Redactie AV & Domotica | 13 juli 2009
(Ingezonden mededeling)

The biggest, single market in European residential custom installation has come out strongly in support of an ‘overwhelmingly successful’ CEDIA UK Expo 2009 (22-25 June, ExCeL London), says the event’s organiser CEDIA (the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association).

“In challenging circumstances, the backing we have received from visitors and exhibitors for this year’s CEDIA UK Expo has been, quite simply, incredible” says CEDIA Chairman, Robert Hallam. “The CEDIA Board, office staff and the show’s exhibitors have worked tirelessly to make the event as compelling, relevant and valuable as possible for the industry. And, we are delighted that visitors have responded so positively, turning out in force to see the raft of new products and technologies that are here, taking part in CEDIA training and showing their backing for the UK custom installation industry. Those exhibitors that were here have been justly rewarded with an overwhelmingly successful CEDIA Expo, which, in more than a handful of cases, has been their best ever.”

Against the backdrop of a global recession, more than 150 CI brands supported the show with an array of new product launches and benefited hugely from steady, high quality visitor traffic on the Tuesday and Thursday of the show, and a spectacular attendance on the middle day of the event. Attendance for this year’s CEDIA Expo totaled 5,082.

Amongst the attractions which had the event buzzing was the popular Show Floor Seminar Theatre. The programme was headlined by Richard Farleigh of Dragon’s Den fame, whose engaging and entertaining keynote address drew the crowds on what was already the busiest show day by far. Also attracting standing-room only audiences were experts from BERR (UK Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform), Cisco Systems, the BBC, the BIDA (the British Interior Design Association) and the BRE (Building Research Establishment). The industry’s very own Steve Moore and Mike Heiss were also on hand to give their own unique take on what was-not-to-be-missed at the show.

Another huge hit at CEDIA Expo 2009 was the dedicated CEDIA conference run for design professionals. Sponsored by the BIDA (British Interior Design Association), leading interior design magazine idFX and Decorex, the interior design show for professionals, ‘Designing Interiors with Technology’ was a hugely successful outreach event attended by over 110 architects and interior designers. CEDIA Marketing Chair, Jane Scotland, Angus Gibson and Matthew Tillman from Gibson Music, Lucy Martin of John Cullen Lighting and Malcolm Stewart from Kensington Home Technology delivered a programme designed to give a better understanding of the world of the CEDIA professional and to explain how integrated audio, visual, lighting and other systems could be used to enhance interior schemes.

The conference proved to be an invaluable introduction to the technologies that delegates would later see on guided tours of the exhibition. The presence of so many design professionals on the show floor created a tangible buzz and undoubtedly contributed to what was already a standout day. In total, the CEDIA education programme provided over 100 hours of quality training for delegates on and off the show floor. This content was supplemented by a substantial amount of free training courses provided by Trade Suppliers at the event.

“The conference was excellent” says delegate Simon Atkins from Interiors etc. ”I found it very useful, particularly as this is quite a new area for us and we need to get our knowledge up to scratch for clients coming through who want the latest integrated technology. Having the guided tour around the show was also very helpful, as our guide understood our needs as interior designers and was able to relate the products directly to our requirements. Overall, a really good day”.

There were some great new products on show, with a number of exhibitors pulling out all the stops in the quality and creativity of their stand design. Invision UK and PMC were particularly successful in this respect, attracting the attention of David Pegler, ExCeL’s Managing Director to win Best Stand at Expo and Best Shell Scheme Stand, respectively in the annual CEDIA Awards. Meanwhile, industry website HiddenWires received a bottle of champagne from CEDIA for bringing in the most amount of visitors on their unique visitor code. The CEDIA Expo also received ‘royal assent’ this year as CEDIA Chair, Robert Hallam conducted a Sheikh from the Qatari Royal Family on a specially arranged VIP guided tour of the show on the opening day.

Away from the show floor the usual mix of networking and fun once again proved to be a winning formula with the industry drinks reception offering some well-deserved R&R to exhibitors after Wednesday’s busy show. Over 300 attended the informal get together which was held in the Fox@ ExCeL. And, this year CEDIA Expo played host to the very first CEDIA Expo 5-A-Side Charity Football Cup, organised by Essential Install magazine. 16 teams competed, including: Armour, KEF, Invision, Opus, Pulse Marketing, Future Automation, PMC, Design Logistics, SMC, T&T Automation, Imerge, Prestige Audio and Sonos. The evening culminated in a Future Automation vs KEF final, with Future Automation lifting the coveted trophy in a penalty shoot-out. More than £2000 was raised for Essential Install’s chosen charity, Macmillan Cancer Support and a good time was had by all!

Electronic systems designers, installers and trade suppliers represented the vast majority of the overall audience, with 40% of visitors taking their first ever trip to CEDIA UK Expo. Boosted by the success of this year’s event, CEDIA is consulting with the event’s stakeholders on plans for 2010, with details on location and likely format scheduled to be announced within the next month.