Azione’s Fall Conference Delivers New Opportunities & Valuable Insights from Experts at Google, NPD Group, BDX, and IBM
Chester Springs, PA – (October 19, 2017) – Azione Unlimited (AU), the audio-video industry’s only education and buying group made up of custom installers, home technology professionals, and manufacturers, wrapped up its 2017 Fall Conference in Austin, TX, with a renewed sense of focus, improved communications strategies, and a membership that left inspired by future initiatives. “Once again, Richard and his team put on a phenomenal event,” says Frank Sterns, VP of AV Specialty / Custom Integration for Sony. “The mood was upbeat, and dealers were fully engaged in the presentations as well as the one-on-one meetings.”
New Category Focus Shines a Light on Fresh Profits
One of the major announcements to come out of the conference was Azione Unlimited’s increased focus on the lighting fixture category. The buying group and its members already have successful partnerships with Coastal Source and Colorbeam North America, but Glikes noted during the conference that additional complementary brands will be revealed shortly. “Soon, Azione dealers and their customers will have access to the best assortment of indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures available in the custom installation channel, period.”
Insightful Guest Speakers and Panelists Educate and Inspire
The Azione fall conference included more outside speakers than ever before to discuss topics of interest to the group and the AV community.Tim Costello of BDX presented “9000 Hours,” a thought-provoking presentation that asked attendees to consider, “Where will you be 9,000 hours from now?” With each powerful point the group saw Tim’s vision of the world as technology evolves, where he suggests business owners think about this question, share insights, and position their business to be ready for the future and get ahead of competitors.
Mark Spates, Google’s Product Lead for Smart Home and IoT Capabilities across Google Assistant and Google Home, discussed the future of the intelligent home. Kevin Sherwood, Senior Vice President of Client Development for The NPD Group’s Retail Business Group, dove deep into a retail analysis of technology products, providing insightful data points about a number of categories relevant to integrators, and Kevin Sneed of US Pro Insurance Services led a compelling conversation about Cyber Insurance .
Julie Jacobson of CE Pro moderated a resource optimization panel on “How to Find, Pay, and Retain Good Employees.” Bryan Jefferson and Dennis Hickman of The Soho Shop showcased his company’s Smart Care offering and the potential for Aging-in-Place technology as a lucrative business opportunity for smart home professionals. These sessions and many others, including talks by IBM Watson, One Firefly, Cantara’s Jason Voorhees, and others in the tight-knit group formed the backbone of an informative conference that explored all aspects of the technology business, from AI to HR, marketing, and effective communications.
Networking Opportunities and Games Bring Members Together
Rather than launching with small group sessions or one-on-one meetings, the event kicked off with some hard-hitting presentations followed by a team-building activity at the end of day one. The GoGame, a scavenger hunt that placed individuals from diverse companies and backgrounds together to complete challenges on the streets of Austin, brought members closer, forging bonds that carried over throughout the three-day event. The activity helped create an unprecedented openness when members stepped back onto the show floor to visit with manufacturers and into the conference rooms for the dealer presentations and small group meetings.
“Being a dealer in Hawaii, we rarely get to see any of our manufacturers,” says Carlos Diaz of Blueprint. “The conference is a good time to connect with our manufacturers, talk about things that are coming up, and see the new products.”
He continues, “The other side of it is sharing ideas, finding out the struggles other dealers have and hearing fresh ideas on how to solve these problems.” Glikes agrees. “For five years now, Azione Unlimited has provided our members with a unique arena to communicate and collaborate. With the addition of our Slack channel, an enhanced social presence, and a webinar series, we seek to keep that spirit of communication open not just during our meetings but in the months between our events.”
“It’s like a brotherhood,” adds Diaz. “Never have I found a group so open to share their secret sauce, to talk about how many employees they have, share their financials, and offer predictions. Here at Azione, everyone wants the next guy or gal to succeed.”
About Azione Unlimited
Azione Unlimited, the education and buying group for integrators, is a consortium of like-minded custom installers, home technology professionals, and vendors. The organization helps its members achieve greater levels of prosperity, technical acumen, and sophistication in running their businesses and serving customers. Founded by industry veteran Richard Glikes and headquartered in Chester Springs, PA, the organization is celebrating its sixth year. In addition to two high-energy, information-packed conferences per year, Azione provides its members with a host of benefits, from product discounts to educational middle management meetings, and marketing tools. Learn more at AzioneUnlimited.com. Follow on social media: Twitter @AzioneUnlimited or Facebook.com/AzioneUnlimited.