I recently sat down with Mark Cichowski of Clarity AV International to talk about how he has developed the Technology and Business Summit events that have recently been in the news.
Maureen Jenson: Congratulations on 10 years of the Technology and Business Summit events. For the uninitiated, what exactly are these nationwide events?
Mark Cichowski: Hey Maureen great to see you…the Technology & Business Summit is an education-oriented event highlighted with exhibits from some of the top manufacturers in the industry, featuring their newest and most exciting products. We also have great education, free lunch and it is a great investment of time…and we have grown to cover some major cities in the US!
MJ: You recently had some other big news, right? And please tell us what your role will be going forward?
MC: That’s right…in April CEDIA announced that it has purchased the Technology & Business Summit series of regional events for the home technology industry from us; Clarity AV International / Integrator Network.
My ongoing role will be to continue to work with the reps, manufacturers and integrators to develop business for each other. As noted, we all have an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, mentality. This comes in the form of keeping the events cutting edge, and working with the converging channels of Security, Lighting, IoT, and Light Commercial. We will keep it on a high level with CEDIA’s internal talent and resources to make the structure and logistics of the events even better. Of course, a huge factor in this is CEDIA’s education and what they bring to the industry. There are too many integrators that do not know enough about what CEDIA has to offer and how their business would benefit by learning more and becoming members.
MJ: Where do the manufacturers representatives fit into this?
MC: The CEDIA IPRO Affinity Group is something that compliments the entire plan. Outreach, regional training and additional support should increase. In addition, the representatives have played a major role in driving these events and will continue to do so. It is rewarding to see that these events have grown in the way that they have. There is significant opportunity to continue to grow in scope and locations.
MJ: You just had the May 2 & 3 Technology and Business Summit in Fort Lauderdale, FL AND you launched the CASTLE Summit. Tell me about that?
MC: The first Converging Audio/Video, Security, Technology, Lighting & Entertainment (CASTLE) Summit in Florida exceeded expectations. With about 500 in attendance. It was a new event format of three days in one location and we appreciated everyone that participated. We held Manufacturer/Rep training only on Day 1, and then two days of displays alongside general education seminars. As always, the local reps did a great job of working to drive traffic and our displaying companies were also extremely supportive. Day 1 brought higher than expected crowds and most came back for Day 2 and/or Day 3 as well. This format is now proven successful and something to build on for future events.
For more info:
The remainder of tour dates for Tech Summit 2018 are:
May 22 Los Angeles, CA So Cal Tech Summit
May 24 Irvine, CA So Cal Tech Summit
June 14 Lansing, MI Great Lakes Tech Summit
October 2 Long Island NY/NJ Tech Summit
October 4 NJ NY/NJ Tech Summit
October 25 Atlanta, GA Southeast Tech Summit
November 15 Phoenix, AZ Arizona Tech Summit
The Tech Summit is largely driven by the collaborative efforts of multiple Independent Manufacturer Representative Firms in each territory. Hosting rep firms for 2018 events are:
- Arizona: AV Partners, ByDesign Vision & Sound, Calwest Marketing, Current Marketing, Morris Tait Associates, Oliver Marketing, Paul Collins Group, Scowcroft & Associates, Soundtech Marketing
- Florida: AMI Sales, C&E Marketing, Higher Fidelity, High Note Sales, LK & Associates, LP Hench Company, Maverick Marketing, Orion Integrated Systems
- Great Lakes: Boyle Davis, EMI Integrated, Mike Pecar Sales, Progressive Sales & Marketing, Sales & Marketing, Inc., Tandem Marketing
- NY/NJ: Bach Sales, Big Apple Technology, DMC Enterprises, DSG Metro, J&G Audio Sales, New York Marketing Team, Opus Marketing Group, Sapphire Marketing, Specialty Sound & Vision, Thea AV
- Southern California: AV Partners, ByDesign Vision & Sound, Calwest
Marketing, Chris Dixon Company, Envisage Sales, I Rep Green, Morris Tait Associates, Oliver Marketing, Paul Collins Group, ProWest Sales, Studio Décor, Sutherland AV Marketing
- Southeast: AVR Inc., Brand Rep USA, Carolina Controls Group, C&E Marketing, Market Makers, PSG Reps
- Texas: Bell & McCoy, Dobbs Stanford, Elite 3 Pro, Integral Marketing
Associates, Lucas Sales, Marketing Concepts, Momentum Sales, Sage
Solutions, Summit Sales Tech Summit Events: Building