The Technology & Business Summit, organized for the past five years by Mark Cichowski of Integrator Network, is finding success outside of Southern California this year. More than 175 people participated in the first Arizona Technology & Business Summit on April 17 in Phoenix, AZ. More than 120 participants were integrators and the remainder consisted of exhibitors, reps, and “industry associates.”
The Summit is an event brought to the industry by a collaborative effort multiple independent manufacturer rep firms that represent manufacturers in Arizona. The rep firms that hosted the event are AV Partners, Calwest Marketing, Current Marketing, Morris Tait Associates, Paul Collins Group, Scowcroft & Associates, and The Technology Xchange.
Forty-five exhibitors that are represented by the various firms participated with tabletop displays and factory staff. The intimate venue and focused displays encouraged an interactive environment where dealers got to talk with the exhibitors as opposed to doing a “fly-by,” Cichowski said. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks were served so participants could spend the entire day, which many did.
“The Technology & Business Summit will be in its sixth year in Southern California next month. Reps from other territories, including Arizona, have approached me about replicating what has proven to be a successful model. It was rewarding to see the first Arizona event so well received,” Cichowski noted. “The collaborative environment and combination of the reps working together, the exhibitors supporting the event, and the dealers desire to work ON their business by investing their time, is what makes the Summit work. All of this in a local environment is the right formula.”
Components that make the Summit unique are the combination of approachable hands-on displays along with an education-focused format. There were four General Session Seminars that concentrated on industry trends and business topics. They included tech trends, how to compete against the “mass-market” players in our industry such as AT&T and ADT, a panel discussion on IP/networking and how to “own the network,” and a popular session on recurring revenue.
The Summit has added CEDIA as an education partner and it contributed to the Summit with presenters and CEU credits for seminars.
“It was simply great to see the interaction within the group and the high energy level,” Cichowski added. “People were engaged in conversations on the exhibit floor, seminars were well attended, the food was good, and people were already talking about the event in Arizona next year. Not too shabby.”