ORLANDO.Forty-eight percent of all new homes will be pre-wired with structured wiring solutions by 2004, according to a study by Parks Associates, a Dallas-based research firm.

To educate installers and dealers about the emerging marketplace, EH Events and Education and the Home Automation and Networking Association (HANA) presented the Electronic House Expo March 7-10 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. About 4,000 home networking professionals visited the 125 booths and attended the 70 seminars.

“This is our third Electronic House Expo and we've grown significantly,” said Nicole Derany, show director for EH Events and Education, a division of EH Publishing. “Exhibit space was up more than 35%, total registration was up 60% and total attendance was up 35%. I think we really fill a niche in this industry with the growth of the show.”

The Electronic House Expo, sponsored by CEPro magazine, Home Director, GE Smart, Premise Systems and Microsoft, featured a full conference program along with a HANA Boot Camp. The Boot Camp attendees learned about networking and infrastructure on the first day, with presentations ranging from developing a preferred builder program to working with service providers. On the second day, the focus shifted to automation and integration with hands-on and tutorial instruction. Eight representatives from manufacturers, such as Leviton and OnQ, led the sessions.

“The Boot Camp is an intensive primer for the new installers and dealers looking to begin residential infrastructure and home networking,” Derany said. “We always get nearly a full house of people attending both Day One and Day Two.”

The Spring 2001 show focused on whole connected home education, but the Fall 2001 Electronic House Expo Oct. 24-27 in Long Beach, Calif., will spotlight regional issues such as energy management and the connected home. Derany said the growth of the home networking market has boosted attendance at the Expo.

“These contractors are looking for education and the different products available to them so they can reach out to their customers to provide a larger service and therefore grow their business,” Derany said.