Nothing Ever Stays the Same

Nothing Ever Stays the Same

We are deeply honored to have celebrated our 19th birthday this month. As we look forward to the future, we just wanted to take a moment and celebrate how far we’ve come, both as a company and as an industry.



In 1997, CEDIA was held in Atlanta, the first year the tradeshow moved out of Dallas since the organization started in 1991 (after the initial table-top show in Amelia Island). It was huge! And, online registration was offered for the first time.

These were the award winners from that show:

Best Product Design: PHAST Corporation for the Landmark Software
Most Innovative Product: Lutron Electronics for RadioRA
Best Product Technology: Mitsubishi Consumer Division for the DiamondPanelTelevison
Best Documented and Supported Product: Niles Audio for IntelliControl
Dealer of the year: Custom Electronics


The 1997 InfoComm show was in Los Angeles with an attendance of 19,414 and 426 exhibitors. Compare that to 39,105 and 950 exhibitors in 2015. Integrated Systems Europe (ISE), won’t launch for another seven years.

Cell Phones Looked Like This (and you couldn’t text)

1998_gsm_phones Looked Like This in 1997


It didn’t exist yet. Same with Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.


Internet in 1997


The biggest site, by far, was; 41 percent of people online checked it regularly. Many didn’t do so on purpose: With 5 million subscribers, AOL was the world’s largest ISP, and when members loaded up the Web, they went to the company’s site by default. For similar reasons, AOL’s search engine,, was the second most popular page. Netscape, the Web’s most popular browser, Compuserve and Prodigy, the nation’s other big ISPs, also had top pages.


Since Then Some Brands Didn’t Make It

In 1997, Polaroid was an industry leader. We all carried cameras around then. National product distribution for the CEDIA channel didn’t exist. About a dozen industry veterans will launch it in 1998.


Even Circuit City didn’t make it out alive.


And Blockbuster is just a memory.


Nothing ever stays the same.

Today, virtual is a reality, our press kits and signage are digital, and we huddle rather than meet. It’s different and we’ve embraced the changes. Marketing Matters has attended nearly 300 trade shows, won more awards than we have room for, and have had our clients bestowed with hundreds of industry awards.

In 1997, we didn’t have a website. Today, website development is a healthy part of our business. Technology and change are key drivers for our team and it’s been a lot of fun working, collaborating, and hanging out with you – our readers, supporters, friends, and clients – old and new. We’re excited about the next nineteen years. There’s lots to do to help with your success.


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