In The Event: Where Education and Networking Converge
No matter what sort of industry in which you happen to work, it’s nearly a given that at least one or two annual conventions—or educational seminars, maybe, or quarterly forums or monthly panels—will be considererd by your colleagues to be can’t-miss, must-attend events. The education-oriented Technology & Business Summit, which recently hosted its third annual event over two separate days in Southern California, appears to be growing into just such an event.
More than 350 dealers, for instance, attended during the two days of this year’s Summit, which took place in Los Angeles on May 22 and in Orange County on May 24. What’s more, the event was brought to the industry by a collaborative effort of 10 independent manufacturer rep firms, which is unprecedented.
According to attendees, the intimate venue and focused displays encouraged an interactive environment where dealers truly got to talk with the manufacturers, as opposed to resorting to the more typical “fly-by.” In fact, 75 manufacturers that are represented by the various firms participated with tabletop displays and factory staff.
Along with the hands-on displays, however, the Summit is an education-focused event. There were four General Session Seminars that focused on industry trends such as the cloud and streaming, as well as business topics that included recurring revenue and standardized business practices. There were also 20 different manufacturers training on a variety of subjects, giving attendees the ability to pick and choose widely.
Perhaps the surest sign of the Summit’s success, however, was a combination of the high level of seminar attendance and the extremely positive feedback.
“It was truly rewarding to have the 10 firms, the manufacturers and the dealers all come together [to] create such a successful event,” said Clarity Business Group’s Mark Cichowski. “The energy level was high, everyone was engaged, feedback was outstanding, the venues were ideal and even the food was great. We’re already planning the Summit for next year, and [we’ve] received some useful ideas from the attendees to make it even better”.
CEDIA also participated in this year’s Summit, where it offered CU credits for certain seminars. According to a release, the Summit team is already planning to coordinate additional education programs for next year’s event.
Perhaps the most convincing proof of the event’s newfound importance in the industry, however, came directly from a satisfied dealer-attendee. “There are 10 of us here from our company,” he said, “which is almost all of our staff, and we came from pretty far away. You asked if the Summit was valuable, and would I do it again? Absolutely.” CR