The first Great Lakes Technology & Business Summit in Lansing, MI, was held on May 21-22, attracting more than 150 people, including exhibitors, reps, industry associates, and 92 integrators.
The Technology & Business Summit was founded six years ago in Southern California, and expanded into other territories this year. It is an event brought to the industry by a collaborative effort of multiple independent manufacturer rep firms in each territory. The Michigan event was hosted by Boyle-Davis Sales, EMI Integrated, Mike Pecar Sales, Pinnacle Sales, Progressive Group, Sales and Marketing Inc., and Tandem Marketing. More than 40 exhibitors that were represented by the various firms participated with tabletop displays and factory staff.
“A few people asked why we were doing an event in Michigan, obviously not the one of the larger territories in the U.S. A market like this often does not get shown the love, which is exactly why we wanted to hold a Summit there,” stated event organizer Mark Cichowski of Clarity AV and Integrator Network. “The reps and exhibitors were really behind it. Although the volume of integrators was not huge, the quality of attendee was outstanding. Everyone was extremely engaged and it was obvious that the one on one time was extremely valuable.”
Like all Summit events, the education component was another huge draw, according to Cichowski. CEDIA’s Dave Pedigo taught a class on “The Economic Outlook and Emerging Tech Trends,” Frank White taught “Keep Your Friends Close & Keep Your Enemies Closer (how to compete and thrive in today’s world),” Mike Maniscalco taught a class on recurring revenue and service contracts, and an expert panel teamed up to show integrators how to own the network.
In an ongoing relationship, CEDIA participated in the Summit as an education partner. In addition, IPRO (Independent Professional Representative Organization) is a sponsor of the Summit events and will help promote it to reps in other territories.
The Summit also conducted a second-day event that was dedicated only to manufacturer trainings and no exhibits. It was a trial event and about 35 integrators participated.
“We are evaluating the effectiveness of the format so we can improve it next year,” Cichowski said.
Find out about future events at www.techsummitevents.com.