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Manufacturers Reps Summits are Expanded for 2014

In its fifth year, the Technology & Business Summit that was founded in Southern California by a collaborative group of independent manufacturer rep firms is now expanding its events into more cities in the U.S.

In its fifth year, the Technology & Business Summit that was founded in Southern California by a collaborative group of independent manufacturer rep firms, is now expanding into more cities in the U.S.

In 2014, Summit events are scheduled as follows, with more territories in the works: April 17, Arizona Summit, Phoenix, AZ; May 13 and 15, So Cal Summit, Los Angeles, CA and Orange County, CA; May 21, Great Lakes Summit, Lansing, MI, June 3 and 5; Florida Summit, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale vicinity, FL.

A significant addition to the Summit events this year is CEDIA becoming a more formal education partner. CEDIA has participated in the So Cal Summit for years, and now plans to offer an even higher level of education. 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 focus of the Summit is a combination of technical and business education on an industry-wide level and highlighting the newest products from the exhibitors involved.

Event organizer Mark Cichowski of Clarity AV and Integrator Network says that the one-on-one environment of the Technology & Business Summit promotes the type of interaction between integrators and exhibitors (manufacturers) that is difficult to achieve at huge trade shows with massive displays. Because it is local, integrators can send all or most of their staff, and receive more information in a short time. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are served, so participants can spend the entire day at the event.

The May 2013 Southern California event was hosted by founding members, Calwest Marketing, Clarity Business Group, and Western Sales & Marketing as well as AV Partners, AV Parts, Chris Dixon Company, JBA Marketing, MK Marketing, Morris Tait, Newport Marketing Group, Novidor & Firestone, Paul Collins Group, ProMark, CESR, and Cinema di Cuore. The event drew approximately 575 people over two days in Los Angeles and Orange County in May 2013. More than 425 participants were integrators and the remainder consisted of exhibitors, reps, and industry associates. Ninety exhibitors participated with tabletop displays and factory staff

“A huge component to the success of the Summit is the cooperative nature of the event,” Cichowski said. “Integrators, reps, exhibitors, and industry associates all getting together in an interactive environment on a local level, has now proven to be a formula that works. Cliché’s aside, this truly is a mutually beneficial event that has value for everyone.”

Cichowski added, “Frankly speaking, our industry needs cooperation and education more than perhaps ever. Whether the integrator is a massive company or a one-person operation, continually increasing one’s knowledge, learning how to get past the ‘good enough’ and DIY mentality of many consumers, and always looking for ways to develop business, are essential components of any strong organization.”

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