Really? You wrote a blog about "relationships"? Who are you, Dr. Phil?
Well no, I'm not Dr. Phil, and I didn't even stay in a Holiday Inn last night, but YES I wrote a blog about "relationships"! You know why? Because over the past few days I've been spending a lot of time thinking about the upcoming CEDIA EXPO
You see, I've got a really busy next two months, and the common sense scheduling side of me will attempt to tell me on occasion that I just can't dedicate the time to attend our beloved CEDIA EXPO this year. That we've got too much going on and too many deadlines. And yet I always shut that side of my brain down and remind it: We can't afford to NOT to go to CEDIA EXPO. It’s the most important event of the year for our residential and light-commercial business.
As most of you know, I'm a big proponent of tradeshows. (Check out my “Don’t kill the tradeshow!” blog.
) For all my minor complaining about show-floor food and sore feet, I'm definitely in our tradeshow's corner. That's because attending a show like CEDIA allows you to develop relationships that you can't make anywhere else. On a show floor, you can develop so many relationships. You can develop a relationship with a piece of gear, a sales rep, a manufacturer, a fellow business owner or installer, or even with a city. Not only that, you can also break a relationship - which sounds bad, but sometimes can be good for business. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true.
I know, I had you then I lost you. Well, let me detail it for you! Think about the relationships we develop with our gear. Think back to the first time you fell in love with a receiver, a speaker, touch panel, or whatever gets you. I've seen guys almost come to blows debating brands on the floor. Crazy, right? But think about it: We develop serious relationships with our gear, and there’s no better place than the show floor to play with each one.
How often do we have phone/email relationships with our sales reps and manufacturers? One of the best things about CEDIA EXPO is how I can get all my people in one room, track them down in person, and press them for answers. Call me old-fashioned, but I can never truly know someone until I can shake their hand and look them in the eye. The floor allows us to develop these relationships with our suppliers. Even in our digital age, this is still an insanely important part of doing business.
On the flipside, being able to meet someone face-to-face and shake their hand may not end so well. Now you may say, "I don't want to talk about this,” but it’s the other side of doing business. Sometimes people don't click, and sometimes companies don't click. The floor is sometimes the only place where you can determine what works for your business.
Now on to my favorite part: Meeting fellow owners and installers! Having friends in this industry is extremely important to not only my business but also my enjoyment in this industry. As much as our biz is about tech and toys, it always comes down to people. I love meeting my #CEDIATweeps, #AVTweeps, and all the other great people in our industry. Where else would I be able to hang out with AV people from San Fran, Texas, Florida, South Carolina, New York, Boston, and everywhere else in between? Only at CEDIA!
I know you're going to be at CEDIA EXPO. I know you wouldn't miss it for the world. But if you're still on the fence, man up, cupcake! Let's go! Book your room, book a flight, book a car... just get here! You'll love it. Oh, and maybe we'll even be able to meet. Just tweet me @mattdscott
and make it happen. Looking forward to meeting you!
About Matt Scott
Matt D. Scott is President of OMEGA Audio Video and was a member of the 2012 and 2013 #CEDIATweeps social media teams. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattDScott.