Don’t Let Time Punish You

Erin Couch
Jan 20, 2014

“Tiiiiime, why you punish me?”

Call me crazy, but it seems as though the guys in Hootie and the Blowfish had it right during that “gilded age” I like to call the 90s.

Time can be like a wave crashing into the shore. It can even leave you crying after washing away your dreams (see what I did, there?).

But joking (and Hootie) aside, have you ever let time get the best of you? Has it ever kept you from getting the recognition you deserve?

One of the biggest takeaways CEDIA has received about the Electronic Lifestyles® Awards is that time often gets in the way of project submissions.

Since project submissions for the awards opens February 3, here are some action items you should be doing now.

Pick Your Categories

Think about the projects you completed this year. Which ones are noteworthy? What makes them worthy of recognition? What challenges did you encounter? (Hint: these are some of the questions you’ll be asked when you start your entry.)

Think your project is too small? According to the 2012 CEDIA Benchmarking Survey, 88% of CEDIA members’ projects were under $20,000 in revenue. Last year we introduced a brand new category, 20k & Under, celebrating these types of projects.

Start Assembling the Equipment List

Each project entry requires an equipment list. Start on this part of the process now, as it is the most time consuming. The good news is once you start your entry, you can save it and come back to it at any time between February 3 and May 5.
Pro-Tip: Try using an Excel template to keep everything organized.

Excel template for equipment list

Decide on Photography

Here’s where you can really show the judges what you are working with. Photos tell the story of your project and can really make or break your entry. Here are a few tips we’ve developed over years of looking at awards photos:

  • Show racks plugged in and functional
  • Turn on all interior lights
  • Turn off ceiling fans and televisions
  • De-clutter and de-personalize the room
  • Use a tripod for steadiness
  • Take note of the required photos so you only have to go into the home once.
See more photography tips in this Slideshare presentation.

You may think hiring a professional photographer is an expense you don’t want to deal with, but investing the dollars into a professional is well worth it – quality photos give the judges a better understanding of the project and are more likely to be used and shared by press, social media users, and others.  

Don’t forget! All photos must be a minimum of 8” x 10” at 300 dpi. Check out the rest of the photo requirements.

Don’t let time punish your hard work, learn how you can participate and enter in this year’s Electronic Lifestyles® Awards…and why not listen to a little Hootie while you’re at it?

Erin Couch is CEDIA's Marketing Manager. She can be reached at ecouch@cedia.org.


  1. 2 Erin 19 Feb
    Vanja! Thank you so much. I just saw this (almost a month later) and it has made my day. Keep on, keeping on...you got this!
  2. 1 Vanja Thompson 20 Jan
    Erin, you  are a super cheerleader! Great piece. LOVE it. You've inspired me... but I need to read it again each time I think time is whooping my bootie.



CEDIA blog posts are intended to provide general information and should not be regarded as legal opinions or advice.

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