Associations Focus: Opportunities All Around

InfoComm, NSCA, and CEDIA gear up for changes as well as certifications and classes. 9/01/2007 8:00 AM Eastern

Associations Focus: Opportunities All Around

Sep 1, 2007 12:00 PM

InfoComm, NSCA, and CEDIA gear up for changes as well as certifications and classes.

InfoComm International



As InfoComm gets closer to outside accreditation of the CTS program, some changes are underway. InfoComm has now completed the first CTS and CTS-I exam versions that have been developed to meet ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 requirements. The new exam process will not only increase the value and credibility of the CTS certifications, but the process will provide a defensible exam. The exams ask multiple-choice questions and relate to actual practical job-task applications, instead of routine recall or memorization-type questions.

The current exam and retesting process for CTS and CTS-I will continue until Nov. 30, 2007, which will be the last day for the current exam process. After this time, all testing will occur in testing centers. Find your closest testing center at

It is anticipated that the new exams and process of testing at testing centers for the CTS and CTS-I exams will start worldwide in early December 2007. This will require new application forms and experience verification in specified skill areas of CTS-I as part of the application process. There will also be a new fee structure for testing and retesting.

To accomplish these goals, the application, testing, retesting, and professional ethics processes will need to be modified. For planning and budgetary purposes, the fee structure for the new exam process is detailed below as approved by the InfoComm Independent Certification Committee.


The events that made NSCA Expo so valued are now available as part of InfoComm 08. If you have not exhibited at InfoComm before, this is the year to get onboard. Please call Mike Doolittle,director of exposition sales at (800) 659-7469 or (703) 273 7200, ext. 3050. If you are a loyal NSCA attendee, we would love to see you in Las Vegas, June 14-20, 2008. We will have more information about the show and education opportunities soon, as well as a webinar for first-time attendees, so stay tuned.

General CTS Exam Fee (Includes seat fees, excludes taxes)
U.S. and Canada InfoComm member $260
Non-member $360
Outside the U.S and Canada InfoComm member $280
Non-member $380
CTS-I Exam Fee (Includes seat fees, excludes taxes)
U.S. and Canada InfoComm member $360
Non-member $380
Outside of the U.S. and Canada InfoComm member $380
Non-member $480

Associations Focus: Opportunities All Around

Sep 1, 2007 12:00 PM

InfoComm, NSCA, and CEDIA gear up for changes as well as certifications and classes.

InfoComm International



The NSCA University Partners in Education program provides state-of-the-art industry training in which manufacturers donate classroom space for regional training courses. In addition, generous sponsors provide meals, invite participants to tour their businesses, and recommend local lodging options.

“We value these contributions from our manufacturer member companies,” says NSCA Executive Director Chuck Wilson. “Their support makes it possible to bring our education classes to the industry with a substantial cost savings realized. That allows us to reinvest those savings into new education programs. It really is a win-win for everyone.”

NSCA teamed with the following manufacturers to increase its geographical reach: Shure (Niles, Ill.), Bosch (Burnville, Ill.), Crestron (Rockleigh, N.J.), and Atlas Sound (with sites in Phoenix; Ennis, Texas; and West Dundee, Ill.).

Partners in Education is all about training close to your home base, food, networking opportunities, and a place to rest your head. For more information about Partners in Education, contact NSCA at (800) 446-6722.


Every two years NSCA takes the pulse of the industry. Confidential surveys are mailed to all members in North America. Data is collected on company background, staffing, certification, employment benefits, and compensation.

“For companies to thrive, they must remain competitive in the industry,” says NSCA Senior Director of Member Services Jodi Montgomery. “The report is an effective tool to help companies with their employee recruitment and retention efforts by ensuring that the benefits package they offer is both appealing and aligned with other companies in the industry.”

Small, medium, and large companies in 36 states responded to the survey. In certain areas, large gaps were reported. For example, company size (measured by gross sales) was $637,500 or less for one in 10 respondents. However, one in 10 also reported grosses of $18 million or more.

Following are some fast facts from the report:

  • Most companies earn between $1 million and $3 million per year.
  • Members expect to boost company revenues by 16.7 percent for 2007. Smaller companies had the most optimistic predictions, expecting to grow their businesses by 29.2 percent.
  • A majority of businesses (53.8 percent) plan to increase their staff in 2007.
  • Companies support certification. Some (35.4 percent) encourage it, while 39.2 percent mandate it.
  • Technical staff are most likely to receive raises; sales staff are least likely to receive raises.

NSCA corporate members may download the 98-page Compensation and Benefits Report at


Each year, the NSCA Education Foundation awards five NSCA University Scholarships to industry professionals. Several winners have shared how these scholarships have helped them with their businesses, customers, and industry knowledge.

David Reding, a new business owner of Progressive Sound, won his scholarship in 2006. Reding used the award to hone his technical and business skills at NSCA University classes during the 2007 NSCA Expo.

“I didn't really know how important education would be. When Mom teaches you how to cook, you learn step-by-step,” Reding says. “With audio, sometimes people do it by the seat of [their] pants. If you're putting in a $150,000 system, you better know what you're doing.”

Reding isn't the only winner to recognize integration is more than just gear. When Albert Dekoning, general manager of NDR Corp. in Oakland Park, Fla., won his scholarship, he chose to send one of his employees to NSCA University classes for training.

“He learned a lot, and he enjoyed his training. It's going to help us get the job done. It's going to help us in setting up these systems. We're big into backing up people in our positions,” Dekoning says. “We don't want to have one person that is so key that he's the only one who does his job.”

Due to changes in technology and in the industry, NSCA University and NSCA Education Foundation have partnered to continue educating members of the commercial electronic systems industry. For more information on how you can receive financial assistance, visit NSCA University offerings are available on

NSCA Calendar of Events

Oct. 10
Electrograph's Display Technology Experience, New York

Oct. 15
2006-2007 Market Intelligence
Briefing Year-End Summary

Oct. 21-23
10th Annual Fall Business Conference, San Diego

Oct. 22
Special Interest Sections released

Oct. 31
2007 Financial Analysis of the Industry Report released

Nov. 6
Electrograph's Display Technology Experience, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Associations Focus: Opportunities All Around

Sep 1, 2007 12:00 PM

InfoComm, NSCA, and CEDIA gear up for changes as well as certifications and classes.

InfoComm International

CEDIA Expo 2007 provided attendees with 129 core curriculum courses in five colleges. Spanish-language versions of these classes were available for the first time. The show also marked the unveiling of the new Advanced EST Exam and CEDIA’s updated Designer Exam.



CEDIA Expo 2007 closed its doors to another great year. Even though CEDIA Expo 2007 has concluded, plans for 2008 are in full swing. CEDIA's work is never done, continuing to provide quality education to help make you more successful in this industry and to reach out and build bridges with industry partners. CEDIA pushes forward.


For five days, Sept. 5-9, the industry's best gathered in Denver to share information, learn about new technology, and continue building the residential electronic systems industry.

CEDIA Expo 2007 proved to be yet another successful event. CEDIA University provided its attendees with 129 core curriculum courses in its five colleges. In addition to providing attendees with even more quality education, core curriculum was offered in Spanish for the first time. CEDIA Certification also unveiled its new Advanced EST Exam and its updated Designer Exam.

Not only did attendees get the most out of the hundreds of courses offered, they also experienced hundreds of the newest product introductions from more than 590 exhibitors on the tradeshow floor. In addition to the education and tradeshow floor, CEDIA also provided its attendees some special events.

CEDIA kicked off the week at the annual golf outing, and the Technician Olympics gave attendees the opportunity to showcase their skills. CEDIA honored the “Best of the Best” at the Electronic Lifestyles Awards banquet, the Goo Goo Dolls rocked the stage, and with the week winding down, CEDIA gave away a Ted Nugent and Creedence Clearwater Revival autographed guitar and a custom CEDIA Chopper.

With the conclusion to another successful expo, stay tuned for 2008.


CEDIA's Industry Outreach Department will attend the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Custom Builders Symposium Oct. 26-28 in Naples, Fla. This annual event is designed to provide first-class education, networking opportunities, and hands-on activities for custom builders.

CEDIA will be presenting three educational courses, as well as staffing the Home Technology Alliance booth as the founding sponsor of the alliance, which is a new member service that will demonstrate how to increase your profits by offering home buyers professionally installed electronic systems featuring the latest state-of-the-art technology products.

If you have any questions regarding CEDIA's Industry Outreach efforts or the new NAHB Home Technology Alliance, please contact the CEDIA Industry Outreach Department at (800) 669-5329.


CEDIA's Education Department offers outstanding education year-round at CU On the Road events, intensive training workshops, and boot camps. Also, CEDIA certification continues to be the standard of certification in the industry, with new exams being developed for more advanced skills.

In July 2007, CEDIA University added its newest component, e-Learning, which allows access to training on demand with greater affordability, no travel, and the opportunity to learn at your own pace. The flexibility of e-Learning allows you to take a course anytime and anywhere, without interfering with critical daily operations. Each course was derived from the content of the instructor-led courses, with additional materials added to facilitate online learning. Additionally, a final course assessment consisting of 10 to 20 questions has been added to reinforce the course objectives and understanding of the material.

For more information regarding CEDIA University, visit

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