Posted by Johnnie Sanchez on 2016-06-28
"You're never gonna get that corner office until you start treating Don as an equal. And no one will tell you this, but you can't be a man. Don't even try. Be a woman. It's powerful business, when done correctly." -Bobbie Barrett, Mad Men (Season 2, Episode 5)
My fellow #CEDIAtweep, Heather Sidorowicz, recently published an article on her displeasure at hearing that CEDIA would host the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders at this years convention. While I fully respect and admire Heather, I’d like to bring another viewpoint on the controversy to the table.
In today’s society, people are much more vocal about their opinions, often times unknowingly silencing others who worry about being politically correct if they have an opposing viewpoint. Watch any recent South Park episodes and you’ll quickly laugh at the irony involved in modern day America. People just make mountains out of molehills sometimes.
Before we get the pitchforks out, let’s understand some facts that lead to the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders being booked for CEDIA:
- In 2015, CEDIA hosted a "beer garden" in the BIG Lounge to try to attract more foot traffic, but that unfortunately failed.
- Comcast subsequently dropped out of that suite, and choose to concede to a smaller booth downstairs in order to be where more foot traffic was last year.
- Seeing a need for more inventive ideas, CEDIA thought of bringing the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders to the BIG Lounge in order to drive more foot traffic. This was a calculated business decision in the hopes that no more businesses drop out of the floor this year.
CEDIA is a business, and ultimately it needs to cater to manufacturers and the average attendee. Running a business that caters to anyone but the majority of your clients is suicide.
Plain and simple: if you’re an AV dealer in attendance you’re probably a white married male in your 50’s, you have a 50% chance of having a college degreee, and you tend to lean right on the political spectrum.
Ever wonder why so many clubs have a free ladies night? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that wherever women are, the men are sure to follow. On the flip side, women tend to be content doing their own thing. And if you don’t think women have an incredible influence on men, you simply haven’t been paying much attention, my dear.
The cheerleaders seem to be getting confused with booth girls/babes. Booth girls are just a waste of money. If they were trained or brand ambassadors, that would be different. But they don’t know anything about the products and are just so painfully there for eye candy. And that’s the rub: CEDIA isn’t expecting or wanting these cheerleaders to show off or talk about any of the products being shown at CEDIA. They’re just there to entertain people, take pictures, and yes, lead people down a certain area of the center that hasn't been doing well with retaining manufacturers. It’s not that different than if a concert, talk or some other form of entertainment was going on. No different than if the Cowboys themselves were there (which I would bet would be just as cool, if not cooler, to the majority of attendees at CEDIA).
I just asked three people what they think of when I say “Dallas, Texas”. All of them immediately mentioned the Dallas Cowboys or Cheerleaders and how hot it is there, with their eyebrows raised and there eyes widened, as if you to say please do not make me go there. If CEDIA was in Iowa, having cheerleaders at the show would be completely out of left field. But the Dallas Cheerleader’s are absolutely iconic with the city itself, and often thought of as the best in the nation. They’re ultimately having the last laugh at anyone who doesn’t respect them as they cash the checks that pay them to live out their dreams.
This article is not affiliated with CEDIA, nor do I speak for them. Opinions are my own.