Blew down to Texas this week to the ProSource Spring Meeting and wanted to report on some of the things I picked up and give our readers a quick peek at news that will be percolating out into the industry this coming week.
There are so many quality vendors doing business with our industry’s largest buying group – they represent $5.5B in sales volume – it’s inherently difficult to pick and choose winners. But from CEO and President Dave Workman’s awards presentation, a few did stand out this year and here is a quick overview of the awards presented:
Vendors of the Year
Video – Samsung
Projector and Specialty TV – Sony
Audio | Electronics – Denon and Marantz
Audio | Speakers – Klipsch
Audio | Headphones – JBL
Specialty | Digital Content/Streaming Devices – HEOS
Specialty | Accessories – AudioQuest
Specialty | Custom Integration – Screen Innovations
Specialty | Technology – Elan
New Vendor of the Year – Araknis
Overall Vendor of the Year – Harman International
Doing well by doing good has become an annual theme at ProSource’s annual spring meeting. Last year, the group raised over $72,000 for the local southwest-Texas branch of the Make-a-Wish charity foundation. For those who are or have been involved in children’s charities, you know how important it is to support these initiatives and give back to our communities across the country.
This past week, the group raised an amazing $100,000+ and it was really a gigantic feel-good to be in the ballroom as vendor and members queued up with donations. Marc Fischer of Origin Acoustics once again emceed the event and did a great job rallying the troops. A heartfelt thanks to all who so generously contributed.
I had a great talk with Ron Callis from One Firefly and he relayed some of the new and innovative web dev and social dev components they are bringing to market this year to support their dealer network. Storytelling is such a huge facet of web and social communication and Ron has built a large team of writers who can communicate and explain the advantages of working with a quality technology designer firm to the design-build community. Reaching influencers is critical to the on-going success of the CI channel, especially with new technologies such as 5G and AR on the horizon.
I had a brief talk with Jennifer Kirkpatrick, the national sales manager at American Lighting. AL is now a vendor for ProSource and is working to help educate the members on the many lighting topics they will need to become fluent and adept in the deployment of the rapidly expanding LED universe. Jennifer was at the recent Nashville Summit for ProSource and then back again at the Spring Meeting, so it’s good to see Al is paying real attention to the group. TD Magazine is following up with Jennifer to profile the company and their most recent product introductions. Look for that in the Summer issue.
I had a nice conversation with Henry Clifford of Livewire, who is also a co-founder of Parasol, a company providing remote system management solutions for the CI channel. The ability for technology designers to be able to remotely monitor their clients’ networks and the IoT devices that are connected, and the ability to remotely attempt to ‘fix’ any of those devices that might go off-line – BEFORE the outage impacts the homeowner – is a growing trend in the industry. RSM is SOP in the IT world, but more needs to be done to make it a standard service offering for the residential market. Look for more innovation, coming later this fall, from Parasol.