Azione Looks to the Future at Fall 2014 Conference
The title of buying group Azione Unlimited's Fall 2014 Conference was "The Arrant Affair." And as the event kicked off on Oct. 8 in Austin, Texas, Azione Founder/President Richard Glikes explained that as "arrant" means "truly, completely," the event was all about delivering a big dose of truth.
And that's what the group set out to do on the meeting's opening day, through assessing the industry's current state and forecasting the best ways for its vendor and dealer members to survive and thrive moving into a challenging future.
The day kicked off with a meeting of Azione dealer members, who are independent technology integrators. Following an introductory address from Glikes, the dealers began a roundtable discussion on their biggest operational challenges.
CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award winner Frank White of Stay Tuned then gave a presentation offering recommendations on how CE businesses should be structured based on the number of millions in their annual revenue.
This was followed by dealer presentations based around the theme, "What Operational Implementations Really Worked or Made an Impactful Change to Your Business." Speakers for this session included Avi Benaim of ABE Networks, EJ Feluner of Advanced Home Theater (AHT) Global, Jason Voorhees of Cantara Design, Mark Ontiveros of Audio Images, Todd DeAngelis of Signals AV and Travis Leo of Residential Systems.
Awards Recognized Growth
When the dealers were joined by Azione's vendor members, Glikes presented the Azione awards for this session:
• Most Growth First Half of 2014 went to Cantara Designs (dealer winner) and Triad (vendor winner).
• The Teamwork Award went to Residential Systems and Savant.
• IC Realtime was recognized for its growth in the third quarter of 2014.
Next, guest speaker Robert Heiblim, a consultant with the firm Blue Salve who previously held executive positions at Denon and ICH America, gave a presentation entitled "Your Place in the Overall Electronics Universe and What to Do About it."