Close to 400 people attended the third annual Pacific North West Consumer Electronics Expo 2015 (PNWCEE), Bellevue, WA in April.
TIDAL’s David Solomon: “The growth of regional shows, proves that nothing replaces ‘Human exposure’ if you’re looking for support on all levels.”
The Expo is sponsored by 13 representative firms (Ambassador Marketing, In Phase Marketing, Pacific Rim NW Marketing, N&S Marketing, Advanced Marketing, One D Marketing, Big Bear Marketing, Market Share, Falcon Sales & Marketing, The Joncas Co., J & S Marketing, and Oliver Marketing) and three distributors (AVAD, EDI, and Custom Plus Distributing). The two-day expo featured more than 100 manufacturers of home and car products. Some of the featured exhibitors included Samsung, Arcam, Control4, AudioControl, Anthem, Autonomic, Denon, Integra, Da-Lite, Sim2, LG, Leon, NuVo, Metra, Nest, NEAR, Revel, Sonos, URC, Triad, and Vutec.
This year’s EXPO also offered expanded training sessions from companies such as Luxul, Dolby Atmos, Pakedge, and Origin Acoustics.
Robert Durbin from URC showing its latest in automation technology.
“This year was the first year we invited factory direct representation and distributors," said Jim Ribail of Ambassador Marketing. "I feel this helped bring a total CE experience to our event. There was a broader mix of product solutions for dealers to see. We got a lot of comments from the dealers on how they found product solutions they didn’t know existed. We also expanded our training offering this year. This gave dealers the ability to have more focused trainings by manufacturers.”
Warren Hoss from Vantage Controls introducing its new touchscreen interface.
Commented Mike Cleary of Dana Innovations, “We focused our trainings on ‘What do you want your sound to look like? Selling aesthetics and performance to the decision maker. How do you convince the decision maker that you offer a solution that will bend into their space rather than take it over? How to sell a system rather than a product? And how to optimize that space with Sonance’s new DSP amplifiers?’ The response to our amplifiers has been amazing and in particular the benefit of selling systems using our DSP profiles was extremely well received. The Discreet Opening System (satellite/subwoofer system in the Architectural Series) response was also great and the connection between lighting design and what we do in architectural audio design seems to be resonating with our partners who are selling into the aesthetics and design of the room.”
The crew from Q Motion showing off the latest in shade control to Jeff Grove from Encore AV.
“We brought our entry-level electrostat, the EM ESL, an example of our newest sub, the BF 210, and our newest bookshelf, the Motion 35 XT," said Peter Soderberg of Martin Logan. "All three allowed me to talk about unique features, the benefits, help on setup questions and to simply hear them, something many install oriented dealers, lacking soundrooms don’t get a chance to do. It is always fun to see people’s faces when they first hear an electrostat. That has to be done in person.”
Jeff Brewer from Dana Innovations and Marty Cronin from EDI Distribution.
The importance of the growth of regional shows was shared by many that attended, said David Solomon of TIDAL. “Nothing replaces ‘Human exposure’ if you’re looking for support on all levels," he said. "This is a grass roots effort by TIDAL to support the audio community and share information on the direction they should be pointed based on the growing popularity of streaming and the inevitable marketshare gain expected over the next few years. To this end, my personal goal is to help dealers sell more boxes and engage old customers with new and relevant information.
Several major display manufacturers attended the PNWCEE, including Samsung.
“We certainly expect the positive demo experience to increase immensely with TIDAL. Not because we sound better than CDs, but because so much more material is available at the touch of a button. We have playlists designed to show off what a system can really do if the right music is played. At this point, many major high-end stores already use TIDAL in their stores with curated playlists that will make any gear sound its best.”
Bob Entrop from Northmar Marketing and Tannoy.
Generally the representative in the field has been called “the eyes and ears” on the ground for the manufacturer. When asked about this, Peter Soderberg said, “The industry has a history of switching between models that use either local reps or have a factory-direct employee. Over the years, MartinLogan has traditionally used factory direct (my job at ML started that way). In the last few years, ML realized that to grow the independent dealer network, we needed people with more local awareness and have since hired local reps. The result was a big increase in business in this vital sector of the market and a much better interaction with the indy dealer. As I remind dealers, a rep works for them as well as us, and can go to bat when service, delivery, or product issues arise. We are very positive on the benefits of hiring the right reps.”
With close to 400 attendees, PNWCEE was a huge success.
The Pacific Northwest Consumer Electronics Expo was also about discussing in person the health of business as we head into the middle of 2015. Concluded David Solomon, “I found the show to be very positive and almost everyone is looking forward to possibilities. There are so many new innovations that have never been available because of technological restrictions that are melting away fast, or becoming priced in a range that many can now afford.”
Mike Cleary, Dana Innovations: ”We did active SLS demos of our three outdoor systems. (LS47, LS48 and LS68 satellites with LS10 Sub, LSV10 Sub and LS12e sub). The response has been amazing.”