HTSA Wraps Successful Fall Conference; Announces 2016 Vendor Awards
Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), the nation's leading retail and custom integration buying group, wrapped up its 20th Anniversary Fall Conference last week at the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago with both members and vendors declaring it one of the most successful events ever offered by the organization. A packed agenda over three days provided detailed information on several critical industry topics including: the emergence of voice control in custom integraton, changing trends in home automation, video and social media marketing opportunities, the importance of organizational structure, job costing best practices, and more.
A Keynote Presentation that Revealed the Keys to Success with Generations
One session that created a lot of buzz was a dynamic keynote presentation by Alicia Rainwater, a certified generation speaker from the Center for Generational Kinetics in which HTSA members learned how to unlock the secrets to success with different generations - especially the rapidly growing Millennial generation. In the keynote, titled "Crossing the Generational Divide: Unlocking the Power of Generations to Grow Your Business," Rainwater, herself a Millennial, offered an engaging and humorous hour-long presentation that contained several startling facts, including:
- On average, Millennials are between 1-to-5 years older when they start their first job as compared to previous generations. Therefore, most business owners who are from older generations cannot gauge Millennials based on their own experience.
- Fully 25% of all new millionaires - a key target demographic for the custom integrators - are Millennials
- Millennials are tech dependent, but not tech savvy
- If you want Millennials to believe that you are a leader in technology, then you must be communicating via the technology that they use. In order to build credibility with Millennials, you must be on social media platforms, use texting, and have websites that give them more options to communicate with you online - such as online scheduling of visits/appointments, online chat for questions, etc.
Rainwater concluded her presentation with five specific suggestions on how HTSA members can have greater success doing business with members of the Millennial generation. Clearly tailored to HTSA's member profile, Rainwater's suggestions were based on research the Center has conducted in consumer electronics and custom integration.
HTSA Recognizes Top Vendors with 2016 Vendor Awards
Another popular event with attendees during the Fall Conference was an HTSA-hosted cocktail party, dinner, and awards ceremony which took place at the renowned Harry Caray's 7th Inning Stretch restaurant. This festive activity was meant to toast not only a successful conference, but also an immensely successful year.
At this ceremony, HTSA announced their 2016 vendor awards, recognizing those vendors, products, and people who made a special contribution to the success of the organization this year.
The 2016 Vendor Awards were as follows:
- 2016 Custom Product of the Year - Control4
- Best New Vendor of the Year - Atlona
- Video Product of the Year - Sony VPL-VW5000ES
- Audio Product of the Year - B&W 800 Diamond Series
- Vendor of the Year, Video - Sony
- Vendor of the Year, Audio - Anthem
- Most Profitable Vendor of the Year - Liberty AV Solutions
- Most Supportive Vendor of the Year - Sonance
- Person of the Year - Bjorn Jensen
"For HTSA, 2016 was an incredible year of renewed vigor and growth. Not only have we achieved new purchasing milestones with many key vendors, but several prominent new dealers have joined the group this year as well - further strengthening the organization," said Jon Robbins, Executive Director of Home Technology Specialists of America. "But success is a team sport, and we couldn't have accomplished our goals this year without the support of our incredible group of vendor partners. Our 2016 vendor awards recognize those individuals and organizations that went 'above and beyond' to support HTSA this year. Each of these awards represent hard work, commitment, and true partnership - and we congratulate all of the winners for this well-deserved recognition."
Participants' Comments on HTSA's 20th Anniversary Fall Conference
HTSA's 20th Anniversary Fall Conference this year saw member participation rates above 90% - a remarkable level of attendance that most major group's could only dream of achieving. Many sessions at the conference were filled to capacity, as members were clearly there to learn.
And participants - both member and vendors - clearly felt and commented on the group's growing momentum.
"There's more energy [at HTSA] since Jon Robbins rejoined the group," said Sandy Gross, founder of GoldenEar Technology. Gross also noted that the high level of member participation, coupled with an expanded one-on-one vendor/dealer meeting schedule is something that vendors like GoldenEar feel "is a good idea, it ensures that [we] get to speak to every member."
"HTSA does a really good job of educating their constituents," said Tim McInerney, Director of Product Marketing for Savant, who particularly highlighted the Conference's sessions on digital marketing and the Rainwater keynote presentation. "This Conference has been extraordinarily useful and effective for what we want to do."
HTSA member Dennis Galligan of In-Focus Systems in St. Louis Park, MN also found the Conference very worthwhile. "It's kind of like a little CEDIA, except it's private," Galligan said. "Everybody wants to share and help each other improve. For vendors, it really is more of a partnership."
Galligan noted that he gleaned much from the Fall Conference this year: the presentation on job costing has inspired him to upgrade his software, the session on organizational structure helped him see mistakes to avoid, and, he said, "The Alicia Rainwater keynote session was very enlightening."
Summing up the event, Savant's Product Manager added: "The HTSA integrators are some of the best we do business with," McInerney said. Perhaps one reason why: "They came to learn."
The preceding press release was provided by a company unaffiliated with Technology Integrator. The views expressed within do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of the staff of Technology Integrator.