CEDIA Asia Pacific joins CEDIA ‘Global’
On 4 December 2014, the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) sent a letter to all Asia Pacific members. Effective immediately, the organisation would be shifting operational responsibility back to Indianapolis in the US and it would be dissolving the local board of directors.
Alexis Caldwell would remain in place as the local point of contact, but the day-to-day would now fall under the purview of CEDIA HQ.
This announcement comes after a significant period of turmoil for CEDIA in the region. Membership is down and falling, and many members of the home automation industry are asking: ‘What’s the point?’
Well, according to the association, integrator and supplier members alike will benefit greatly from the global alignment of CEDIA chapters, which has also been described as ‘the great reset’ for the Asia Pacific region.
“In effort to better serve our members, the CEDIA board of directors is working diligently to align all CEDIA goods and services globally. The global alignment of all CEDIA member regions will provide greater and increased access to CEDIA training, benefits and tools for members as well as create a more efficient use of organisation resources,” the letter reads.
“Beginning immediately, member service and governance provided by CEDIA Asia Pacific will relocate to the CEDIA HQ in the United States.
“With this transition, CEDIA Asia Pacific members will have full and immediate access to headquarter member benefits, online training, pricing and tools. All goods and services previously provided by your local office will now be provided out of the headquarter office, which includes a lower fee for annual membership dues.
“The Asia Pacific office and board of directors will dissolve and membership in that region will move into the global membership structure and requirements.”
CEDIA says local members will receive:
- Access to 24/7 online training, tools and templates to grow and maintain your business.
- Dedicated support from 40+ CEDIA professional employees.
- Lower membership dues.
- Voting rights for the international board elections.
- Volunteer opportunities locally and globally.
- Consistent and constant communication.
Tom Owens is the CEDIA director of international development. The representation and growth of CEDIA in Australia and New Zealand will now be his responsibility.
“Over the past five years, there has been a steady decrease in participation and membership in the Asia Pacific region, and we want to change that,” he says.
“As many members are aware, CEDIA has been going through the process of aligning all the offices globally. This is the next right step in that direction. It won’t be CEDIA Asia Pacific, EMEA or US anymore. It will just be CEDIA. This will give us a much stronger presence in the market.”
Connected Home first reported on the global alignment of CEDIA in December 2011. It was an idea that led to much debate in the industry, which is likely to be repeated now.
“Let me be clear that CEDIA is not going away; in fact, there’s going to be much broader and immediate benefits that Asia Pacific-based members will receive as a CEDIA global member,” he says.
“Immediately, for home technology professional (HTP, or integrator) members, the fee will be halved. It will drop from $A1,000 down to $A500.
“In addition to the fee reduction, you’ll have access to online training tools and you’ll have access to and support from the 40+ CEDIA professional employees at headquarters.”
Tom says the association is currently in the process of making its core courses ‘universal’.
“In 2015 we will be looking at our online course wear to evaluate their universal relevancy. Once that process is completed we will look to how courses may need to be adjusted for the global audience moving forward.
“Further, the number of online courses we offer is growing every year. The number of courses that have been archived, including instructor-led courses, which only our members will have access to, is increasing.”
Aside from training, Asia Pacific members will also have a say in how the board of directors operates.
“You’ll also have voting rights for the international board, to which we are trying to introduce more local representation and involvement, which will lead to increased opportunities for all global members.”
Tom says the CEDIA board of directors’ nominating committee will reach out to all regions to ensure there is representation from all key markets on the board.
“The decision to move Asia Pacific operations to the US wasn’t made lightly and was in fact a suggestion from multiple Asia Pacific board members.
“I was approached by members who said they still wanted to have a voice and they still wanted to have input but they didn’t see the need for a local office in Australia.
“Instead, we will be establishing a local advisory committee, which will allow them to have the opportunity to speak and have input as we move forward.”
While there is no word yet on who will be a member of said committee, Tom says CEDIA will ask past board members to assist: “But as we move forward we will also be looking for new members and new ideas because we want the Asia Pacific market to still be engaged. We want them to know that we’re listening to them and their voices are being heard.”