What a difference three days can make! Inspiration, motivation, education, and networking were the cornerstones of the 2005 CEDIA Management Conference. If you were one of the lucky attendees, you know exactly what I mean when I say, “world-class.” Some of the senior-level industry leaders referred to it as the “best Management Conference of all time,” providing an ideal opportunity for networking and sharing of industry ideas and practices.

Many attendees commented about the open, friendliness of participants and their willing exchange of ideas during networking and breakout sessions. These sessions were intertwined with cross-industry presentations ranging from cash flow management and human capital learnings to customer service.

During breakout sessions, attendees took a hard look at their business barriers and brainstormed opportunities to break those barriers. Many discovered they had common problems and found answers from a fellow CEDIA member.


Texas business legend Jim McIngvale (better known as “Mattress Mac”) shared his business philosophy on customer service which is “do whatever it takes, make the customer happy.” Starting in 1981 with only $5,000 and a dream, Jim now owns the most successful, single store furniture retailer in the United States.


Conference opening Keynote Speaker, Bodine Balasco, started the event off with a fantastic view on obstacles that interfere with our ability to move from our current reality to our desired reality and the power that moves you in the right direction.


Steve Farber, another Keynote Speaker, provided attendees with a powerful and meaningful message which included inspiring staff with recognition and appreciation. We, as business and industry leaders, need to possess a level of passion, determination, foresight, dedication, and fearlessness. Steve’s message, “fear is not always bad.” As a matter of fact, in the right context, fear is your indicator that you are moving in the right direction.


Larry Winget, the Pitbull of Personal Development, kicked off the final afternoon of the conference and caught the audience (after three jam packed days) by total surprise. With the slogan “Shut up, stop whining, and get a life,” Larry, dubbed the world’s only Irritational Speakerâ„¢, took real life circumstances to illustrate how vocal (positive or negative) customers really can be. He is edgy, controversial, cantankerous, antagonistic, sarcastic, and opinionated. Providing everyone a nice swift kick in the rear, he delivered the cold, ugly truth in a way that was provocative, interesting and very funny. I’m sure you will hear quotes from Larry’s speech for years to come. He sent everyone home with a clear message, “you are the person in control of your destiny.”

As an added bonus, Tim Costello’s presentation on lean management, “The Joy of Discovery, Using Waste to Drive Profitability”, was a big winner. The ideas he presented were innovative and eye opening According to Tim, the seven wastes that apply to our industry; Waiting, Transportation, Processing, Inventory, Motion, Defects and Over Production can and do negatively impact the bottom line. If you want to learn more about lean management and how to minimize waste within your organization, visit the CEDIA Store at www.cedia.org/store.

Let the CEDIA Management Conference improve and inspire your business. Make plans to attend next year and you will see results!