EI Live!’s successful return

The industry welcomes back EI Live!, which was held at Farnborough International Exhibition Centre on 29-30 September. Amy Wallington gives a roundup.

Nothing was going to stop EI Live! returning to the UK this year – after numerous postponements due to the pandemic, the show finally went ahead with great success, even with a national fuel shortage due to panic buying.

Despite the challenges, integrators, manufacturers, distributors, and other home technology professionals showed up in their masses to support the UK’s smart home show and to have a long-awaited catch up with industry colleagues.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, according to show organisers, All Things Media, and the company is now planning for the event’s expansion and continued evolution for the next decade of smart home integration.

The company is aiming to provide the residential AV and home automation sector with a national show that provides a nexus of formal training, a show floor packed with high-quality demonstration experiences, expanded learning opportunities in the Technical Theatre, and industry networking including the continued hosting of the Smart Building Awards.

This year’s show featured multiple new product launches including Pulse-Eight’s new AV over IP solution, OneIP; the Squid power management device from SurgeX; Epson’s new 4K laser projectors, the EH-LS12000B and EH-LS11000W; Sonance’s Motion Flex hidden speakers; Connected Distribution’s UK launch of Russound VoicePlay audio system; Rako’s new range of modular control keypads; Hisense with its new ultra-short-throw projector, plus many more.

The Technical Theatre had a full schedule throughout both days where visitors could sit and watch the session taking place on varied subjects around home automation and technology. Across both days, Snap One also held its formal training for Control4 dealers.

On the first night of the show, the Smart Building Awards took place at the Village Hotel in Farnborough where the industry gathered to celebrate the many successes of the past few years. With no less than 22 awards, there was a lot to celebrate with a mix of both product and installation categories.

All Things Media is now working on future shows to increase footfall but also the quality of the visitor. David Kitchener, managing director of All Things Media said: “Exhibitors want to know that their investment means that every conversation will be of value – the show will only target visitors already in the market or with genuine potential to enter or increase activity. The show will also continue to support the creation of a world-class exhibition floor. This year’s was the best yet and with a stable base and assistance from organisers, exhibitors can continue to plan big and create the most engaging stands and demonstration spaces possible.”