Locally based CEDIA sells massive electronics trade show

Indianapolis-based Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association has sold its annual trade showthe nation’s biggest exposition geared toward installers of home electronic equipmentto San Juan Capistrano, California-based Emerald Expositions, just south of Los Angeles.

The show, known as the CEDIA Expo, is scheduled to take place in Indianapolis in 2021, and Visit Indy officials say they are bidding to host the 2024 show. The 2021 event is expected to have an economic impact of $25 million, which would likely place it among the 10 biggest conventions Indianapolis hosts that year.

“We don’t foresee any changes to the CEDIA show moving into the future based on the sale,” said Visit Indy Vice President Chris Gahl. “The organization is still headquartered in Indy, so our continuity remains.”

Indianapolis has already hosted the show, which takes up the entire Indiana Convention Center and most of the hotel rooms downtown and hundreds more in the suburbs, from 1999-2001, 2003-2005 and 2011-2012.

CEDIA officials said in a written statement that they “will continue to be deeply involved in the show, working hand-in-hand with Emerald on overall show direction, as well as retaining control and ownership of all educational programming.”

CEDIA’s continued involvement “bodes well for Indianapolis’ chances to win future shows,” a meeting planner told IBJ.

This year’s show in San Diego Sept. 5-9—according to a statement from CEDIA—will be jointly run by CEDIA and Emerald, which, according to industry sources, is the largest trade show operator in the nation. Next year’s show also will be in San Diego before moving to Denver for a two-year run, then returning to Indianapolis in 2021. 

The name of the show will remain the same, CEDIA officials said in a statement. Though officials didn’t return calls seeking comment, sources familiar with the organization’s plans said CEDIA intends to keep its 40 or so local employees in Indianapolis.

“Emerald acquiring and consequently taking over the operational responsibilities of the show will allow CEDIA to reallocate staff resources to programs and initiatives that will drive member success across the board,” CEDIA CEO Vin Bruno said in a written statement.

Bruno told trade publication CE Pro that the association has no intention of eliminating personnel and that the team will “reinvent themselves in other positions” after the sale is complete. “I would lose my marketing team for nine months [while they worked on the show]. They will now be free from the burden of the show.” 

Bruno said the sale will allow CEDIA to focus on continuing-education efforts—among other things—for its members. Terms of the sale were undisclosed.

“We need to become the association that our members need us to be,” Bruno told Strata-gee.com, a website covering the electronics industry. “We will become the pre-eminent provider of residential technology curriculum to high schools, vocational schools, technical schools, junior colleges, community colleges and universities. That’s where we are. I know we have a multimillion-dollar portfolio of technology curriculum.”

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