After several months of speculation, we finally know how much CEDIA was got for selling CEDIA Expo to Emerald Expositions: 36 million dollars! Yep, that amount of money seems insane compared to the amount of money CEDIA Expo generates every year, but discussing whether or not they overpaid is not the purpose of this article. I recommend you check the podcast episode of Resiweek #85 from AVNationTV where Matt D Scott, Tim Albright, and Joe Whitaker go into depths about that. What interests us are the two lessons we can learn from this exchange.
Lesson one: This should be great news for our industry and help to restore hope in all professionals who could be feeling a little lost right now. Globally our industry is not in danger, in fact it has never been so prosperous - it is just about to change. Some BIG companies like Emerald Exposition truly believe that our industry is so promising that they are literally ready to pay a fortune for its show. And you know what? They’re freakin’ right!
The numbers and studies all say the same thing: During the next few years, people all around the world are going to spend billions, not millions, but billions for IOT, AV, and home automation! This money will inevitably be spent, in fact, it already begun to be spent so you better do your best to rearrange the sail of your boat now to navigate to your share of the wealth!
The most challenging aspect for our CEDIA industry will be the fact that this money is not going to be spent exactly the same way we used to selling. Somehow, a lot of us are still fishing with the wrong bait on an inappropriate hook.
Remember: People don’t buy technology, and still worse as technology tends to freak people out. People buy an experience and the service that will guarantee this experience will last forever. (My two cents)
What Emerald Exposition is about to do with CEDIA expo might shock the sensible little souls of even the most conservative of us. We are about to see kitchen and bathroom manufacturers on the show floor! In comparison to us, those manufacturers have already had their two feet in the construction industry for 200 years and this is where a good portion of the money will be spent. When this train stops at your station, be sure to board!
The second lesson we can learn from this is about building our assets. What creates the value of a company? If your answer is “the yearly incomes” you’re wrong as it is the yearly predictable incomes. In this game, 99% of Home Technology Professionals in the world totally failed as their company value is nearly zero. They can’t predict their incomes for the next 6 months and have no service nor maintenance contract. Their client’s adhesive factor is zero and they are free as the wind to go where they please.
A good example of the success of “predictable money” business is CEDIA. They found a way to create this recurring revenue business with this Expo show and boom! They sold it for a fortune. Of course, organizing a show was not their primary mission and it was using a lot of precious human resources in the organization. One day or another they’ll have to sell it to focus back on their mission. But you can only sell something that has predictable incomes.
There is no more time to mope, explain, and understand why our industry has not been able to build any assets before - it is time to do it now. Home Technology Professionals should learn from this CEDIA/Emerald Expo story. Build recurring revenue with service and maintenance contracts, and delegate some tasks that utilize too much human resources that take you away from your primary mission and what you love to do.
The first example is the network that lots of you still want to do yourself to make a little extra margin without understanding the responsibility and legal issues that weigh on your shoulders. In most cases you should partner with a local IT company that has been doing this for years, and that will be able to resolve all problems, and for who you can delegate the pressure to in case of a problem. Remember that more than ever, the network is the backbone of your system. The smallest issue could ruin all your efforts now.
By the way, I hope you are all using remote supervision on each one of your jobs!
If not => click here
The second example is about giving support to your clients. 15 years ago, our job was to install entertainment AV stuff our clients used occasionally. If it failed Friday night, the client was obviously going to be pissed, but in terms of legal responsibilities it was not a big deal for you. No one was in danger and your client could wait until Monday morning to yell at you. Today, we install things our clients rely on 24/7, things that literally rule their day-to-day lives. Therefore, the systems we install and particularly the gears we use to build the local network should be dubbed “Mission Critical” because it handles lighting, shading, security system, HVAC, health, door locks, ordering food, ordering medicine, staying in contact with parents, working from home...etc.
If we install “mission critical” systems, we also should be able to deliver mission critical service, and by this I mean 24/7 service. In terms of service, the responsibilities that weigh on your shoulders are heavy. Just as you can’t provide good support when you are sitting at the top of a ladder while drilling holes in a ceiling, just as you can’t provide good support at 7pm when you are helping your kids with their homework, just as you can’t provide good support in the middle of the night - the only solution is to delegate this mission to dedicated companies like Axius, OneVision Resources, or Krika Concierge.
Our industry is about to be reborn into something absolutely incredible with much more opportunity to create business and profit. Service already is and will be where we will all make our money, and we are here to help you.