It's Volunteer Appreciation Week here at CEDIA®, and we're sharing some profiles of the folks who donate their time, energy, and passion to help improve our industry.
I AM CEDIA: Owen Maddock
CEDIA Volunteer Team: 2016 - 2017 Designing Home Cinemas and Media Rooms, CPD Writing Task Force, EMEA
What made you want to volunteer for CEDIA?
It was kind of a happy accident.I became a CEDIA Outreach Instructor in 2015 and straightaway I went out and gave the presentation to an architects' practice. When doing that I felt that the content itself was very good, but some aspects needed updating, and there should be more "script" to help newer members present effectively, as opposed to us seasoned old guys. So I sent the EMEA office a long email suggesting some changes and updates, and they put me on the CPD Working Group. Damn! But actually, it's been brilliant fun and a great learning experience.
What is your favorite CEDIA memory?
Being honored as a Finalist in the CEDIA Awards EMEA 2016 for one of our home technology projects -- that was in my first year as a CEDIA member. The Awards night itself at the Guildhall was just magical.
What would be your advice for new volunteers?
Get involved! Don't be scared to ask for help -- everyone wants to help. And don't feel like you don't know enough, even though that's always true. There are experts here, but they're on your side and will help you out. Actually, even experts often feel like they don't know enough.
The longstanding CEDIA volunteers and staff -- people like Guy Singleton, Geoff Meads, Simon Buddle and Peter Aylett -- of course they know more than some of us, but they're also busier with CEDIA work than we are. So we can contribute, and then the experts can gently correct us -- between us we've made something really good. That's quicker, it shares out the workload, and we end up with new content we can all use. CEDIA achieves more if we all do a bit. So don't be scared.
What is on your desk right now?
CEDIA Volunteering -- we're just doing the second draft of our new CPD about Home Cinemas and Media Rooms, which is really exciting. Last year the CPD Working Group all met up in London, where we set out the structure and the topics we wanted to cover, then towards the end of last year I put the initial draft together. Jenn from CEDIA sent that to some of the manufacturer and Home Technology Professional members for feedback -- that's been great and has really improved the document. Once we've re-drafted incorporating that feedback, the Graphics team will make it look good (that's definitely not in my skillset) and then Education will check it for acccuracy and apply a final polish, and sign it off. After all that, it goes to RIBA for accreditation.
Because this content is representing the whole industry we have to go through these processes to make sure it's accurate, impartial, and still a good engaging CPD that our Construction industry friends can enjoy and learn from. Cramming everything there is to know about home cinema into 45 minutes is hard!
Everything else: Right now at ConnectedWorks we have two large integration projects ongoing, one's a new-build house and one's a "rescue" and update of someone else's install -- they're finishing at the same time, and the pressure's on. That's pretty normal, but it's all hands on deck here, and then we have some new projects starting too. Finally, with all that spare time we have, there's a second venture in development. We can't quite talk about it yet, but it's all about cinema.
What has been your favorite part about volunteering for CEDIA?
There's this great spirit of collaboration. The CPD working group itself had some really knowledgeable industry experts on the team: Tom Butler from Artcoustic and Hamish Neale from Barco who are CEDIA board members; Giles Sutton lent us his showroom premises so we could meet up (and he contributed too), Barry Sheldrick of Meridian helped us out -- his team have created excellent new graphics to show some of the technical aspects in and easy, clear format. With that kind of help, putting the document together became straightforward.
Who are you following on social media?
There's loads; Twitter is my weakness. We have a lot of businesses and friends 'round Bristol, there's a lot of good food, coffee, and craft beer companies here and of course a busy construction industry; all the CEDIA team -- I get retweeted by Vin Bruno quite a bit which I think is just amazing -- we're this small company out in Bristol and the CEO of CEDIA retweets us. Then there's my other integrator friends, some of my favorite manufacturers, Julie Jacobson, and the guys from #liveinstall. The HDAnywhere guys are funny, and they're one of my favorite suppliers, they have awesome support.
If you were not working in this industry this you would be…
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
When I came back into CEDIA in 2015, I think it was Peter Aylett who said to me, "Get involved." So I did. And it's been great.