CEDIA has sold ownership of its annual trade show to Emerald Expositions for an undisclosed sum. The association will retain ownership and control of the educational programming at the event, and will work closely with Emerald on the overall direction and focus of the event.

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

UPDATE: Vin Bruno, CEDIA CEO issued a statement reassuring members in a blog post on the CEDIA Community page: “As you may have already seen, today CEDIA sold ownership of the CEDIA show to Emerald Expositions, the largest trade show organiser in the world.

“I wanted to take a moment to assure you that CEDIA will continue to be deeply involved with the show, working hand-in-hand with Emerald on show features and direction, and CEDIA will retain complete control and ownership of all educational programming. The CEDIA show will continue to be our industry’s premier trade event and CEDIA members will see the same benefits: Specifically, members will enjoy complimentary access to the show floor, special savings on all education and training, and preferential access to hotel blocks based on join date.

“Partnering with a professional tradeshow company brings several key benefits. First, Emerald has extensive expertise and will bring fresh ideas to the table that will help propel the show forward in new and exciting ways. Second, CEDIA will be able to truly concentrate on the year-round needs of our members. We are excited about the opportunity to re-allocate staff time and resources to develop those programs and initiatives that will drive success for our members beyond the show.

“At the top of our list: 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. The future of CEDIA and our show is very bright. Thank you for your support and for being part of our CEDIA family.”

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.

Vin notes that both the marketing and events teams at his organisation are the “right-size” based on the association’s needs, not including the work they do for the 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 adds.

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 us to reallocate staff to develop programs and initiatives that will drive member success across the board,” says Vin.

Focus Resources on Education


CEDIA Chairman Dennis Erskine adds: “More than half of the professional staff spend 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 member experience.”

Vin 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 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 members and the show.”

David Loechner, president and CEO, Emerald Expositions, says, “We are excited to add the show to our portfolio. It is very successful with a rich history, which is a testament to the CEDIA organisation 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. Vin sees possible crossover between both the audiences and the vendors of that show and CEDIA, which helps expand IoT and technology to new audiences.

“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 Vin, 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,” he states.

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 Vin.

The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed

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.

This article first appeared on CE Pro.

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