Recapping CEDIA Expo Virtual: A CE Pro Editors Roundtable

A quartet of editors from SSI sister publication CE Pro share initial impressions following the 3-day CEDIA Expo Virtual platform.

With the CEDIA Expo Virtual event now in books, a team of editors from SSI sister publication CE Pro hopped on Zoom (where else) to share their impressions on the latest episode of the CE Pro Podcast.

Jason Knott, Robert Archer, Andrew Nichols and Arlen Schweiger opened with some initial thoughts on the CEDIA Expo Virtual show, followed by some things they missed about in-person Expos vs. the Virtual platform (Nichols has yet to attend an in-person show, but Knott, Archer and Schweiger have attended well over 60+ combined).

CEDIA Expo Virtual Format Earns High Marks

While aspects such as high-performance theater demos, bumping into familiar industry colleagues and friends in the aisles and grabbing some show floor comfort food were missed, several attributes to CEDIA Expo Virtual worked out quite well.

With an audience that could hop around via their computers, the Tech Talk sessions generated attendance figures 5x of what a typical audience sitting at the back-of-hall Smart Stage might fetch, for instance. The keynotes also provided compelling guests and topics from big industry names and groups that included insights on how custom electronics is in high demand right now.

In fact, the entire CEDIA Education slate proved very well put together and deployed in the virtual format, with veteran instructors leading highly topical discussions, and a mix of recorded Zoom sessions with live Q&A in many cases providing fun interactivity for attendees.

Exhibitor Booths Brimming with Content

Meanwhile, the exhibitor booths proved very easy and convenient for the editors (and presumably attendees) to jump in and out of, watch recorded and live demos in many instances, find a wealth of new product literature and live chat with company representatives.

Each of the editors pointed to some notable booths in which manufacturers creatively took advantage of the format with live videos, offered virtual swag, unveiled new products and catered to hot industry trends. Watch the video above to find some of their favorites.

Lastly, we can’t help but offer kudos to all of the production that went into this year’s CEDIA Expo Virtual event on all fronts. It has been a difficult year, but many truly embraced the opportunity.

The show-ending virtual performance “concert” by the CE Pro All-Star Band (despite technical difficulties at the very end) that featured impressively remotely produced collaboration from band members, graphics team and A/V production, was a hit as the performance rolled through five videos and helped raise funds for CEDIA’s CEDIASTRONG initiative.

The 2021 CEDIA Expo is scheduled to be hosted in Indianapolis.


Arlen Schweiger is executive editor of CE Pro and former managing editor of sister publications Security Sales & Integration and Commercial Integrator. This article first appeared on CEPro.com.

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