The Big Interview: Educating Designers

Architects and designers are important influencers and specifiers for CEDIA members. Manojkumar Soni from AV4U explains how his company is educating and building relationships with this audience. 
Why is educating architects and interior designers significant for your business?
Architects and interior designers are the most important stakeholders in any residential project. Most of the clients listen to them, so we want them to be well connected with our company and, through CPD training, they start respecting our company as one of the best in the industry. 
How many times have you delivered the CEDIA CPD to an architect or interior design practice?
We have delivered four CPDs now and have plans to be more aggressive in presenting the course to more and more influencers.
What is the reaction from architects and designers when you approach them about CPD?
In the first instance, it is very difficult to get the opportunity to present the CPD, because architects and interior designers always assume that they are already up to date with their education. However, we are successful because we inform them that we are giving the most recent updates on Residential AV technology and it will be helpful to understand because it can add value to their projects. Once they hear what we have to say, they are very appreciative.  
How useful is the course in helping you build relationships with architects and interior designers?
It is extremely helpful. After presenting the course, and when we present the CPD certificate to the architect and their team, they feel very proud. We also have time to develop relationships with their entire team during the CPD session. By doing that, we have received more leads from mid-size architects and interior designers as well as from the teams at larger architectural firms.
What other CEDIA CPDs do you think would be attractive in helping you educate architects and interior designers?
The new home theatre CPD is very good. This type of specific CPD can give us better results. In future, specific CPDs on home automation and lighting could also be very useful.

How can other CEDIA members take advantage of the opportunity to educate architects and interior designers? 

This course will be offered by CEDIA in India in the coming months, and I would strongly recommend that CEDIA members take this training and become qualified to help spread the word about professional smart home in India.
CEDIA is in the process of establishing a relationship with the local Design Professional associations, such as the IIID, to work in conjunction with them giving their members insight into the lifestyle benefits integrated technology gives their clients & the importance of working with a trained professionals.