21ST CENTURY DISTRIBUTING
Vanessa Zitzmann, Marketing & Sales
21st Century Distributing is gearing up for our annual Integration Innovation Roadshow, being held in May. The show focuses on the integration of our industry’s products and aims to help our dealers step up into that larger-profit job. New this year is an extra day at each location to accommodate trainings from our vendors. We are also looking forward to moderating dealer forums during the lunches to allow the dealers to bounce and share ideas with each other. For the duration of 2017, education is going to be our focus!
Jack Halperin, Senior VP, Dealer Channel Sales
As business and related vendor promotional activities have become more frequent and complex, we have added brand specialists at our headquarters. They coordinate efforts between our vendors, buying staff and broader sales organization, which allows us to provide more individualized attention. Most importantly, they distribute critical business information more frequently, which helps our dealers merchandise appropriately throughout the year, to maximize their sell-through results.
Jonathan Elster, CEO
In 2017, we have planned three dealer shows and seven trainings. Our shows provide an opportunity for our customers to attend vendor trainings as well as see product from over 50 suppliers. At this year’s shows, we plan to provide seminars on how our dealers can maximize social media an expand their e-commerce presence. We also plan to hold five customer roundtables where we meet with a select group of dealers to discuss areas of growth and opportunities and how we can become a better partner. Some of the trainings we have planned this year include LG, Lutron, RTI, Luxul, Hikvision and NEST. All of these trainings offer our customers an opportunity not only to learn about the product but to purchase product at a discount. Our #1 objective is to help our customers be successful and to provide them with new avenues of profitability.
Curt Hayes, President & CFO
Capitol appreciates any high-profile opportunity to meet with our customers and vendors. In the short term, we’ll be at both Nationwide PrimeTime and MEGA Group’s Spring Show, and, further out, we will be at the CEDIA Expo with a full display.
CEDIA is an important show for Capitol in that we not only feature the most in-demand products from our vendor partners, but we also host in-depth training sessions that allow our customers to earn education credits while learning about products and technologies that are having the biggest effect on the market.
However, Capitol’s commitment to education goes well beyond CEDIA. In fact, the Expo is just one piece of a pie that includes an extensive series of training programs, both on site at our headquarters and through “off-campus” programs for customers who prefer to have us visit them. Also, we post detailed webinars to our YouTube channel, along with a series of shorter videos entitled, “A Minute with Mike,” that feature our Technical Sales and Design specialist, Mike Marko, giving concise overviews of some of the most intriguing products and developments in our space.
Helge Fischer, Executive Director
Catalyst AV had a terrific 2016! We had a group increase in business of 23 percent, and by far, it was a record year. We are keeping the momentum going in 2017 with more training, more education, more customer support, more great lines and on-site system design and first-tier technical support that makes us the one-stop shop for everything integrators need in a challenging technical environment.
Spring excitement: 1) AllNet Distributing Weekly Webinar Series now qualifies for CEDIA CEU Credits; 2) Electronic Lane Grand Opening in Dallas; 3) Tech Source is holding Sony roadshows in May; monthly training webinars and a multi-vendor event in late June; 4) Easy-access distribution: Earn and Learn at Easy University March Training with HEOS, eero, Russound, Monitor, Denon and Marantz; 5) CustomPlus Tech Tours for four different events: Sony, Sonance, Sonos and more in May; 6) AHA is hosting URC, SureCall and Just Add Power Training in March and April.
This is just a brief glimpse into what some of our members are working on this spring. Log onto www.catalystav.com to access all our members directly.
CLIMATIC HOME PRODUCTS
Doug Allen, President
In 2017, Climatic Home Products will be rolling out several new opportunities for our dealers. Samsung, Electrolux, Vision Grills, and Broan will be launching new products and Climatic will have programs and events to support the rollout of these innovative products. As we launch these products, Climatic will have support for flooring programs, training, and marketing materials to make the launch successful. Our sales team will work with dealers to make sure they are making the right decision for their stores’ plan to sell.
Starting in April, we will have a series of Regional Pro Shows. These Pro Shows are designed to train hundreds of retail sales associates across the country on new-product launches. In these meetings, the sales associates will get a chance to have hands-on training so they can become advocates for the new products. The knowledge that each one of these sales associates takes back with them to their stores will help assist in the launch of these products.
Climatic will also be hosting cooking events that will showcase Vision Grills. We will have live cooking events around the country at dealer events and trade shows. The cooking events will give the dealers and sales associate a chance to watch the Vision and Icon grills in action.
Jeff Davis, Senior VP, Sales
One of D&H Distributing’s key offerings is its trade event schedule, where up to 120 vendors at a time gather to show their most compelling new solutions, in categories including mobile computing, smart home devices, videogaming, virtual reality, consumer electronics, wearables, 3D printing and more. D&H offers four shows per year: One in California, two in Pennsylvania, and this year, a new venue in Illinois. The events attract hundreds of attendees and offer seminars on the latest trends re: Microsoft Windows, mobility, cloud-based storage and other developments, to keep dealers apprised of new opportunities.
THE FESCO GROUP
Raymond Levy, COO
Because our DNA is based on decades of traditional retail and servicing retailers from mom-and-pops to big box, we’re very cognizant of the consumer psyche and we utilize that to offer CE retailers what they really need to stay competitive and profitable. At Fesco, we hold our own annual trade show at the end of October, offering attendees a tradeshow discount, exclusivity to retailers on certain products, “factory to sales floor” programs when orders exceed certain thresholds, and opportunities to work on a large “Free On Board” shipping program to help customers keep their costs down and margins up. Additionally, our specialty brands like Gourmia offer in-store demo days and a full range of demo videos that our accounts are able to integrate into their own marketing.
Alexandra Harding, Director, Vendor Management, Consumer Technology Solutions
Ingram Micro is excited about our 11th Vendor Expo, May 15th to May 18th in Scottsdale, Ariz., hosting over 500 manufacturers, retailers, VARs, and associates. This year’s theme is “Connected,” referring to the trend of connected devices and how this industry is built on relationships; we are all connected. The event will showcase the latest TV technology and smart home devices, amongst other products, with trainings around new technology, content-based marketing, and our portfolio of services and support.
Ingram Micro is also hosting four regional road shows throughout the summer, with content including industry insights and manufacturer trainings on security solutions. Ingram Micro will also be participating in CE Week, co-hosting nine tables and highlighting innovating technologies from new and familiar brands.
NEW AGE ELECTRONICS
Fred Towns, President
New Age will host its annual Dealer Summit event this July in Las Vegas – a two-day event complete with product showcases, educational sessions, presentations by industry experts and one-on-one meetings with key vendors. The conference highlights hundreds of top products across today’s hottest categories, including PC and mobility, gaming and virtual reality, connected home, audio, drones, small appliances, health and fitness, and wearables. Designed to give customers the competitive edge for the back half of the year, the 2017 event will focus on opportunities within the connected home and eSports segments as well as overall industry insights to help retailers win in today’s marketplace.
Tate Morgan, President
This April, Petra is hosting our 15th Annual Car Audio eXpo. At this annual event, we invite our mobile audio/video vendor partners to exhibit and demonstrate their latest products to dealers from a five-state area. Bringing customers and vendors together is truly the core of our business model. We also host numerous vendor partner trainings year round, which ensures that our sales, customer service and marketing teams always have the most current product information in order to better serve our dealers in all of our product categories. In addition, our attendance at shows like CES, CEDIA, CTIA and Nationwide PrimeTime help solidify relationships with new and existing dealers and vendors while fulfilling our commitment to seek out the most innovative new items and brands.
Dennis Holzer, Executive Director
PowerHouse Alliance distributor members serve as a partner for their local dealers, providing expertise, advice on how to specify products for jobs, as well as recommendations for offering and using new vendors and products in installations. Distributor members also cater to dealer needs with services such as 24-hour will-call, same- and next-day delivery, free shipping, and just-in-time product availability. Our distributor members also invest a lot of time into education, striving to have at least one open house, or training, per location, per month, where dealers can attend vendor product education sessions, product showcases or demonstrations.