An overly complex web ecosystem and outdated design was hampering the member user experience, making it difficult for them to find the resources and services they needed.
Founded in 1985, CEDIA is the pioneering trade association for those that design, manufacture and install home technology systems. CEDIA was the driving force behind transforming what was once a hobby into a robust industry that enables families to experience their best moments from the comfort of home. CEDIA is the industry’s only certifying body, so its website has become an important meeting point for professionals across the industry. However, it was overdue for an update.
Over the years, CEDIA’s online ecosystem had grown to use many outside systems, making content governance a burdensome chore. "Life was a constant battle of the things we wanted to do on our website, only to find out we couldn’t,” said Desiree Friedman, Director of Marketing, CEDIA. The CEDIA team was now tasked with developing a website that combined three pre-existing, and international, websites into one centralized website catering to all CEDIA’s audiences. It also had to seamlessly integrate with its many third-party systems, two audience microsites, and better reflect the elevated design aesthetic CEDIA members create for customers. It was no small task.
CEDIA tapped implementing partner, Vanguard, to handle the project. They chose to remain on Progress® Sitefinity® because of its extensibility and deep multilingual features. “We had not upgraded versions in a very long time. We knew how powerful the CMS was, and were impressed with the new capabilities that launched since our last upgrade, such as the List widget and OpenGraph,” said Friedman.
Vanguard got to work faceting a federated search system to enable users to quickly find events across all of CEDIA’s event platforms. This included events on Cvent, and professional development training hosted on its learning management system, Absorb LMS. It then integrated the Sitefinity backend with its existing association management system, Aptify AMS, offering a seamless member experience that aligned the site content with their member profile. The team further updated the website design to showcase CEDIA member imagery, giving it a fresh, new feel. These and other enhancements, like widgets for “Find-a-Pro” and “Inspiration Gallery,” were keeping users engaged in the web content as they navigated around the site.
They enabled member and non-member access to learn about CEDIA’s design software, The CEDIA Designer, via a microsite. This allowed them to drive conversions for their product offering, in addition to memberships and event registrations.
Post site launch, the team noticed the site delivering a better caliber of user. Now those who came tended to stay and engage with the site’s beautiful new content. Page views were up 32%, pages per session were up 46% and the bounce rate dropped an impressive 38%.
“Our members were blown away by the design, while our staff enjoyed the expanded capabilities and flexibility available for the content on the website,” said Friedman. “The integration with Aptify allowed us to create better templates, ones that are easy to implement. This makes ramping up a new event or product a task that can be done in a day rather than the week or more that it was taking before the new site.”
Looking ahead, CEDIA seeks to get more granular with personalization, using tools available in Sitefinity. Says Friedman, “Now, we think of a great idea and have the confidence that we execute it through Sitefinity."
CEDIA is the international trade association for companies that design, manufacture and install technology for the home. CEDIA is committed to helping members at every level set a pathway to prosperity by offering industry-leading education and certification, delivering proprietary market intelligence and cultivating awareness with industry partners and consumers. Learn more at cedia.net.
Vanguard Technology has been building unique websites since 1998, taking a holistic approach to design and development. Vanguard builds customer’s ideal websites by placing an emphasis on understanding how customers and their users envision interacting with it. View their portfolio at www.vtcus.com/portfolio.