CEDIA EXPO 2006: The Buzz Wasn’t the Products
CEDIA EXPO 2006 has come and gone, and as with every show, we are all looking for The Buzz. What were the dealers talking about? What made them excited enough to tell their peers?
I know you’re all eagerly anticipating my take on all of that, but hold your horses for a second.First, let me tell you about my winner for Best Retail Sales Story at CEDIA.
Gordon Friend, a wonderful retailer executive who works out of the Metro New York market, relates the following conversation he overheard between one of his salespeople, Albert Chua, and a customer.
The woman asked, “What is the difference between plasma and LSD?”
Without skipping a beat, Albert responded, “LSD is very bad for you. You should buy the plasma.”
Certainly, that’s the most compelling reason I’ve heard yet to buy a plasma.
OK, back to the show…
Not Your Typical Trade Show
I’ve been attending trade shows since the 1970s; I even attended the last two Chicago CES shows: The Wake on the Lake I and The Wake on the Lake II. Typically, all of these shows have a product Buzz—the newest, the neatest, the “I am interested in that product for my business” Buzz.
Such wasn’t the case at CEDIA EXPO 2006.
To get a real sense of the Buzz, I always ask the CEDIA classes I teach about what’s new and exciting. I taught four classes at this CEDIA and, surprisingly, I got a lot of blank stares with my question and virtually no comments.
It appears that, in many ways, we’re maturing as a business. To many attendees, the “latest and greatest” is not as interesting as it once was. What interested them was the future and what we’re doing in and with our businesses.
Education is certainly hot. Many classes were sold out and the need for information and education was clearly apparent. Business practices and software, reliability of products, confusion in the marketplace and connectivity with existing platforms or new platforms were hot topics of discussion. For example, a frustration with HDMI and the continuing lack of reliability in interfacing so-called HDMI products was clear. Seminars discussing HDMI were packed, as dealers want and need to know how to use this connector in their installations.