The 18th CEDIA Expo kicks off in Brisbane this week with several big brands giving the show a miss because of what is being described as the “Sparky” syndrome.Brands such as Panasonic, Pioneer, Samsung, LG and Yamaha are all no shows with one long time exhibitor, Pioneer claiming that the show is now attracting more electricians than dedicated audio visual and specialist installers.
Tony Trent, National Marketing and Product Planning Manager at Pioneer Electronics said recently “We are not in the show despite many years of support. What we have found is that the show is now attracting a lot of new visitors that are primarily electricians who have moved into the automation market. They do not understand Hi Fi or the attachment of devices to a home entertainment network. We are now reaching those specialists directly”.
A Panasonic executive said “It is not our market anymore the show is more about electricians that AV professionals”.
Len Wallis a CEDIA board member and CEO of Len Wallis Audio said “The numbers at the CEDIA show are up and yes there is an increase in electricians attending the show. I suspect that they have moved into the specialist market because they have in the past worked alongside the traditional installer and believe that they can do the same job”.
A former CEDIA board member in Australia said “There is now a lot of sparkies moving into the automation business, you can blame Clipsal and Dynalite for this. All that an electrician knows is how to pull cable terminate and connect a C Bus lighting system. When it comes to quality sound and vision they are lacking the skills to do a job properly”.
Steve Miller the General Manager of CEDIA said “There is definitely more electricians moving into the traditional CEDIA market, they are normally small electricians who employ four or five people. They now how to pull cable and connect an automated lighting system but not necessarily connect a home theatre system” he said.
“What we have noticed is an increase in electricians attending the home theatre and AV education courses. They are trying to learn and this is a good thing. The electrician thought they could do the entire job and there has been some shockers, now they are working on getting the skill sets they need. This has resulted in a shrinking of the traditional installer who employed an electrician to pull the cables while they managed the entire job including the home theatre and AV side”.
The CEDIA Expo which starts tomorrow at the Brisbane Convention Centre has in the past attracted the follow mix of attendees.
Some of the key attendee statistics from CEDIA Expo in 2011
· Overall Visitation (including Design BUILD attendees): 9,585
· 13% Member, 87% Non-Members
· 45% Attendees never been to a CEDIA Expo before
· 35% Key Industry Partners
· Business Activity: 44% predominantly Residential, 34% predominantly Commercial, 22% Residential and Commercial.