CEDIA Expo Virtual Experience, which covers the home technology industry, took place this year online from September 15 to 17. Programming included Keynotes and panel discussions on topics relevant to our membership.

For those of you who could not attend, we've put together a special edition of our newsletter with some highlights of presentations and discussions of particular interest to our members.

Thanks to Programs Chair Julie Schuster, NKBA, IFSG, CLIPP, for this special report!

Keynote Address

Economic, Societal, and Consumer Trends for a 21st Century Mindset

In Conversation with Linzi Boyd and

Darren Shirlaw

This September marked the kick-off of a bold event. That being a fully online CEDIA Expo. Normally held live in Denver, CO, this year, due to Coronavirus, it took on the dissemination of all of the important information via online speakers, discussions and virtual booth appointments.

This is innovative, even for an industry all about technology.

Today’s second keynote kick off offered a fascinating discussion with Linzi Boyd and Darren Shirlaw. Both are internationally recognized speakers in their own right but now are also partners in BoB Group, based in London.

They spoke about the economic and business climate that we can expect, for not only the rest of this year, but also the next 10 years, which they see as primed for massive growth and expansion. The 3 key points of the small business model they talked about:

  1. Purpose beyond profit as the new currency

  2. Legacy over Fame

  3. Giving back as well as making profit

Within this model are 3 trends to focus upon:

  1. Old model (Sales led) to new model (Speaking led). The focus should be on building the business from the top down rather than bottom up. The company mission matters most and is how you connect with your audience

  2. Business to People methodology (BtoP over BtoB or BtoC). Integrating with other like-minded companies and on multiple channels simultaneously

  3. Personal brand over Business brand:

  4. Google

  5. Social media

  6. Website

This was a fascinating discussion that left attendees with so much to think about.

Why System Integrators Should Partner with Home Design / Construction / Medical Professionals with the Living in Place Institute

Moderated by Doug Weinstein, Technology Insider Group

Panel: Dr. Monique Chabot, OT, Thomas Jefferson University; Christian Vives, A.B.E. Networks;

Jonas Carnemark, Carnemark Design + Build

This panel comprised an Occupational Therapist, a Technology Integrator, and a Design Build firm, addressing how coupling together makes for the very best project results for the client.

Dr Chabot consults mostly with elder patients in her practice, but she is very much on board with the Living In Place philosophy that takes into consideration everyone who may use the home rather than just the primary homeowners.

As an OT, Dr. Chabot feels that she’d love to be involved in the design process from the very beginning. By the nature of her area of work, she often gets details that may never be mentioned to the designer or the integrator. This allows for seamless integration of technology and provides the functionality that the clients need and want.

Jonas spoke about how living in place designs can be not only safe, accessible, and comfortable but also beautiful.

All three professionals spoke at length about how impactful voice control technology can be in truly changing the game for those with limited mobility, whether for the elder population or military veterans.

Christian addressed how having the stable of specialty professionals pulled together is the very best way to service your projects. Reaching out to the Living In Place Institute is a great place to begin looking for your network.

Having team members that are CLIPP certified is a great way to start off with the common language and have more seamless projects. These allow for the solutions that are applied to really be more client centered. Also, it’s a great way to stand out from the crowd from a marketing perspective of our different business models, as well.

Renovations are more and more looking at not only what matters today, but also how to create a “forever home.” What details are part of that discussion? How to add those details to every project, whether a bath renovation or a whole home, become part of the thought process when you have the ability to see through the Living In Place lens.

Jonas also spoke about not every project needs to be scaled for only the upper income clients. Many times he finds he can effectively work with more limited budget projects by creating the best canvas for more seamless retrofitting later, as needs arise.

Women in Consumer Technology 12th Annual (Virtual) CEDIA EXPO Luncheon

Moderated by Danielle Carr, Control 4

This virtual luncheon was sponsored by Connect Circles, a support group for women in the tech world, as a way of forwarding the discussion of bridging the gap between technology integrators and the design and architect realms.

What do integrators need to know to work with designers?

· They need to be less about selling and more about listening

· To include us into client meetings

· Great ways for designers to learn more and loop us into promoting product as we see client needs become part of the conversation

· Understand that we want things to LOOK GOOD!

· As well as perform well

· Help us to understand the practical applications of product—again loop us into promoting what we see as necessary

· Always respect that the designer asks questions that need real answers—delivered with respect and never dismissively

What do designers need to know to work with integrators?

· Designer needs to interview integrators to know who works the way they do

· Everything from billing to handling client meetings should be discussed and agreed ahead of any pitch meetings with clients

· There probably should be more than one integrator in your stable—depending on the type of product they are enthusiastic about and what the client is enthusiastic about

· Factoring technology into the design process makes for a much better end result for clients

· Allows for troubleshooting that can happen without client ever needing to be involved—making magic for clients!

Both Emerald and NKBA continue to foster the opportunities for the design community and the technology community to meet at events like CEDIA and discuss ways to improve the dialogue between them.

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