CEDIA | Our History



CEDIA was founded in 1989 by a group of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the up-and-coming electronic systems industry. Their vision was to advocate the needs of the home technology professional by becoming the leading resource, promoting commerce, offering training, and aiding in the assembly of a legitimate industry that was at the time considered more of a hobby.

Since that time, CEDIA has grown into an international association with more than 3,500 member companies worldwide and has come to be recognized as the universal mark of professionalism for industry businesses.

The association has expanded tremendously in its 20+ years of its existence. The CEDIA show is a great example of the evolution of this industry. The first CEDIA show, held in Amelia Island, FL, hosted 500 attendees and featured table-top displays from some of the industry’s pioneers, the show has grown exponentially since that time in both exhibiting companies and attendees. CEDIA 2018 drew nearly 500 exhibiting companies and more than 20,000 attendees.  

CEDIA has advanced the industry by developing timely industry education and certification, launching research initiatives, advocacy on legislative issues, building relationships with architects, builders, and interior designers, educating the consumer, and recognizing industry achievement.

30 Years of Connection, Part 3

by Ed Wenck | Feb 20, 2019

As CEDIA approaches the 30th anniversary of its founding (it became an association in November of 1989), we continue our chat with a variety of members on CEDIA’s history and impact.

On CEDIA’s growth and evolution

David Humphries, Atlantic Integrated (CEDIA Chairman of the Board):
CEDIA has changed over the years from a small organization in the early 1990s, to the leading association in home technology. It’s evolved. As technology has evolved, so has the organization. You know, technologies today that didn't even exist four or five years ago, CEDIA's at the forefront of that. It keeps its membership informed. It's great.

David Weinstein, Lutron Electronics (CEDIA Board Treasurer):
I think the combination of an excellent staff committed to the future direction, the board that is working very synergistically with the staff, our incredible members, and this beautiful facility that allows us to bring in members, specifiers, industry associations, has never been greater to forge ahead and really grow through this wonderful association and the vision of its members.

On the importance of CEDIA

David Graham, Grahams (Former Chairman UK):
So, as a business, we wouldn't be doing the things that we do today if I hadn't got involved with CEDIA. We'd probably still be selling hi-fi and home cinema as our main business. Now that accounts for only about a third of our business, the rest being made up of lighting, networking, access control, security systems, everything that encompasses home technology. Without CEDIA, we would never have learned about those things or had an opportunity to develop our business in that way.

Hal Clark, Commercial Electronics (Founding Member):
CEDIA represented an industry that gave a musical artist like me a living wage, inspired me to not be afraid of change, and enabled me to help others in a direct way.

Marilyn Sanford, LincEdge (CEDIA Fellow):
If you do something as a hobby, that's a discretionary decision, that's something you chose to do because you love it. Now to be able to turn that into a business? Where you can actually do this and feed your family and grow from it, is really special.

Joel Silver, Imaging Science Foundation (2018 CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner):
We take care of things for people. We don't want them to have to worry about what button to press where.





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