CEDIA Awards: Why Get Involved?

By Wendy Griffiths, CEDIA Region 1. CEDIA (the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association) is an international trade organisation spanning three continents, with offices in four countries and a global membership of over 3,500 companies. CEDIA members specialise in the planning, design, supply, installation, integration, concealment and control of automation electronic systems for the modern, intelligent home. Built upon a strong foundation of volunteers, CEDIA provides access to industry-leading education, certification, research, and consumer awareness. Membership in CEDIA Region 1 (UK, Europe, the CIS, Middle East, Africa, India and Pakistan) is increasing year on year. This past year saw CEDIA top the 500 mark for the first time in the association's history. It has continued to grow, and CEDIA now includes 589 companies in Region 1, all benefiting from the opportunity to participate in a range of business-building marketing and training activities. These include the industry-leading CEDIA Awards scheme which rewards integration excellence in the work of members. [caption id="attachment_4212" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Map of CEDIA regions, with Region 1 shown in grey.[/caption] The CEDIA Awards Established in 2006, the prestigious CEDIA Awards recognise and promote high-quality system design, installation and integration within the home automation industry; setting the standard for CEDIA Home Technology Professional (HTP) members across the region. CEDIA launched the scheme on a small scale, with members able to enter in six categories. Despite it being the first year, the association was delighted with the uptake and received 40 entries. Winners were announced at the CEDIA Expo in London. Recognising the positive response of the industry to the awards scheme, CEDIA has grown it year on year, by introducing new categories, incorporating external parties such as consumer journalists, and hosting an award-winners ceremony at a prestigious venue, an event which is now seen as the industry night of the year. [caption id="attachment_4216" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The CEDIA Awards are now seen as the industry night of the year.[/caption] In 2013, the scheme reached an all-time high, with over 160 entries being submitted in 19 categories. A main focus for CEDIA has been increasing the involvement of members throughout Region 1, and this work paid off, with entries coming in from 15 different countries, including Pakistan, Malta and Cyprus. [caption id="attachment_4215" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Growth of the CEDIA Awards since 2006 in terms of categories and number of entries.[/caption] How to Enter Free to enter for all members, the CEDIA Awards is a celebration of the residential custom installation industry, and the event provides members with a fitting platform on which to showcase their expertise and achievements. HTP members may submit as many projects as they wish, as long as it adheres to the terms and conditions stated on the website. As well as general project information including the client's brief, the solution installed and the customer's verdict, supporting information such as high-resolution images, kit lists and schematics must be included. This year, CEDIA has developed a new, streamlined online entry process to make it even easier. Here, members can draft, edit, review and then submit their completed entry. The 2014 scheme is now open, with a closing date scheduled for Monday 7th April. CEDIA has revised the entry categories which now include dedicated opportunities to recognise the best lighting schemes completed in residential custom installation projects. The full categories are as follows: • Best Media Room under GB£15,000 • Best Media Room over £15,000 • Best Home Cinema under £40,000 • Best Home Cinema £40,000 - £100,000 • Best Home Cinema over £100,000 • Best Integrated Home under £100,000 • Best Integrated Home £100,000 - £250,000 • Best Integrated Home over £250,000 • Best Lighting Scheme under £25,000 • Best Lighting Scheme over £25,000 • Best Yacht Installation • Best Multiple Scheme for a Property Developer • Best Dressed Rack • Best Energy Management Solution • Best Showroom • Best Training Additionally, CEDIA will recognise and celebrate the contribution of individuals to the work of CEDIA, and the development and growth of the residential custom installation industry with its Special Recognition Award. CEDIA members will also be invited to choose their Best Trade Supplier in a special online vote organised as part of the scheme. When and Where The CEDIA Awards has become a key highlight in the residential custom installation calendar, with previous events taking place at the following stunning venues: The Pavilion at the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, One Mayfair, The Globe Theatre, The Brewery and Vinopolis. [caption id="attachment_4214" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The CEDIA Awards were held at The Pavilion at the Tower of London in 2013.[/caption] The venue of the awards ceremony is always kept under wraps until a few months before the event. Watch this space for news about the event, which is due to take place on 11 July 2014. Judging Judging will take place in May 2014. Each installation category is judged by an expert panel drawn from the worlds of architecture, interiors, property, IT, smart home journalism and, of course, custom installation to ensure the highest standards of scrutiny for each and every entry. A first round of technical judging is complemented by a final rigorous assessment to determine the category winners. As well as the need to be integrated and beautifully concealed within the interior, important factors also considered include compliance with industry best practice, the imaginative and appropriate design and use of technology, impeccably-designed and installed racks, value for money, and that all important 'wow' factor. Throughout the judging process, the identity of member companies taking part in the CEDIA Awards scheme remains completely anonymous to preserve the integrity of the adjudication process. Why Take Part? CEDIA encourages its members to take part in the awards, as it not only allows HTPs to be recognised by their peers, but gives some great PR coverage after the winners have been announced. [caption id="attachment_4211" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Participants in the CEDIA 2013 Awards.[/caption] CEDIA develops a yearbook which includes an image and text on every entry which has been submitted. This information is produced in a high-quality book which is suitable to hand out to new and existing customers as a marketing tool. As a winner, the member will also receive editorial coverage in a wide range of consumer and trade publications. This coverage is hugely beneficial and can lead to new business. [caption id="attachment_4213" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The CEDIA Awards yearbook includes an image and text on every entry which has been submitted. [/caption] As Tony Harper of T & T Automation puts it, "The CEDIA Awards provides us with a great opportunity to impress new and existing customers. We were contacted by a tech savvy client purely off the back of us winning a CEDIA Award. They were so keen for us to do the job that it did not go out to tender. Many years later, we still work for this client, who has now spent well over seven figures with us." According to Colin Scott of ET Home Cinema, "It was our first attempt at entering the CEDIA Awards in 2013 and we were delighted to win in one category and be shortlisted in another. We have secured several large projects for 2014 and business is generally on the up, which I believe is a direct result of the exposure from CEDIA. Being shortlisted or winning in the CEDIA Award categories can give potential clients more confidence in dealing with your company, and helps give a sense of pride for staff within the company." Find Out More To find out more about the 2014 CEDIA Awards, please visit www.cediaawards.org. This website will provide you with all the information you need and will direct you to the online entry page. Wendy Griffiths is the Executive Director of CEDIA Region 1. CEDIA is an organisation of experienced companies involved in the design and installation of electronic systems for the home. www.cedia.co.uk

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