CEDIA 2005 Wrap-Up: 12 Things I've Learned
It's an amazing feeling, standing in the shower. The water flowing over you, revitalizing you, preparing you for the day ahead. Unless you've only gotten 6 hours of sleep in the last 56 hours. Then you stand there and think, "Did I just wash my hair? I know that I thought about washing my hair but I'm not sure if I did. In fact, I think I remember thinking about whether or not I washed my hair a few minutes ago. Did I wash my hair after that? Hmmmmm."
So, with incredibly clean hair, I headed downstairs for the morning breakfast with the gang. We all looked exhausted. We looked like espresso injected directly into our eyes couldn't keep them open for long. We had meetings scheduled between 8am and 10am , so at about 10:15 (guilt free) we piled into the rental car and headed out to the convention center.
We spent a large amount of time with Velodyne, Marantz, M ordaunt Short, and Denon before lunch. Shoe jokes abounded, but I wasn't left to post this time. I was sent out to hit some of the smaller companies that wouldn't sue the pants off us if I said the wrong thing. I think I did OK but only time will tell.
I looked at remotes, outdoor subwoofers, music servers, blah blah blah. They all kind of ran together. Except for this one speaker company. They really made a real impression. Was it their products? How the heck should I know, I couldn't get into their booth. Not because of the large number of attendees (of which there were quite a few) but because the staff were clogging the entrance. So how did they impress? Easy, they handed out deadly weapons . They looked like dental picks... large, sharp, metal dental picks. Check the news on M onday as jails in Indianapolis overflow with speaker designers from all over the world who were retained for trying to bring a deadly weapon onto a plane. This is how it'll go:
Security: "Sir, what is this in your carryon?"
"It's a promo item from speaker manufacturer X ."
Security: "What is it for?"
"I'm not sure."
Security: "What's it have to do with speakers?"
Security: "Sir, put your hands behind your back."
There is a good chance that innovations in home theater equipment design, installation, and sales will drop this quarter. Companies will scrabble to hire young blood straight from college for exorbitant salaries, and applications to mechanical and electrical engineering programs will skyrocket in response. Every company will introduce a new line of dental pick-compatible components. It'll be like the dotcom bubble all over again. Welcome to the revolution.
By the end of the day we were all so des troy ed that not only did we get lost on the way back to the hotel, but we didn't even realize it until we ended up in Whiteland (the name of the exit, not the mythical place where everything is so clean that you can wear white jeans for longer than five minutes without sitting in gum). Exiting the highway next to the trailer park/retailer (no joke) we ended up back at the convention center, the car ripe with finger pointing and blame. Posting continued late into the night (each night had gotten progressively later. If this conference lasted a week, then by the end, we'd be on the night shift).
CEDIA - Day 4 - Lessons learned
This is how I wake up:
Gene: "Oh, umm, I'm sorry, I got the wrong number."
Tom: "What do you want Gene?"
Gene: "Tom? I didn't ever recognize you! You still sleeping?"
Gene: "Well, hurry up and get downstairs, they stop serving breakfast in 30 minutes."
Tom: "Umm," contemplates going without breakfast, "OK."
Gene: "I can't believe you are still sleeping! I've already posted a bunch of stuff about Velodyne. You're a slacker!"
Tom: "Yes Gene, you ARE the ultimate Audioholic. You're the man. See you soon."
As I hang up the phone I hear, "Slacker! Slacker!"
Here are the 12 things I've learned from the CEDIA experience:
- Seinfeld was right. Rental car companies can TAKE reservations but not HOLD reservations.
- Don't talk to people on planes.
- Go to the bathroom before you are left guarding thousands of dollars worth of laptops... and shoes ... even if you don't think you have too.
- Driving fast doesn't necessarily mean you are going to get there fast.
- When a company provides products for reference systems, they want to see Gene or Clint, not you, no matter that it says Audioholic.com on your shirt.
- When booking a hotel, don't take the word of the staff that they are "near" the convention site - Mapquest it just in case.
- While a ton of work, covering a trade show about home theater is fricken cool.
- Marketing/PR people run the gamut from helpful and cool to backstabbing petty subcontractors for Satan.
- Sam Runco is pretty funny.
- Some large Canadian speaker companies like to build veritable fortresses in the middle of convention floors to ensure that no one but money-people (i.e. distributors and dealers) enter their booths.
- Sleep can always take a back seat to work, especially if you love what you do... or if what you are doing is making Gene laugh so hard his face turns red, tears shoot out of his eyes, and he insists on posting it even though his wife just called him back to their room for the third time in as many hours.
- One doesn't do what Gene and Clint do because they have to in order to make a living; they do it because they love it.
Oh, well, my CEDIA experience is over. I must say, in a strange, masochistic sort of way, I'm already counting the days to CES. Hmmmm... sleepless nights, new gear, blurry photos, and posts - lots of posts.