CEDIA 2022 Takeaways from an Industry Newbie
When working for a fast-paced, innovative company like Josh.ai, sometimes it is hard to get out of our own bubble due to the sheer amount of priorities we are trying to balance at a given time. CEDIA Expo was the first time I was formally introduced to our manufacturer partners, dealers, and even a few clients. It was an eye-opening experience for me to see the excitement from our industry peers and to fully grasp how our team is pushing the bar of what is possible in the smart home.
After a few busy days in Dallas, here are some takeaways from my first professional conference and some advice I wish I had heard before the show started.
I was told before the trip that I would be overwhelmed on the first day, and I can confirm that this was not an exaggeration.
I work on our Business Development team, focusing on our marketing efforts and general communications, so I know the Josh differentiators inside and out. However, I found that when being put on the spot on the first day of CEDIA, it was a challenge cohesively putting together an elevator pitch that hit all of the right angles to get dealers excited. After my experience in Dallas, I saw what features made people’s eyes light up and lead to wow moments. Over the course of three days of giving our pitch hundreds of times, I gradually got more comfortable reading the crowd and effectively educating Josh’s value.
New and seasoned professionals may struggle with the idea of being thrown into an event that is foreign, somewhat intimidating, and mentally and physically taxing. My recommendation for going to a conference or any networking event where they may feel uncomfortable is to embrace that discomfort. It is particularly hard to grow and develop when you keep yourself in a comfortable position. On the other hand, it is quite easy to grow when you are uncomfortable, as your body and mind will force you to adapt to the situation you find yourself in.
With any event such as CEDIA or a major multi-day conference, it is essential to make sure you are hydrated, fed, and rested. The worst possible thing you can do is show up tired, dehydrated, and malnourished. When going into a high-energy environment that forces you to talk, move, and engage constantly, you need to have your body in order.
I knew all these things coming into the show. However, this doesn’t mean that it was easy to stay on top of taking care of myself. On the first day, I was immersed in conversations with integrators and manufacturing partners, and did not realize until the end of the day that I had gone 8 hours and only eaten a protein bar.
It made sense why I felt so exhausted and overwhelmed by 3 pm, I was drinking plenty of water, but you also need your fuel. I made it a goal to take some time for myself the next two days to sit down and have an actual breakfast and lunch. This not only made a massive impact on my energy levels, but also on my ability to properly stay engaged with dealers and show the level of enthusiasm that I felt about Josh.
My favorite part about coming to CEDIA, other than being able to feel the palpable excitement surrounding the Josh booth, was the ability to learn more about everyone else in our industry. When pinpointing how to position your brand amongst your partners and peers, it is crucial to understand what makes your product special.
Learning about other companies’ product offerings helped me better understand how Josh differentiates itself from mass-market competitors as well as how we provide value to integrators and, ultimately, clients.
It was fun learning a ton about the industry and seeing some jaw-dropping tech when walking the show floor; 200”+ TVs, ultra-realistic driving simulators, stunning speaker systems, and more. However, my favorite booths were selling high-tech massage chairs and when I needed a quick 10-minute break, I just stopped by one of these for a quick massage.
Overall, my first CEDIA was everything I could have asked for. I got to experience the raw reaction to Josh in person rather than over email chains or social media. This was my first industry adventure and it invigorated my excitement for Josh and has me enthusiastic about what our future holds!
Please feel free to reach out to me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org for any Josh.ai marketing inquiries you may have!
This article was written by Max Fiore, a Josh.ai Business Development team member. Originally from Connecticut, Max graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder, Leeds School of Business with a degree in Business Administration emphasizing in Marketing.