The annual CI Expo is moving to a new venue this year to accommodate the largest expo to date. Nine local independent manufacturer’s rep firms and three distributors in Northern California will host the CI Expo for 2014.
The sixth annual event will take place on November 5, 2014 in Oakland, CA, at the Hilton Oakland Airport Hotel. It will feature over ninety manufacturers on display with live demonstrations, product training, and featured speakers from Origin Acoustics, Pakedge, and JL Audio presenting insights and recommendations on growing dealer’s businesses in 2015 and beyond.
The CI Expo is more than a typical line show. These companies are looking to help dealers learn from vendors and some of the top business minds in our industry. “If we can help them improve their skill set, their customers will benefit and the dealers will expand their business as a result of their efforts,” said Jim Knight of Redwood Marketing. “As the technologies we deal with on a daily basis keep changing, our dealers and business partners need to change and adapt if they want to thrive rather than simply survive.”
There will also be a focus on a combination of education, demonstration and cutting-edge products from manufacturers. In addition to hands-on displays, the CI Expo is an educational event with three general session seminars that detail industry topics such as, better selling techniques, industry trends and technology insights from some of the top minds in the business. The speakers include:
• Jeremy Burkhardt from Origin Acoustics will be presenting “Positioning Your Company as a Luxury Brand”
• Nick Phillips from PakEdge will be discussing “Home Automation, the Cloud and Internet of Everything: How this will impact you and your business.”
• Brian Power from JL Audio will be delivering powerful sales instruction in “Coming Back to Home Audio”
In addition to the general sessions, there will be several manufacturer-training classes. Some manufacturer sessions, as well as the three general sessions, will earn the attendees CEDIA Continuing Education Credits.
This regional event makes all of this information and technology more accessible. It is not always practical for dealers to send their entire staff to the CEDIA Expo. Although many dealers would love to do so, they are faced with real word constraints, especially as their company’s activity is expanding. By teaming up with local reps and distributors, the CI Expo brings vendors directly into the territory and allows them to showcase new products and new technologies where they are geographically accessible. The event will have dedicated display vignettes for all the vendors as well as several live demonstration areas both inside and outside the venue. The dealers in attendance will also have several opportunities for one-on-one interaction with factory personnel. Lunch and snacks will be served and dealers will have the chance to win multiple door prizes provided by the manufacturers.
The first CI Expo event was a collaborative effort between three firms: Redwood Marketing, Jan Tulloch Company and the Steven Lester Company. Feedback from these events has been overwhelmingly positive. This year the Expo is expanding to include nine local rep firms, three local distributors, over ninety manufacturers, ANSR, Fielder Marketing, Rich Jackson, Media Delivery Strategies, Paul Fitzpatrick Company and Zone Pacific Sales will join the three original firms along with distributors Sierra Select Distributing, Profit Line Distributing, and Custom AV Solutions.