CEDIA Sells Ownership of CEDIA Trade Show to Emerald Expositions

Emerald Expositions is the largest trade show operator in the U.S.

Editor’s Note: The following story first ran in Security Sales & Integration’s sister publication CE Pro.

CEDIA has sold ownership of its annual trade show to Emerald Expositions for an undisclosed sum. The event, formerly known as the CEDIA Expo and renamed last year as simply CEDIA, drew 18,752 trade professionals and 503 exhibitors last year.

The association will retain ownership and control of the educational programming at the event, and will work deeply with Emerald on the overall direction and focus of the event.

Emerald Expositions is an operator of business-to-business trade shows in the United States, producing more than 50 trade shows, and more than 100 events in total per year, connecting hundreds of thousands of buyers and sellers across multiple industry sectors, including Gift, Home & General Merchandise; Sports; Design & Construction; Technology; and Jewelry. Emerald is headquartered in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. The company’s shows are typically the most prominent and important for exhibitors and attendees within their various industries.

The CEDIA event is in its 28th year. The association retains its co-ownership of Integrated Systems Europe with InfoComm. CEDIA staff will continue to run the 2017 event, slated for September 5-9 in San Diego.

“The show is going to be bigger, better and more fun,” exclaims Vin Bruno, CEDIA CEO. “I am charged up with enthusiasm.”

Bruno says Emerald Expositions approached CEDIA with an unsolicited offer right after the 2016 event in Dallas. He says the association, which has 41 people on staff in Indianapolis and 10 in England, has no intention of eliminating personnel. He says some of the team will have to re-invent themselves in other positions however post-sale.

Bruno notes both the marketing and events teams at CEDIA are the “right-sized” based on the association’s needs, not including the work they do for the giant show. Now the marketing team will be freed up to focus on consumer awareness and workforce development, the two most-pressing industry needs.

“I would lose my marketing team for nine months [while they worked on the show.] They will now be free from the burden of the show,” he quips.

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For the events team, Bruno foresees taking the CEDIA Boot Camps on the road and expanding the educational opportunities even more, especially the association’s popular rack-building and networking courses.

“CEDIA first and foremost serves its members, and as home technology continues to proliferate, our members need comprehensive tools, resources, and support to assert their position as the single point of contact for technology in the home. Emerald acquiring and consequently taking over the operational responsibilities of the show will allow CEDIA to reallocate staff to develop programs and initiatives that will drive member success across the board,” says Bruno.

Focus Resources on Education

CEDIA Chairman Dennis Erskine adds, “More than half of the CEDIA professional staff spends the majority of their time annually preparing for the show; as the board and CEDIA leadership considered Emerald’s offer, we saw this as an incredible opportunity to concentrate on bolstering the year-round CEDIA member experience.”

Bruno continues, “With the resources we will now have available, CEDIA will seek to address the most important needs of our members: workforce development, education delivered more conveniently to members, consumer awareness, industry outreach, and providing more robust digital tools that will drive business to CEDIA members. At the same time, Emerald will bring considerable expertise, energy and fresh ideas to the show, helping to improve the experience for all participants in the years ahead. The future is bright for CEDIA members and the show.”

David Loechner, president and CEO, Emerald Expositions, says, “We are excited to add the CEDIA show to our portfolio. It is very successful with a rich history, which is a testament to the CEDIA organization and its members. I am confident that the combination of Emerald’s deep experience, professional capabilities, and unrivaled scale in operating trade shows, together with CEDIA’s clear vision, market affinity, and preeminent educational content will propel the show forward for the benefit of the entire industry.”

2017 Transitional Year

2017 will be a transitional year operationally as CEDIA will continue to manage many facets of the show, working alongside the Emerald team. Beyond 2017, Emerald will be responsible for all operational aspects of the show excluding educational programming and the CEDIA Awards event.

Emerald has deep knowledge of the trade show business as the largest show operator in the United States. They run shows in numerous industry sectors, including gift, home and general merchandise, sports, design, construction and technology.

One of Emerald’s big shows is the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) show. Bruno sees possible crossover between both the audiences and the vendors of that show and CEDIA, which helps expand IoT and technology to new audiences.

“The show is going to be bigger, better and more fun.”
Vin Bruno, CEDIA

“CEDIA will continue to be incredibly involved with the direction of the show to ensure that it continues to be our industry’s leading trade event. It won’t lose its character and will continue to be an amazing environment for networking and friendship. Whether an exhibitor or an attendee, your expectations will continue to be not only met, but exceeded,” says Bruno, who adds that Emerald Expositions will not be able to change the name of the event without CEDIA’s approval.

“Unless CEDIA changes its name, the show will be called ‘CEDIA’ in perpetuity,” says Bruno.

CEDIA members will continue to enjoy complimentary access to the show floor, special savings on all CEDIA education and training, and preferential access to hotel blocks based on join date. Exhibiting member companies will continue to enjoy savings on their booth space and accrue priority points for booth selection. The 2017 CEDIA show will take place September 5-9, with the tradeshow floor open September 7-9, in San Diego, with future show locations identified and space booked through 2023.

“The stage has been set for so many exciting opportunities for CEDIA to amplify the support we provide to our members. Our agreement with Emerald lets CEDIA concentrate on our members’ needs, while allowing a professional trade show company to deliver a premier trade show for all attendees,” says Bruno.

The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.


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About the Author


Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at [email protected]

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