As a custom integrator focused on state-of-the-art equipment and impeccable quality, observing CEDIA’s decline from one of the most forward-thinking trade shows for the automation industry to catering to a mass market, bottom-rung, do-it-yourself clientele is disappointing.
I can see how that might have come about. The trend toward inexpensive, do-it-yourself automation products has created a sizable market, and CEDIA has jumped on the bandwagon with exhibitors geared to low-end standalone solutions and installers that service that market. There’s money to be made.
Unfortunately, that’s not what we were trained for, certified for, or believe in. And it’s driven custom integrators, home and business automation experts like Connectrix away from the show. Exhibitors once touting quality, luxury automation brands and products have been replaced by DIY targeting the mass consumer and favouring “segregation” rather than “integration”. It doesn’t leave much to see, much to learn, or much to share with our discerning clients seeking superior function, fit and finish.
A recent article by Richard Stoerger, a founding member of CEDIA, echoed my sentiments in an eloquent way. The core mission of CEDIA is to serve the luxury, high-performance market and the professionals who serve it. That mission has been “overshadowed”, says Stoerger, by the move to mass adoption of integrated home and business automation technologies.
Stoerger clearly feels, as we do at Connectrix, that “luxury is timeless”. As in that quality stands the test of time – and technology. There’s room for everyone he believes, but “differentiation” – working at a level and to a standard that is uncompromised and automation solutions that are stunning in both form and function – is essential.
Custom integration embracing the most innovative, trusted, quality products permits our clients to live their lives how, where, and in any way they wish. It provides the most sophisticated technology – simply, at the touch of a button. And it enables companies like Connectrix to seamlessly ‘automate their imaginations’. You just can’t get that with DIY.
So for Connectrix, we’ll focus our training and seek innovation elsewhere, like INFOCOMM – at least for 2017.
Here’s hoping you find your way CEDIA, and your relevance again.