically planning how to get the most out of the show—and how to implement what I see and learn when I get home—so I thought I would share some of my thoughts with you.
The Places You Will Go
I am making a conscious effort to map my entire show. And I’m not talking about just the trade show floor, where manufacturers’ products and services are on display. I’m also planning those hours when I won’t be on the show floor (either in our CCS booth or visiting other manufacturers).
What events, receptions and parties do I need to plan on attending (oftentimes visiting multiple locations on any given evening) so I can make sure I see all of the latest technology and meet the people who can give me the best information? Where do I need to be between 7 am and 11 pm? With a good strategy and game plan, I can make sure I put myself in the best position to see what needs to be seen, learn as much as possible, and network with the right people.
The People You Will Meet
We are a product-centric industry; there is no doubt about that. But, behind every product is a company, and behind that company are its people. People are the most important thing about a company. Steve Jobs is more important to Apple than any product they make. At some level it is impossible to separate out Apple products from the people behind them. The same is true for every company in our industry.