“The Spring Soiree” – Spring 2015 Conference Recap
Azione Unlimited (AU), the education/buying group for custom retailers and integrators, held their spring conference titled “The Spring Soiree,” in the beautiful downtown Nashville, TN, last month. The conference featured guest speakers, Dave Pedigo of CEDIA who talked about “Residential Market Opportunities for the Next 12 to 18 Months”, Frank White, last year’s CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, and David Daniels of Xssentials. The conference also featured a series of 10 one-on-one meetings between dealers and vendors, roundtable discussions centered on steps to facilitating operational excellence, and a series of incisive open discussions.
On Tuesday, the dealer-only portion of the event commenced with a general state of the industry report, in which Azione Unlimited President Richard Glikes confirmed with those in the room that “business is good” and that the era of “building the big house” is back. He noted, however, that technology “change is coming faster than ever” with margins dropping in many categories.
Other sessions were led by last year’s CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award winner Frank White, an industry consultant that shared his perspective on building a proper “org chart” for an integration company, as well as business coach Peter Sieffert from San Diego’s Swiss Ave Partners, and a panel on “effectively working with builders,” featuring dealers Scott Bekendorfer, Rocky McCarthy, Mark Ontiveros, Bill Charney, and Don Dixon.
CEDIA’s senior director of learning and emerging technologies, Dave Pedigo, also presented sessions on CEDIA’s market survey results as well as his opinions on the top five technology trends. He focused on the evolving video display types or capabilities (high dynamic range, wider color space, OLED and Quantum Dots, 8K, curved TVs, and ultra short throw projection.) He also discussed streaming trends and the potential for new connector types (super MHL) and a new version of HDMI for 4K and 8K resolutions. He offered some insight into the connected “luminares” space (essentially controllable light bulbs) and how this is an opportunity for integrators. He also highlighted the 3D audio trend, which includes Dolby Atmos, Auro3D, and DTS:X, IP-based home automation, and the Internet of Things trend.
Dave Pedigo kicked off day two with a keynote address on the “State of the Industry” that provided a very positive prognosis for the industry’s present and future economic vitality.
“The industry is really, really strong. … We are up 37.8 percent in total gross revenue over the last two years. That is a fantastic number.”
– Dave Pedigo
During its awards presentation, Azione Unlimited provided the following members with honors:
2014 Champion Member: Mark Ontiveros of Audio Images
Bulldog Award: Dennis Jaques of Maverick Integration
2014 S.P.I.K.E. Award (supportive, profitable, invested, killing it, engaged): Starr Systems Design and Middle Atlantic
2014 Most Growth: Cantara
Golden Goose Q4-2014: Samsung
2014 Outstanding Support: Integra and Triad Speakers
2014 Vendor of the Year: Savant
Product of the Year: Sonance Digital Amps
Dealer Business Doublers 2014: Advanced Integrated Systems, Advanced Home Theater, Audio High, Cantara, Easy Living with Technology, Experience Technology, Hermary’s, Lava, Media Design Associates, Opus AVC, Residential Systems, Sound Ideas, Starr Systems, Audio Warehouse, Tunnel Vision, Xssentials
Vendor Business Doublers 2014: IC Realtime and Netsertive
Vendor Business Tripler 2014: Meridian
Read the full event recaps from Residential Systems and Technology Integrator here.