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My list of top #CEDIA14 Do NOTs

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 12:40 AM

There are plenty of people that will gladly share all of their ideas on what you should DO while you are at CEDIA Expo. But I’m going to help you cull the list by telling you the 10 things you should NOT do at the Expo.


See, this will be my 16th Expo and I’ve managed to learn a few things over the years. So whether you’re a total Expo Noob or a grizzled veteran, there are probably a couple of things you can learn from this list.


DO NOT…


...make a bunch of appointments.


You probably have reps calling or vendors emailing asking if you are going to the show and can they please, please, PRETTY PLEASE! set up an appointment to get together. Resist the temptation! Fake a stomach cramp, and when you're bent over, moaning and wailing, lick your palms. Or act like you no longer speak’a the English. Or that – whoops! - you keep accidentally hitting the kill switch on your new cell phone. Something! Because if you make an appointment it will be like s 20-ton anchor tied around your neck, pulling you down and dragging you to the bottom of the sea while the SS Fun & Easy goes sailing by to points of adventure and awesomeness. Inevitably you will see things that you want to just stop and check out and you likely won’t be anywhere near the right booth when the time comes. Or you’ll be in the midst of an awesome demo, and this appointment will be hanging over your head like some dreadful ticking time bomb. Also, if you make an appointment people will want like 30-45 minutes of your time and that is just far too much time to promise!


…miss out on training.


Have a technical question that has been eating into your mind like that bug in Star Trek II? Have a problem that no one else seems to know the answer too? Have a job coming up that you’re not quite sure which component to use? Or just want to strengthen your core knowledge of acoustics, networking, HDMI distribution, home theater design, automation and integration and more? If knowledge is your jam, then CEDIA is the place to get your training on. It’s the place where you can tap into the great fountain of knowledge and benefit from someone else’s many years of both success and failures. Expo is also the place to talk to that one elusive guy that seems to work at every company – but that is impossible to actually get on the phone or send an email to - that has the answer to every arcane tech question known to man. Expo is a chance to find that guy like a tech obsessed Javert and download his knowledge.


…be THAT GUY in class.


I’m sure that you’re smart. I’m sure that you know everything there is to know about everything ever. And I’m sure that you love to show off this knowledge. But no where do you love to do this more than when you’re in public surrounded by your peers. But please - and I’m speaking for the industry as a whole here - please resist the urge to play “stump the professor” in a training class. Honestly, we don’t care about the one time that you ran a Cat5 cable 101 meters and it still worked perfectly. Or how you found that bouncing WiFi off the mylar lining on a roof improved the parabolic response of the antenna. Or that you found that the Spectrometer 123XYZ doesn’t measure accurately at .0001 Lux. Or that you memorized Pi out to the 37th digit to more accurately calibrate room modes. Honestly. We don’t. In fact, when you start being that guy, and you hear that group moan rising up in the room all around you? Yeah. That’s a piece of our collective soul that died. Please, don’t kill our soul.


…grab every piece of literature you see.


My first CEDIA my co-workers called me the pack mule. That’s because I grabbed every brochure, flyer, and color slick from every booth I visited. “Oh! Your entire ‘2014 Every Widget & Part’ super catalog?! Might need that for later. Better grab two!” First off, you’ll give yourself a hernia, blow out a hammy, or get the arthritis lugging all that stuff around. Second, good luck packing it all up to take back home on the plane. And third, chances are you’re never going to look at it again. If you are really interested in something, ask if they will scan your badge and mail you information after the show or see if the information is available on a USB drive or something.


…walk around in a vacuum.


Where else can you go where you are surrounded by thousands of people that love technology every bit as much as you do? By people that understand your joke that ends with the punchline, “...because it was terminated to 568-B! DASH…B! BWA-HA-HA!”? Or by people that also know the unique feeling of a 900-degree soldering iron gently kissing their fingertip?!Or what it is like to hold a flashlight in your mouth while lying contorted in a cabinet and trying to reconnect something by feel alone? These are your people! Embrace them! While you are milling around, or grabbing lunch, or waiting in a demo line, or sipping on a delicious #craftbeer at the Legrand booth, ask those around you about their market, their company and what they’ve seen at the Expo that is cool. You might not only find out about something you missed, you might make a new friend! #BroHug


…wear new shoes.


There is a time and place to break in that brand new pair of sweet-looking and stylin’ kicks. When you throw those bad boys on, the ladies can tell by the way you use your walk, you're an Expo man, no time to talk. But Expo is no place to break in those moccasins, son. That’s because the Expo is a time when you will be doing *a lot* of walking. Like Trail of Tears level walking. Walking to the Expo. Walking all day at the Expo. Walking to dinner after the Expo. Then just randomly walking around for walking’s sake. This is a time to wear shoes that are tried and true; shoes that have become great and well-traveled friends with your feet over many previous steps. Don’t be a hero, take the comfortable shoes with you.


…party too hard.


I came up with a motto that has served me well in tradeshows and in life after attending a few CES shows. That motto is: “The next morning, you’ll never regret the drink you didn’t have.” There are a lot of events that offer open bars or open kegs or open shots or other ways to encourage you to enjoy copious amounts of free booze. Try to pace yourself and don’t feel like just cause it’s free you have to drink it all. If you hop around to a few events and have even a single drink at each one you could be hating it the next day. Try holding something in your hand – you know, so you look cool – and then nurse on it for a while.


…miss a Dolby Atmos demo.


I believe that Atmos will be the next big thing in home theater audio. Specifically I wrote, “Atmos represents the most significant upgrade in home theater audio ported directly from the commercial cinema since Dolby Surround EX was introduced back in 1999 with Star Wars: Episode One: The Phantom Menace. All other additions of height and width channels since them have been matrixed signals derived by the processor with no commercial counterpart or support, meaning there was never a theater mix to experience. This makes Atmos the first really saleable major home theater audio upgrade to come along in 15 years!” (More on my first impressions of listening to Atmos here.) Your customers are going to hear about Atmos and wonder what it is. You’re going to need to be ready to wire and install an Atmos-enabled system. At Expo you will have numerous opportunities to learn about and experience Dolby Atmos. Don’t blow it.


…forget to download the CEDIA EXPO ‘14 App.


The Expo moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. And there’s no better way to virtually look around than by downloading and using the free CEDIA Expo app! Use this digital concierge to keep up with the breaking news, exhibitor info and locations, events happening at Expo and local places to explore while in Denver. I used the handy “Locate Me” feature numerous times during last year’s Expo to help figure out where I was and how best to get to where I wanted to be. And all this free power fits right in the palm of your hand. And the best thing? No in-app purchases!


…miss the EXPO!


The CEDIA Expo is the premier event of the entire year for custom installers, so the number one biggest mistake you can make would be to miss out on the EXPO! I missed one back in 1999 and I’m still smarting from it! Will HDTV catch on?! Who will win the war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD?! I might never find out! Get yourself to Expo to make sure you don’t miss out on the next big thing!

Categories: September 2014, CES/CEDIA, Top 10 List

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