I had considered it earlier, but after chewing on it - I'm not going to do a gadget round up, there's literally a *gajillion* far more talented people who are professional writers who are way better at presenting that information to you than me, so for that stuff, please head over to their webpages and blogs...
(No really, go ahead, it's cool...I can wait, I'll leave the door unlocked for when you come back....)
Ok, so now that you've gotten your fill of shiny gadgetry, and excellent interviews and youtube videos and new acronyms that even I have a hard time keeping up with, I'm going to throw down the thoughts and impressions I took away from attending CEDIA Expo 2011. Keep in mind these are my personal opinions and there's varying (and more to the point just as valid) experiences others might have that are either in concert with mine or totally 180 degrees out of phase..
When I first started my game plan for how to approach my return to CEDIA (which you can find here) , I was primarily fixated on road maps, on where we were in the hardware vs. "it's all in the cloud" approach and I let myself get a little sidetracked about the gadgetry trap to a degree.
I show up to CEDIA prepared to scope out which companies I think are about to unknowingly clomp into their own La Brea Tar Pit of Obsolescence and I walked away (again) shaking my head that sure enough, once again it's not them that "doesn't get it", it's me....
I was focused on the parts, the cogs and whozits and whatzits of what I do, In the past few years I got spec happy again and my absence pointed out one thing that I had veered away from that I was completely oblivious to:
I'm still in the people business...
Now as totally cliche and lame as it sounds, I know it's so passé to fess up to it, especially in the days of analytics and quantifying relationship metrics as compared to sales and blah blah blah, as a small business owner, this is what not only works for me but get this, it's at the root of
what makes me happy...
I'm at peace with the fact now that I'm not going to launch some gargantuan firm or revolutionize the industry, and you know what? I'm ok with that.... like REALLY ok, because in some small measure, apart from the most important parts of my life (my wife and kids) I got back in touch with my bliss from a career perspective: and that's just the simple act of being professionally aligned with people I like.
I'm naming names...
Now the cardinal rule of anytime you put something down in writing is be careful naming names... well this time I'm going to chuck that rule out the window because these are some people who I am very glad to now know and more to the point I think they're people that represent some of the best of what the industry offers.
No one prompted me to do this, and for the most part there's no upside for me taking this approach and if being authentic in my appreciation means being seen by ones who don't know me as disingenuous, then I'm willing to risk it.
Keep in mind, that these people have no active vested interest in me, in fact I just met most of them - I'm not an "industry guy" nor can I get them put to the front of the line in publications or promote to my significant following of at least dozens of people (ok, if you take out my wife, my family, my mom & dad in law - maybe my dozen of followers), heck as far as I know, knowing me could get you sent to the Phantom Zone for your very own General Zod type of banishment.
Again, keep in mind this is *MY LIST* and there's a lot more people I've left off this list than on it, and if I forgot to broadcast how cool you are and
the impact you made on me.... my bad, and I'll get you on the flip side...
1) The people - Manufacturers
2) The people - Custom Installers aka ESC's
3) The people - Affiliated trades - Press, PR, Marketing, Consultants
So there you go….
Next up: ESCR099 - The CEDIA Expo Social Media Forum aka "What I learned about Social Media, and the things I’ve been doing wrong…"