CEDIA Expo 2021 Stages Successful Event Bolstered by Expanded Influencer Program
CEDIA Expo, the leading trade event in smart home technology, joined the list of other shows that returned to an in-person format this year, pulling off a safe and impactful event that was amplified by a successful influencer program.
Held at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Sept. 1-3, CEDIA Expo 2021, produced by Emerald, brought residential technology integrators, designers and trade professionals together face-to-face for the first time in two years to connect and discuss topics within the industry.
“For the return of this year’s in-person show, we selected a powerful group of smart home and integrated technology influencers to join our network and help spread the word about the great content, news and show insights at CEDIA Expo 2021,” said Jason McGraw, group vice president of CEDIA Expo and KBIS.
The expanded CEDIA Expo influencer network was designed to bring enthusiastic and impactful industry experts to the forefront of the show experience and leverage their expertise to expand its audience and amplify show programming and CEDIA offerings on social media and in the community at large, not only at for the expo but year-round. Representing a broad spectrum of industry experience, the influencer network encompasses professionals such as technology integrators, product development experts and brand representatives.
The influencer program was soft-launched in the period leading into the 2020 show, which pivoted to a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Leading into the 2021 show experience, CEDIA leveraged its existing group and invited some strategic additions to the table. Though many of the influencers were unable to attend the show, they were all able to provide support pre-show by driving registration and helping to build momentum for the show.
The influencer network was highly engaged during the show, participating in testimonial videos as well as social sharing, and CEDIA placed several of them into its Smart Stage and Innovation Hub programming, as well as its Virtual Media Tour.
Overall, the influencer network was a positive new program that has been added to the show, according to McGraw, and CEDIA continues to have several influential industry professionals reaching out to participate in 2022.
The program has also been beneficial for influencers.
“Being part of this group gives me greater access to the home technology community, and I get insider access to the newest technology and events,” said Jiles McCoy, CEDIA Expo influencer and founder and operator of Fanatics Media. “The relationships that result from being a part of this group will help propel my business forward while supporting the brands and technologies I love.”
CEDIA Expo 2021 by the Numbers
This year’s show hosted 82 exhibitors and 1,400 attendees, with 42% being final decision makers holding the title of president, owner, partner or CEO. The CEDIA Expo Matchmaking app facilitated connections before, during and after the show.
“Although this was not the show we had originally planned, we adjusted and came together to put on a solid event.” McGraw said. “While all of our community was not able to participate with us this year, we were pleased to stage a safe event that was meaningful and informative for those who participated.”
He added, “This year’s show provided the first opportunity in two years for attendees and exhibitors to spend quality time building relationships face to face.”
The expo delivered a combination of on-site and on-demand programming, and the combined Smart Stage/Innovation Hub featured dozens of talks, case studies and thought leadership programming.
CEDIA Expo 2021 highlights included:
- Representatives from strategic partner IMCCA spoke about the emerging and growing work-from-home technology segment.
- CE Pro presented their product and project awards recognizing Spatial Inc. for their real-time, interactive, immersive audio solution and Blackdove for their digital art system.
- CEDIA’s keynote speaker Poppy Crum, PhD, chief scientist at Dolby Laboratories, spoke on the topic of storytelling and the role our brains play in connecting, differently.
- The TechStarter program celebrated innovator Guard Dog as the 2021 TechStarter winner.
CEDIA Expo 2022 will take place in Dallas, Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The exact venue will be announced in 2022.