Events like CEDIA Expo provide excellent opportunities for you to share what you saw so that people outside of our industry see, hear, and better understand what we do.

When it comes to marketing, a question many often ask is, “How can my company reach more prospective clientele right now with the limited time and resources we have?” I have got a very simple answer for you that’s based on the extensive time I’ve spent working with brands, firms, and associations in the AV industry. Want to know what it is?

CEDIA Expo 2023 Show Floor - Exhibits
Photo by John Staley

Stay with me here, because what I’m about to tell you might just make open your eyes to a new opportunity to reach a broader, very targeted audience that is more likely to buy what you are selling.

Every day, people in our industry meet or talk to people who have never heard of the products we sell or the experiences we provide. The sad reality is that the vast majority of the population still has no clue about what we do. Yet, those same people — and many, many more like them — enjoy music, movies, and entertainment and are seeking a heightened experience.

They’re bombarded with ads and influencers trying to convince them to buy, try, or learn more, and you know what the common theme is? Messaging appears where those people spend their time (social, web, digital advertising, etc.), and, more importantly, the language is simple, the visuals are snappy/poppy/pretty/compelling, and there’s a clear call to action: BUY NOW. TRY IT TODAY. LEARN MORE.

Sometimes, these all appear in sequence within the same message, and there’s a science to that. Every integration firm and every brand in the channel, with very few exceptions, can incorporate this strategy without spending a significant amount of time doing it. The more that do help rise the tide, and that’s the point of today’s conversation.

How do integration firms and tech brands tap into the vast ocean of opportunity? I’m a communications pro, so my answer comes from what I know best. Reaching a new audience is as simple as combining clear, concise messaging with catchy visuals that are both relevant and familiar. Re-read that sentence. The messaging you’re putting out there and the visuals you’re using need to be relevant to the audience you have and that you’re trying to attract. Keep it simple, make it fun, and it will, in turn, be more “sticky.” Meaning, your message is more likely to “stick” in the mind of the viewer, and, when that happens, they are more likely to click. If you’ve done your job well and have a library of content for them to peruse and engage with that’s of a similar nature, that’s when you get the golden ticket. Conversions!

Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn have strong advertising options that can float your message in front of a much larger audience. You’ll pay extra for this, but it is well worth the effort and investment when you intentionally build the audience by targeting interests, lifestyles, career choices, income, and more. Vintage car lovers, wine aficionados, and fans of real estate, architecture, and live music often have an interest in tech and want it in their homes and offices. Align your brand with those interests and use the advice in this article, and you will absolutely, positively, appeal to a new audience that hasn’t seen or engaged with your brand before.

It’s quite simple. When you speak a common language and show people something that is both remarkable and unforgettable, they will pursue you, your brand, and your offering. Converting them should then be easy, as you’ve already stirred their emotions. You have the expertise, your team is solid, you work with great brands, and you provide excellent service and support. Add this to your messaging and show how people enjoy what you’ve done. Now, you’re making it easy for people to see why they should click, engage, and buy from your company.

With that in mind, let’s go back to the main point of this piece. Whenever you travel to an industry event or have a chance to see tech in action, share details about it afterward publicly! It really doesn’t take long to learn to craft catchy captions that pair well with good-looking images, but it does take diligence. Commit to carving out time to write a quick blog and share, in common terms, what people should know. More than anything else, use common words and phrasing like what you see in the mainstream rather than the language of our industry. That’s what makes your message sticky and that’s what makes it a whole lot easier to craft. Eliminate hyperbole and just speak naturally. Add an image that shows people enjoying a relatable, relevant experience rather than a side view of products, and definitely stay away from tech specs, acronyms, and other language that most won’t know how to process or act on.

Last year, I brought a mid-30s friend to CEDIA Expo who happened to also be the one that led AV Yoga at CEDIA Expo. What resonated with her was how brands like Leon showed relatable rooms, staged to feel friendly and pitched with language that felt familiar. As I approached the booth, she looked up from their new look book and squealed, “I love this company!” That was her first introduction to the brand, and she’s mentioned it now to no less than 10 friends (who likely told friends, who told friends). This year, I brought her back and not just to teach yoga. She also took over KMB’s Instagram account to share the show through her lens and is helping us better understand how to share what we see. Take a look at @kmb_communications on Instagram to see what Maddie Ringer saw and how it resonated.

As always, I’m here to help. I know this stuff can be daunting, but me and my team can get you on a path that makes it easier and takes less time. Drop me a line at [email protected] and let’s start the conversation!

Reaching People

In an article I wrote for Residential Systems called Putting the Social Back in Social Media and in another called The Value of Human Interaction I touch on the need to be real when choosing words, being genuine, and using language that’s understandable by the masses. If you’re not familiar with these, give ‘em a read as they provide a bit more detail and will help you make better sense of the social “sphere” as I like to call it.

Original article can be found at:

A 25+ veteran of the residential tech & AV integration industries, Katye McGregor Bennett is the CEO of KMB Communications, a boutique communications firm that anchors the intersection of technology + design by connecting brands, buyers, and prospective audiences through creating compelling content and conversation that elevates and amplifies. In addition to co-hosting Design Uncut with Veronika Miller, Katye hosts two popular podcasts, Connecting Tech+ Design and AV Trade Talk. She is part of the DesignHounds influencer group and also serves on the NAHB Custom Technology Work Group, is a strategic advisor in the CEDIAHTA, and AVIXA communities, a frequent contributor to Residential SystemsConnected Design and founder of the AV Yoga group.