From the Archives: The First CEDIA Conference

Apr 28, 2014

Part of our look back at the first 25 years of CEDIA.

Back in 1989, a few innovative professionals got together and formulated a plan to help define and develop a new and growing industry. They called themselves “custom installers” and saw that their common interests were as yet unmet and unrepresented by a niche professional organization.

That group of industry professionals decided to develop not only an organization that would represent their professional interests but also an event where they, their peers, and their suppliers could meet to share best practices and do business. The organization would become known as the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA), and the event would come to be called CEDIA EXPO.

Throughout 2014, we’ll be taking a look back over the past 25 years of CEDIA history. Today, we begin with a throwback to November/December 1990 newsletter looking back at the success of the first CEDIA conference.

[click to enlarge]

CEDIA November-December 1990 Newsletter

Front page story:

CEDIA Conference Above Expectations
printed with permission from TWICE Magazine
Oct. 29-Nov. 2 1990 pg 42 THIS WEEK IN AUDIO

An overflow crowd of more than 500 people, including 250 installers and designers from all over the country, along with representatives from 44 exhibitor suppliers, squeezed their way into the first-ever Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) conference at the Amelia Island resort in Jacksonville, Fl earlier this month. The conference is believed to have been the largest gathering of custom installers and, according to Tom Doherty, CEDIA president, it represents the growing importance of the custom install market.

“It was way above expectations,” says Doherty. “We thought we’d have 200 people, and that would have been the largest gathering of custom installers to share information. To have this kind of turnout… I think everyone is pleased, installers and manufacturers alike.”

Each of the first three seminars held on the opening day of the show attracted a standing-room crowd of more than 260 people, which included both attendees and exhibitors. A total of 24 seminars were held on a variety of subjects over the three-day get-together. “I couldn’t afford not to be here,” said one Sarasota installer.

The conference featured seminars on home automation, custom rear projection construction, selling boardroom systems, video distribution and IR control, and a panel discussion on home theater involving representatives of Lucasfilm, Dolby, Shure and AVI. The three-day conference was split into one day for business seminars, followed by two days of technical talks, workshops and panel discussions, mostly involving representatives from hardware manufacturers, such as Audioaccess, Audio Ease, Carver, Sonance, Harman Kardon, JBL, and Luxman, among others.

An exhibit area with tabletop displays enabled manufacturers to display new products, many presented to installers for the first time. Sony, for example, shipped its entire house display to the Florida resort to showcase its Digital Transfer System.

“It’s amazing,” says Brad Kibble, national sales and marketing manager for consumer integrated systems at Sony. “It’s a real good turnout. People have come here to learn and to share.”

See the full newsletter here (PDF).



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

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