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CEDIA Australia Act Like Wallies

Overseas and at other trade shows in Australia the common practise is for media to have access to executives prior to a show opening. In fact many show including the CES show in Las Vegas Communication Asia in Singapore and the E3 Gaming show all facilitate access to stands and new products being launched at a show prior to the event opening for the sole reason that once a show opens vendors often don’t have the time for media interviews because they are busy working on booths.

At this year’s CEDIA show which is the last on the Gold Coast ChannelNews was stopped from doing interviews with executives on the show floor. Instead we were told to come back at 10.00am by Steve Miller the General Manager of CEDIA Australia. When it was pointed out to him that all other major trade show operators actually facilitated access to products and executives from exhibiting Companies he said “This is CEDIA Australia this is the way we do it”.

He also admitted that CEDIA Australia had no media room or any media facilities that allow working journalists to file daily stories. 

As an organisation CEDIA has done a very poor job of attracting mainstream media to their events. In 2006 they appointed Sydney based Professional Public Relations only to sack them a few months after the CEDIA Expo.

Also at last year’s event very few technology media attended with the show now being moved to Sydney due to many vendors refusing to support the event because it is held in Surfers Paradise which is seen as a niche “boys club” location.
What CEDIA Australia fails to understand is that home automation technology is now mainstream and that media exposure is critical to both their members and the vendors attending the show.  To deliberately stop media from having access to vendors and new products prior to a show is just plain stupid and indicative of the armature way in which CEDIA Australia is operating.

Right now CEDIA Australia primarily exists on the revenues generated from their EXPO and during the past few years they have struggled to attract not only the big brands but smaller vendors who are finding it cheaper to direct sell their customers with sales calls and email and media marketing.

 

I have attended the last 12 CES shows in Las Vegas and prior to that COMDEX as well as several other major technology shows such as COMPUTEX in Taiwan. At every show organisers bend over backwards to work with the media and the promotion of vendor’s products and their people to the wide audience that a media organisation can deliver. Not when a show opens but days prior. We get media lists of new products being launched as well as lists of key executives attending a show.
What do you get from CEDIA Australia nothing which is why the organisation is struggling to grow in a market that will grow 36% this year.