CEDIA 2019: 5 Things We’re Excited to See
With all due respect to Dallas and San Diego, CEDIA 2019 has been circled on our calendars for some time thanks to the event’s return to Denver, Colorado. This location was highly touted when CEDIA last rolled into town in 2014, and it’s been a stop that attendees and exhibitors haven’t been able to quit talking about since.
Denver aside, there’s plenty of exciting things on tap for CEDIA 2019. The educational tracks are off the charts with hundreds of hours of great content. The exhibitor lineup is as strong as ever. And the show is continuing its commitment to bringing in the design community.
With all of that in mind, here’s a little synopsis of the five things we’re most looking forward to seeing at CEDIA 2019.
1. CEDIA Smart Stage Content
The CEDIA Smart Stage is going to deliver a non-step schedule of programming, including TechTalks, TechBites, and the new TechStarter program. Under those banners, the Smart Stage will feature a variety f panel discussions, exhibitor product demonstrations and product pitches, and Q&A’s with some of the top names in the industry.
In particular, TechStarter will be something to keep an eye on. In its first year, the program will give brands the opportunity to pitch their products and business models to a panel of industry C-suite executives. The VIPs will move from booth to booth up and down Innovation Alley where they’ll hear “Shark Tank” style pitches from brands as they look to identify the TechStarter FIVE. Those five brands will receive recognition in the form of media interviews, dedicated promotion from CEDIA Expo channels, in-booth signage, and an invite to join the VIPs on stage for a TechStarter Q&A panel where one brand will be selected to receive $2,500 in seed money.
Also be on the lookout for our own panel discussion at CEDIA 2019. Taking place on the Smart Stage on Saturday, September 14 at 11:30 a.m., we’ll be hosting a panel discussion with some of the top minds in the industry who will discuss how integrated technology can bring wellness, security, and safety into the home.
2. Evolution of Design+Connection
Introduced at last year’s show, CEDIA plans to double down on the Design+Connection program in 2019. Returning is the Design+Connection Tour Series, which features a curated list of booths by top integrators. CEDIA attendees in the interior designer, builder, and architect communities will be guided on tours of those booths.
Additionally, CEDIA 2019 will feature an expanded Design+Connection Pavilion in Denver. Endorsed by the National Kitchen and Bath Association and supported by the American Society of Interior Designers, the Design+Connection Pavilion is designed to showcase select kitchen and bath brands that bridge the gap between technology and design. Featured in the pavilion will be the Control4 Tiny Smart Home, which is an incredibly immersive experience and expertly constructed, living, breathing example of how design and technology can come together to improve the entire in-home experience.
3. SnapAV and Control4
Speaking of Control4… CEDIA 2019 will be something of an official coming out party for the newly merged SnapAV and Control4 company. We’ve seen a lot of promotional activity around the merger of these two giants in the home automation and custom integration space. And now, at CEDIA 2019, we’ll get our first real opportunity to get an up close look at just what this megabrand will be able to offer to the industry.
Will they have new products already ready to show off? Aside from Control4’s new Smart Home OS 3, probably not. But it’ll absolutely be interesting to hear from the executives in Denver talk about the merger, where they see this thing heading, and what integration professionals can expect from the new company.
4. The Role of Wellness at CEDIA
Theirs is absolutely no doubt that one of the biggest trends emerging in the home technology space—and, as well, one of the biggest revenue opportunities for custom integrators—is wellness. As much as technology has traditionally existed to enhance the in-home entertainment experience, we’re starting to see more and more brands pop up that offer tech that improves how the environment inside the home impacts the inhabitants.
To that end, and new this year, CEDIA will introduce a new Wellness Pavilion, supported by Delos—perhaps one of the biggest names in human-centric indoor technology systems. Featured in this new experience will be technology products and educational experiences that cover themes like biophilia, biodigitry, human-centered lighting, and more. And beyond the named supporter of the Wellnes Pavilion, brands involved include Broan-NuTone, Orro, Aprilaire, and RAYVA.
5. The Presence of 8K
8K TV technology has had quite the last calendar year. It bursted onto the scene at IFA 2018 last September with LG, Samsung, Sony, and others rolling out their first-ever 8K sets. By the time CES rolled around, we were able to get a little bit closer to those TVs, but we still had a lot of questions around the pitch to consumers (beyond just the early adopter types) for these new TVs—especially considering we’re still lagging behind with even 4K-ready content.
But here we are at CEDIA 2019. What kind of message will 8K have at this show? The type of consumer that the custom integration space works with is certainly a lot more tech savvy, per se, than some of these other shows. So does that change the pitch for 8K at all? Upscaled content definitely looks better on these new 8K sets. But is that enough of a reason—or even an effective strategy—when trying to pitch an 8K set to a customer? We hope to get some answers to these questions and more at CEDIA 2019.