Touring the New CEDIA HQ

Ed Wenck | Nov 01, 2018

There’s a lot happening at the new CEDIA HQ in Central Indiana: The steady pop of nail guns, technicians on ladders pulling cable, even a sudden, startling blast from the fire alarm. Not to worry – that’s just the elevator inspector making sure everything’s synced properly. The building’s a week away from a full-staff walk-through, but the mayor of Fishers, Indiana – Scott Fadness – is clearly impressed.

“I think this is one of the nicest buildings in our city,” he says.
Fadness is on a “dusty boots” tour of the building. He’s being shown the interior design, furnishings and tech with help from Jonathan Bassett, project manager for the build, Superintendent Don Adams (both of Meyer Najem), and Ian Bryant of ZenArray, who’s spearheading the tech integration. Rob Bray and Randy Robinson of American Structurepoint, Inc. were also along to show the mayor their handiwork.
Fadness marvels at the “experience center,” a home-within-the-building that features several rooms one might find in an integrated residence. A TV mount drops slowly out of the bedroom ceiling, glass panels allow visitors full view of the rack room, and the bathroom has features that the mayor is clearly discovering for the first time.
“I can change the shower temperature with a voice command?” Fadness wants to make sure he heard correctly.
Beyond the experience center, Fadness and the others on the tour are taken through the shell of a reference-quality dedicated cinema room that will be used for comparison purposes when trainees calibrate their own work in other rooms in the building. From the Boot Camp training centers to the board room, the structure’s ready for the latest tech, and ready for updates, too: There are 175 data drops for AV alone.
The board room, whose centerpiece features a custom (and very long) conference table, has six zones of audio and cable connections for microphones – it’s a setup that ensures that someone speaking at one end of the room can use a normal, conversational voice, and a listener far away will hear every word with utter clarity.
But beyond his fascination with the smart glass that turns opaque for privacy at the entrance of the conference room to the smart gadgets in the common kitchen, Fadness has the most questions about the training facilities in the new HQ.
“Does your industry have workforce issues?” he asks.
Tabatha O’Connor, CEDIA’s CEO and global president, answers in the affirmative, and explains the strategic initiatives the association is undertaking.
The mayor’s engagement level seems to go from 10 to 11.
“We’ve got to get kids from the local high schools in here,” says Fadness.
“This is something that will excite them, I’m sure. It’s in line with what we’re trying to do – going beyond the walls of our schools to get kids connected with their passion sooner.
“And seeing this …” Fadness lets the thought hang a moment.
“This place could inspire anyone.”