CEDIA recently hosted its inaugural CEDIA Tech Forum, a two-day event in London which provided attendees with knowledge, insight and networking opportunities.  

Event sponsors, AWE, Crestron, Future Automation, Habitech, HDanywhere, Invision, Leaf, Pulse Marketing, Savant Systems Europe and WyreStorm showcased their latest products over the course of the two days, while a selection also held product training on the first day. These sessions were well attended, with industry professionals learning about the latest technology developments. On the second day, CEDIA partnered with a number of sponsors and hosted two new workshops which covered 4K and HDMI, and the design and deployment of wireless technologies in the home. 

Over 90 members attended the AGM, where CEDIA offered a detailed review of the Association’s activities in the past 12 months. CEDIA revealed that 127 companies have joined the trade body in 2014 so far, bringing the total up to 650, its highest point ever for the region. While UK membership still remains strong, international membership has increased drastically, particularly in countries such as Indian, Italy, Poland, Russia and Sweden. CEDIA EMEA now includes 41 countries in total.

In 2014, CEDIA invested in its team by introducing a number of new staff members to ensure all aspects of membership are covered. Alex Brownhill joined as Membership Development Officer while Simon Buddle came on board as Education Director. Steve Carter also joined the CEDIA team this year and has since been out on the road visiting UK members up and down the country.

CEDIA explained that resources have been a priority this year and have introduced ten new white papers, some of which have been translated into Italian and French. An impressive total of 900 white papers have been downloaded this year. Its Recommended Wiring Guidelines, which is currently being updated, still remains the most popular resource, with over 2,702 copies downloaded.  

More than 650 CPD courses have been presented to architects in 2014. This includes presentations from those CEDIA members who have qualified to present the “Designing Integrated future-ready homes” CPD.  Industry specific training has also remained strong, with around 104 training courses being held in the last twelve months.

CEDIA focussed on its branding this year by redesigning its trade website – www.cedia.co.uk to bring it in line with its international counterparts and consumer facing site. The association has also increased branding in consumer facing publications this year, with advertising and editorial content featuring in publications such as The Guardian, House Beautiful and Homebuilding & Renovating. 

The annual CEDIA Awards was the biggest and best it has ever been, with the scheme attracting over 150 impressive entries from 16 different countries.  A new online submission process was launched, making the entry process simpler. A record 320 guests attended the gala dinner in July. 

The AGM followed a special keynote from Maria Ingold, CEO of global tech consultancy, Mireality. With a great understanding of consumer technology, Maria shared her thoughts on how communications, audio, video, smart home, efficient energy and wearable tech are all combining to provide advancements in home technology and to life.  

Chris Pinder, Managing Director, HDanywhere
“This year’s AGM showed great progress for CEDIA and the new Tech Forum approach is certainly the way forward. I look forward to next year’s event, which I am sure will be better still.”

David Meyerowitz, Product Specialist, Invision
“We would like to thank everyone who attended the Tech Forum, as well as CEDIA for organising a great event. We had a sell-out attendance for both our LILIN IP Surveillance seminar and Luxul WIFI workshop.”

Neil Howes, UK Sales Director, Savant
Having technical forums for specific technologies was a great idea from CEDIA, specifically with 4K in mind. As we know this is a technology with many challenges ahead and it was good that CEDIA provided a platform for manufacturers and industry experts to speak openly and educate the industry on what to expect in the near future. It was also a good opportunity to meet up with colleagues in the industry who you would not normally get the chance to spend time with.

“At the AGM, we heard of some of the future plans of CEDIA and these look interesting. It is encouraging to see that the business is looking healthy from a financial standpoint. It is also enjoyable to hear the ideas and opinions of others who share the same passion for the industry. One of the highlights for me was seeing CEDIA committing to taking space at the UK Construction week next year.”

Barry Sheldrick, UK Sales Manager, Pulse Marketing
“The CEDIA Tech Forum has been incredibly useful for the industry. Pooling knowledge from key areas of our industry and presenting it in this forum style gives everyone a much greater insight into the challenges that we face. Everyone I spoke to really enjoyed the event and came away knowing a great deal more than they had previously about the future requirements for sending higher resolution video and 3D audio around their clients homes. 

“Events like these help to raise the standard of knowledge and competence in an ever changing technology environment.  If you didn’t attend this year, I’d encourage you to attend the next event.”

Hamish Neale, Director Sales & Marketing, Leaf
“The Tech Forum was an excellent event both for us as a sponsor, providing us with a platform to actively demonstrate our new range of products and prove the necessity of HDCP 2.2 compliant products within the new 4K Ultra HD ecosystem, but also an opportunity to provide hands on technical training on the second day.

The classes were well attended, the food was great and the inaugural Inside Out event on the Wednesday evening ensured plenty of networking opportunities.”

Giles Sutton, Director, James + Giles
“I was extremely impressed with the CEDIA Tech Forum this year. There was a good balance of courses including 4K, networking and future technologies. It was also a brilliant platform in which to meet manufacturers and other integrators. Events like this reinforce the role CEDIA has in bringing our industry together and the great relationships you can build with like-minded individuals.”