SoCal Technology and Business Summit Grows

Industry Event Draws Crowds
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Now in its eighth year, the Southern California Technology and Business Summit brought in more than 550 people, including over 425 dealers, along with exhibitors, reps, and industry associates.

The Summits are a series of events brought to the AV industry through a collaborative effort of multiple independent manufacturer rep firms across their respective regions.

Independent manufacturer rep firms AV Partners, ByDesign Vision & Sound, Calwest Marketing, Chris Dixon Company, I Rep Green, Morris Tait Associates, Paul Collins Group, ProWest Sales, and Studio Décor hosted the May events in Los Angeles and Orange County. 

Exhibiting rep firms, manufacturers, and factory staff members collectively showcased products from more than 100 different companies on tabletop displays and in projection/screen demo areas. A Dolby Atmos 4K UHD demonstration served as an additional draw for attendees. The intimate venue and focused displays encouraged an interactive environment where dealers had unfettered opportunity to engage with the exhibitors, as opposed to doing a “fly-by.” Free breakfast and lunch events provided additional networking opportunities.

As always, education was a huge feature and draw of the event. The CEDIA served as the education partner of the event, contributing presenters and support for some of the seminars. Additionally, some courses qualified for Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits. Seminars included:

  • Four Keys for Doubling Profits by Paul Starkey of Vital Management
  • Embracing DIY and Overcoming “It’s Good Enough” by Frank White
  • Next Generation Networking by Mike Maniscalco of Ihiji
  • HDCP and EDID Demystified, a CEDIA-sponsored course by Xiaozheng Lu
  • Ultra HD/4K Demystified, a CEDIA-sponsored course by Xiaozheng Lu

Craig Eggers from Dolby Laboratories returned for a Dolby Atmos 4K Ultra High-Definition (4K UHD) demo. “It still surprises me that many integrators are not properly presenting an upgrade path for their customers. Dolby Atmos is one of them, but I encourage them to truly show their customers how incredible systems can be with so many great new technologies available,” said Eggers. “The Technology and Business Summit is a perfect format to demonstrate, educate, and build business.”

“A main focus of the Tech Summit is value,” added event founder Mark Cichowski. “Integrators, manufacturers and reps are all busy and, in order to grow, we need to bring business to each other on a personalized, local level. The Tech Summit events complement national events and provide a format where integrators, exhibitors, reps and industry associates can really get to know each other, share ideas, and start to build mutual business. In addition, we are continuing to increase our collaboration with CEDIA to bring added value to regional events, overall.”

The Florida Tech Summit, the next leg of this year’s events, will be held at the Westin Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale on June 14 and at the Renaissance at Sea World in Orlando on June 16. The Arizona Tech Summit will take place in Fall 2016, with exact dates and locations to be announced. As the Tech Summit continues to grow, new territories will be added, including a Texas Tech Summit to take place in Dallas and Houston in 2017. None of this could happen, of course, without the support of the reps in each region. 

“The local reps in the areas we hold events do a fantastic job of working together and helping drive traffic to the Summits,” concluded Cichowski.