ISE 2019: KMB’s Favorite Amsterdam Spots

The clock is ticking people! KMB has been coming to ISE in Amsterdam for years now, and we only have two more left in Amsterdam before the show moves to Barcelona in 2021. While we won’t miss the winter weather in Venice of the North, we will miss the food, drinks, and overall rockin’ good time to be had in this amazing city. So we’re taking the next two years to make sure we hit our fave spots, along with some new ones we’ve been longing to try. Allow us to recommend a few!

Eats & Treats

Mayur Indian Restaurant – With food conceived by a New Delhi native Pramod Sharma (now helmed by his son), you know this food is authentic. Authentic doesn’t always mean delicious, but Mayur does both exceptionally well and at a reasonable price with great service and personable staff. Traditional North-Indian dishes in a warm atmosphere make you feel like you are dining in someone’s home. Namaste ya’ll.

Casa de Sergio (Italian) – This is a cozy spot with Italian spirit on the Korte Leidsedwarsstraat near the Leidseplein in Amsterdam. You’ll find traditional Italian dishes like homemade Margherita pizza, Risotto ai funghi porcini, (yum!), meat and fish, plus delish Italian desserts. All must be accented with a nice bottle of wine, of course.

Midtown Grill – (Steakhouse)You know after a long day at the RAI you need a little red meat! This steakhouse opened in 2010 and is now known as one of the best in Amsterdam. Add a meticulously curated wine list and craft cocktails and you’ve got a recipe for an unforgettable evening.

Oriental City (Chinese) – As un-PC as its name may be these days, to KMB, Oriental City can do no wrong. Near the Royal Palace, the red-light district, and Chinatown, the restaurant specializes in authentic Cantonese dishes with chefs hired from Hong Kong. Dimsums, roasted meats, and fresh seafood all totally TDF.

Restaurant de Utrechtsedwarstafel – Though we’ve not been here yet, Mark Cichowski of the Tech & Business Summits (powered by CEDIA) claims it’s amazing, and by the look of the website, it is. From what we can tell, the menu is based on seasonal produce and the traditions of French master chef Joel Robuchon, with a creative and authentic flare. Can’t wait to have dinner there Thursday, February 7!

De Vier Pilaren (Best Pancakes) – You have no idea. These pancakes are so, so good. I mean, c’mon, a thin, European butter-and-powdered-sugar-topped circle of happiness? You can get savory ones as well. Either way, these babies make any trip to Amsterdam a little more special.

FEBO – Walk up to the counter for fast treats like french fries and hamburgers, or get a Dutch snack out of the automated vending machines, like krokets, frikandellen (a sort of minced meat hot dog), and Kaassoufflés, which are basically cheese, wrapped in dough, and deep fried. Need we say more?

Mike Blackman, friend and Executive Director of ISE himself, recommends Izikaya, so you know it must be the bee’s knees. Just look how beautiful their sushi is to get an idea of the craft and care that goes into this culinary experience.

The Harbour Club
Mike also recommends the Harbor Club, and while KMB has not been there, but the look of the wine cellar and funky art is enough for us to get our reservations on! Definitely a must-be for KMB.

Orange Juice –Katye and John love the OJ in Amsterdam. Stop and get a juice at least once during your visit. After all the wear and tear of ISE, the Vitamin C immunity boost will do you good!

Do & See

Markets (Citywide) –On Saturdays, you’ll find large street markets peppered throughout Amsterdam. Tthere are many treasures to be found here. We like Albert Cuyp Markt, which runs through the middle of de Pijp, known for its 19th-Century architecture and culinary scene. Noordermarkt is really three markets in one. On the left side is Boerenmarkt farmers market, to the right, antiques, books, vintage clothing, jewelry, fairtrade bags, etc, and around the corner, Lindengrachtmarkt, one of the best food markets in the city. Nieumarkt still holds a daily market as well as an organic fare market on Saturdays, but we like to go there for the cafés and restaurants, too. On the must-try list is the Ijhallen, a gigantic (700 stalls!) monthly flea market filled with vintage bargains that, we hear, is very worthy of a day trip.

Take a Canal Boat Tour – We never get tired of eating at KMB, but if you are looking for something to do during your time away from RAI outside of grub, you must do a canal cruise at least once in your life. Amsterdam’s history is so deeply intertwined with the canals, it’s a great learning experience and also incredibly fun!

The Anne Frank House – On July 6, 1942, the Frank family went into hiding in the building at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam. You can visit it here and learn her story through quotes, photos, and videos in an authentic and subdued environment. Definitely an experience.

Rijkmuseum  – Located in Amsterdam’s Museum Square, the Rijksmuseum is renowned for its world-class Dutch masterpieces that illustrate the story of The Netherlands, with highlights like Vermeer’s “Milkmaid,” Van Gogh’s self-portrait, and Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch.” Get a little culture shot while you are here and see some true masterpieces! Of course, there are many other museums worth checking out, if you’ve got the time….

L&B Whiskey Cafe – This smooth whiskey bar has a collection of more than 2100 whiskeys! Scottish malt whiskeys, Irish, American, Canadian, and Japanese bottlings are all on the list, as well as 100 bottles from all European corners. Single malt, blend, bourbon, cask strength, single cask—all types, sizes, ripening and ages can be tasted here. Bartenders will advise you if you get lost and are also up to snuff on all the new bottlings that haven’t made the menu yet.

Craft Brew – If you’re in the mood for a cold beer instead, former client and friend Mike Maniscalco recommends these spots for a craft brew! You won’t find Heinekin or Amstel on this list.

We hope to see you at ISE 2019! In the meantime, follow along with us before, during and after ISE by liking us on Facebook!

San Diego Beer: Sciacca’s Top 10 Craft Brews to Drink @CEDIA

Welcome guest blogger John Sciacca on the best San Diego beer to drink during CEDIA!

According to Beer Connoisseur, San Diego has earned props as one of the world’s top craft beer cities. And with more than 140 craft breweries in the area, there is plenty of hoppy delicious to keep your week interesting. Having reviewed over 500 craft beers ( I have a few favorite breweries that I’d suggest you check out while in town.

Read this list with a big grain (pun intended) of my favorite beer styles being IPA, Imperial IPA, and Triple IPA, especially those with massive, juicy, fresh West Coast style for which San Diego IPAs are particularly well known. When I’m not enjoying a massive IPA, I’m not adverse to pouring an Imperial stout or Belgian Tripel. I think sours are disgusting, and I don’t have any time for light, low-ABC, low-cal brews.

So, here are ten breweries I suggest you check out while in San Diego:

Stone Brewing Company – Stone has a massive array of big, 8+% ABV Imperial IPAs and they are practically all delicious. My favorite Stone IPA is the RuinTen, which is just the glorious perfection of a Triple IPA. From my review: “The beer was a perfect, magical harmony of sublime hops, malt and alcohol that all worked together like a symphony conducted by the very hands of God himself. From look, to nose, to first dash on the tongue, to the lingering finish that was like Mozart creating a masterpiece in your mouth with his fruffy white wig dripping in sticky-icky sweet-juicy hops.”

Green Flash Brewing Co. – Another company that specializes in the West Coast IPA, Green Flash offers several beers that are sure to please, some of which aren’t even IPAs! My favorite is the Green Bullet. From my review: “The smell is just flat-out great. Piney and hoppy and sweet and juicy and mango-pineappley. It’s just totally spot on; not just hitting the bulls-eye but splitting the frickin’ arrow that Palate Wrecker put into the bulls-eye! Can’t wait to taste… My hands are trembling a little bit from the emotion of it, and I just had a panicked moment where I nearly overturned my glass. Dammit, man! Get it together, Sciacca!”

Ballast Point Brewing – These guys are very widely known for the Sculpin, which is a nationally distributed – and quite delicious – IPA. The Sculpin comes in multiple flavors now such as Pineapple, Grapefruit, and Habanero. Yes, Habenero. If you like spicy AND beer, this is for you. From my review: “Wow. I mean, you feel it like an IPA on your tongue but then the spicy heat just kicks you right in the back of the throat. It is like a taco truck just drove through your mouth, dripping all kinds of pepper juices out of its tail pipe and burning out in your throat on the swallow. The heat kind of radiates down your throat and into your belly a bit on the swallow, negating any real bitter on the finish. In fact a belch just brings up more spice and heat.”

Coronado Brewing Company – Surprise! Another brewery I love for their IPAs! Some of my favorites from Coronado have been their anniversary releases, but their year-round brews, like the Idiot IPA, are nothing to miss! From my review: “Nose is rich with big juicy hop notes; sweet with orange juice and grapefruit citrus. First sip and boom! This lands like a bitter bomb right on the tongue, surrounding it and coating your mouth with rich, juicy hop citrus.”

AleSmith Brewing Company – OK, this is for the dark beer lovers out there, as the AleSmith Speedway Stout is all world. Dark, big, and so full and rich! From my review: “Nose is not hitting you over the head, but if you get down into the glass and really breathe it in, you are rewarded with dark, bitter cocoa nibs, and burnt espresso and roasty malts. First sip and it hits the mouth with a silky, velvety luscious creaminess. I feel like my mouth has entered a Japanese bathhouse, been welcomed by two lovely, delicate geisha, and it was then wrapped in a beautiful silk kimono.”

Mikkeller Brewing – Another one for the dark beer lovers, this company makes a beer that rocks 16% ABV, perfect for those times when you want to drink a little something before stumbling into bed. The Black Tokyo is a massive beer. Fortunately, it comes in a small (250 Ml) bottle. From my review: “I can’t tell so much if I poured a beer or someone let out the drain plug on an early 80’s vehicle that has been driving around the country in desert conditions, and this beer oozes thick and black into the glass, produces just a whisper of dark brown foam that vanishes almost as quickly as the bubbles form. Rolling the thick liquid around in the glass causes the viscous fluid to etch itself on to the glass, carving in long, lingering lacing trails wherever it touches. The nose has an edge of sweetness to it, with some burnt, dark-dark roasted coffee but also a salty-sweet edge of soy sauce.”

Belching Beavery Brewery – You got your chocolate in my peanut butter! Well you got your peanut butter chocolate in my beer! And it works! If you’ve ever wanted to try a Peanut Butter flavored milk stout, there is no better place to visit. From my review: “For a beer with this name, it actually drinks surprisingly easy and smooth. I was thinking that it would be overly sweet or heavy, but it is really easy drinking with just a bit of sweetness. At the end of the first glass, the finish is more creamy peanut butter smooth Jif style and less roasted coffee with nuts, but still fairly mild on the peanut flavor.”

Iron Fist Brewing Company – This company makes a Tripel that isn’t all Tripel. From my review: “Nose has that sweet, banana and bubble-gum juiciness that I love from a Tripel, but with a pretty big and nice hoppy undernote. First sip and the beer draws a freeway line down the center of my tongue, as I feel it literally tracing its way through my mouth. There isn’t as much carbonation as I was expecting, but notes of sweetness, that flash of bubblegum juicy, and then an almost burnt malt note and then a lengthy bitterness on the finish that is all IPA. This thing is about as complex as a Rubik’s Cube without a cheat sheet.”

Karl Strauss Brewing – To be honest, I’ve never had any beers from Karl, but his reputation precedes him, and from everything I can see, Karl Strauss is one of the fathers of the San Diego craft scene, and I don’t plan on leaving SD without having some serious glass time with Karl and his brewings!

KMB Travels: Our Recs for San Diego Restaurants & Must-Dos During CEDIA 2018!

Did you know KMB hails from San Diego? This is our hood, people! Here are KMB’s recs for our fave San Diego restaurants, plus entertainment and escape spots to beat the chaos of the CEDIA show floor. 

Breakfast Republic (Liberty Station) (Formerly MCRD)
Filled with arts, eats, and shops, Liberty Station has become one of our go-to’s now that the original Naval Base and Marine Corp Recruiting Depot has been completely overhauled and repurposed. We are particularly fond of Breakfast Republic, where you can enjoy the most important meal and power up for your CEDIA agenda. Try the breakfast Mac-n-Cheese! Open from 7am–3pm, it also has 20 beers on tap. Delish.

The LOT Movies & Dining 
Also at Liberty Station, The LOT is great for all of the many movie and dining fans that CEDIA inevitably attracts. It’s one of those new theaters with a restaurant and bar, all with the great AV (not to mention incredibly comfy seats by Fortress Seating). A high-energy social hub for craft coffee, artisan pastries, elevated cuisine, premium spirits, and sophisticated wines.

Women’s Museum of California (Liberty Station)
Need a little culture in your CEDIA week? Check out the Women’s Museum of California while you’re at Liberty Station, where Katye’s sister heads up the events and design teams!

Rubio’s Coastal Grill
As cliché as it might sound for a native Californian to recommend a fish taco, it’s hard to beat one when you’re in America’s Finest City. If you’ve never tried a fish taco, this is the year to do it!

Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen and Bar
Stewart Filmscreen’s Shannon Townley introduced us to Puesto, very near the Convention Center. Good prices for fresh food and powerful drinks. (And you know you are gonna need one after day one!)

El Indio Mexican Restaurant
We’re huge fans of authentic Mexican food, and one of our favorites is close to downtown—El Indio Mexican Restaurant and tortilla factory. Insider tip: We often stop here before going back home in order to get a stash of fresh corn and flour tortillas. If you have access to a freezer the night before you depart, these tortillas freeze and travel well in a plastic bag (now outlawed in California).

Roberto’s Taco Shop
For an entirely different, very SoCal, authentic Mexican food experience known to many who grew up in the area (and perhaps had too much to drink on rare occasion), visit the Roberto’s empire. Really, honestly, any “-erto’s” is more than likely gonna be good. Try the rolled tacos and a carne asada or California burrito.

Bluewater Seafood Market and Grill
Like fish? Look no further than Bluewater Seafood Market and Grill, which happens to be next to El Indio. John Bennett says you have to have one of their fish sandwiches! Be careful, you might want to move to SD just for this sandwich. #Truth.

Point Loma Seafoods
Robert Keeler of Stewart Filmscreen agrees that this is the place to go for your daytime seafood eating needs, especially if you like a diverse—very diverse—seafood offering. They claim to be the “freshest thing in town,” and friends agree.

Little Italy
If authentic Italian food and atmospher is more your style, try Little Italy. We like both Solunto (the bakery!) and Sorrento (great pizza!)

Rustic Root
This place has incredible rustic American fare where traditional dishes are given a modern twist. Last year several companies and KMB got to know Rustic Root and became big fans. We’re going back and know others who are too. Like Shawn Tobin of CE Pro, whose bone-in ribeye was larger than his head. (This was proven. We saw the pictures.)

Raised by Wolves
We haven’t been here yet but friends tell us it’s a fun place to be. Yelp reviews suggest it might be a bit of a pain, so proceed with caution. We’re gonna check it out for a) the interior design (see below) and b) the fact that it’s a speakeasy. KMB loves to speak easy.

The Whiskey House
Whiskey lovers, rejoice. We’re told this place is the place to go while in SanDiego. Industry expert Robert Keeler of Stewart Filmscreen attests to the breadth of its offering, which tops 600 different kinds of whiskey.

Gelato Vero Cafe
Big fans of ice cream here at KMB. So we always try to stop at Gelato Vero Cafe for gelato. It’s just North of El Indio. Go for the gelato not the service.

In-N-Out Burger
Do you know about the secret menu? Look it up and be woefully cool when you order in front of your colleagues California’s most famous burger. For Katye, it’s animal style with crispy fries.

San Diego Surf Polo Club
Ever taken in a game of Polo? Just so happens there’s a world-class polo venue just north of San Diego in Del Mar, with games taking place both weekends, before and after CEDIA Expo. Even Better, there’s a tournament on the beach in front of the Del, which in and of itself is a sight to behold (see below).

Water Taxi

Rent a Boat
Want to hit the water? Rent a stand up paddle board, boat, or even a yacht and take to the seas (or just stay in the marina).

Upscale Baja-style seafood with menu items like Lobster and Black Bean Flautas, you can’t miss with this rec. We haven’t eaten here ourselves, but hear from our foodie friends it’s divine, and the views appear to be amazing!

Top of the Hyatt Bar
Home of the original Bombay Sapphire martini and 40 floors above the ground overlooking the harbor. You might see KMB peeps hanging here pre- or post-dinner during CEDIA week.

So Many Craft Beers, So Little Time
According to Beer Connoisseur, San Diego has earned props as one of the world’s top craft beer cities. And with more than 140 craft breweries in the area, there is plenty of hoppy delicious to keep your week interesting. Having reviewed over 500 craft beers. John has a few favorite breweries to share in this guest blog.

We hope you try (and love) some of our recommendations. Tell us what you thought of them in the comment section below. And see you in sunny Sandi!

KMB Welcomes the Season of Gratitude

KMB Gratitude

If you’re like us, your inbox and RSS feeds are filled with posts about gratitude. As we approach the official start of the holiday season, it is definitely time to give thanks for what we have.

No, the world (still) isn’t perfect. But if we look within to identify our blessings, we can certainly find good in our own little corner of the planet. We believe this is true no matter what your personal challenges may be.

For those of us who are also blessed with a strong support network, good friends, and thriving businesses, it is even more important to recognize and give thanks to those who have helped us on our journey.

And… let’s be honest. Sometimes it’s nice to be on the receiving end of a heartfelt “thank you,” as well.

Thank you card from OneVision Resources to KMB

No Thanks Needed… But Always Appreciated!
KMB client Joey Kolchinsky of OneVision Resources recently sent KMB’s Chief Strategist Katye (McGregor) Bennett a handwritten thank you note, thanking her for the guidance she’s provided over the last two years. This included helping to navigate a business model pivot, develop a content strategy, and write an interview for the Boston Voyager, a local lifestyle publication that shares stories of successful Bostonians.

During Azione Unlimited’s Fall Conference, panelists discussed the significant benefits they’ve seen from writing thank you cards to clients, partners, and employees. Panelists mentioned more motivated employees, more loyal clients, and better overall relationships as some of the advantages gained.

In this age of digital communications, taking time to write a handwritten thank you card shows you genuinely care. It’s more than just saying the words; it’s articulating and delivering a heartfelt message.

The little things matter. And that’s what we specialize in here at KMB. Our clients share this philosophy, as exemplified in Joey’s note.

In Praise of Cards and Cookies
Admittedly, at KMB Communications we are kind of crazy about cards. Katye typically sends a handwritten thank you inside a whimsical or timely greeting card each month. I look forward to these uplifting notes for a smile (and often a laugh) after closing out yet another intense month with the KMB team.

This month, I got home-baked cookies, too. And let me say: Cookies are also a pretty great way to say thank you. (My six-year-old son thought so, too.)

As we enter into one of the most stressful, intense times of the year, when work commitments, holiday shopping, gatherings, and parties all coincide, many of us will be rushing to write our annual holiday greeting cards. Just another must-do on our holiday to-do list.

But how many other times during the year do you reach out and let the people in your network know how much you really appreciate them?  Whether through a phone call, a handwritten card, or a small token of appreciation, it’s smart to share your gratitude in a more personal way.

It feels good. It makes others feel good. And now more than ever, people need just a little more happiness.

#OptOutside And Show Gratitude With Us
In past years, we’ve asked our social network, friends, clients and colleagues to consider skipping the Black Friday crowds, which take time away from family, friends, and loved ones during the holiday weekend. Instead, #OptOutside. An initiative launched several years ago by outdoor retailer REI, #OptOutside has gained momentum as new family traditions are formed. Members of the KMB  team will be outdoors hiking, picnicking, and even possibly snowboarding—but definitely relaxing this Black Friday. We hope you’ll join us. (If you do, please tag @KMB_Comm and share your photos using #OptOutside.)

Just one more thing (as Steve Jobs would say). We hope you will take the effort to share your appreciation for someone who means a lot to you. Perhaps it’s a mentor who helped you in your business. A friend who is always there with the perfect adult beverage and a shoulder to cry on. An employee who consistently gets it right.

Or maybe it’s your favorite AV manufacturer, making it easier for you to enjoy the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, football, or your favorite holiday films with superior sound and image fidelity.

Who will you thank this week? Catch us on Twitter let us know using #KMBGratitude.





KMB Communications Celebrates Five Years of Success

KMB Communications, international PR and strategic communications firm dedicated to the pro, commercial, and custom AV integration markets, is proud to announce we are celebrating our five-year anniversary today, August 8, 2016. KMB 5 Year Anniversary-1650x1650

As small business owners, we’re all too familiar with dismal statistics that show the vast number of small businesses that fold within the first year. Not only has KMB bucked those odds, but we’re proud to say that, as we celebrate our fifth year in business, we’re stronger, larger, and more successful than we ever thought possible.

Now, let’s just stop for a moment and say this. We know that statement above sounds pretty braggy – but if you know us you know that isn’t the point of the story, and definitely not our way. Instead, it is meant to say that it’s with sincere gratitude and pride we share these facts:

  • KMB Communications now reps two Academy Award-winning firms, both with rich histories in Hollywood sound and video.
  • We represent many esteemed brands, including multiple award winners from various organizations in a number of categories. Several of our clients (both technologists and manufacturers) have entered the CEDIA awards, and we are eagerly awaiting the results!
  • KMB has increased its staff to include more writers, a graphic designer, a social media manager, and a project manager to keep us all on track.
  • We have expanded our services to include blogging, website copy, and social media in addition to public relations, and will soon spin-off our photography and video production, which now includes projects from scripts and shooting to final production. CreatAV Productions will come online in Q3 2016 to support the growing needs of this part of our business.
  • We’ve partnered with UK-based Wildwood PR to further support the AV industry here in the states and across the world.

As we look back in our fifth year in the PR business, we couldn’t be more grateful for the industry that has given us these opportunities, and to our mentors, partners, friends, and peers that provided us the support and guidance that shaped our careers in the years preceding the launch of KMB Communications. Stay tuned for another post that shares stories and thanks all who have contributed to our success.

KMB Communications, The Year In Review

The past five years have been incredible and the past year has kept us busier than ever. We’ve been to Amsterdam and the UK, and our work has landed clients on the cover of CE Pro, with an in-depth feature story inside the magazine. (Thanks Jason and Julie!) We’ve spearheaded successful ISE, InfoComm, and CEDIA campaigns for clients, co-hosted a regular industry podcast, organized several product reviews for clients, and represented multi-award-winning  product manufacturers and integrators, while still finding time to assist in the launch of a new album and music video for rock band Stranded by Choice.

And that’s the short list! It could go on aBeautyLoveDond on. Frankly, it makes our heads spin a little. We’ve ramped up our social media efforts and now have several channels along with this blog so our partners, peers, and prospects can continue to learn more about our clients, their many successes, and how we elevate and amplify their messages to the world.

It’s All for Our Clients

We are blessed and honored to have amazing clients with product offerings that are changing, evolving, and even disrupting the industry. While it’s easy to promote brands when they have a compelling story to tell, it’s the job of the KMB team to hone in on that story, and then elevate and amplify it across all channels. Whether we are writing and distributing press releases, writing blog posts, creating and amplifying hashtags, editing white papers, shooting photos, creating videos, assisting at trade shows, or spending hours and hours on conference calls to connect our clients with top media outlets and influencers – we always have our clients’ stories at the top of our minds. We make sure those stories get told—in a compelling way that is consistent with the brand. BabcockNMilesWine

For what it’s worth,we’re loving every minute of it. All of us on the KMB team come to the company either as veterans of the AV industry or as professionals with a passion for music and movies. We’ll discuss these connections between the AV industry and the content creators—the musicians and movie-makers that provide a purpose for the entire AV industry —in the future. We’re even talking with some major organizations to bridge the gap between the technology and the content in very compelling, tangible ways.

We’re very fortunate that our success, to date, allows us these opportunities to reach farther, to take time out to think creatively, and to continue having so much fun together while serving our clients.

Although the KMB team works remotely in locations ranging from Red Lodge, Montana, to Denver, Colorado; Southern California; Long Island, New York, and parts in between, we really are a team that has as much fun working as we do brainstorming virtually over wine in the late evening hours or in the early mornings over coffee.

And while we recognize it’s Monday, tradition dictates we will all pour a glass tonight in celebration of five years of success—ours and our clients— with great anticipation of what the next five years will bring – and many more after that. Please join us on Twitter or Facebook, share your libation of choice (even if it’s a cool sparkling water), and your plans, goals, and dreams for the next five years!

And, hey, we’d be remiss if we didn’t offer. Want your story articulated, elevated, and amplified? We’re here to help, and rest assured, we’ll have a ton of fun along the way.

Network & Connect at the SoCal Technology & Business Summit

Network & Connect at the SoCal Technology & Business Summit

KMB Communications attends SoCal Technology & Business Summits with clients.

Show of hands, please. How many of you are attending the SoCal Technology and Business Summits May 3 in Los Angeles or May 5 in Orange County, California?

This free show, which includes breakfast and lunch networking opportunities, seminars worth CEDIA CEU credits, and the chance to visitSoCal-Technology with a long list of top manufacturers as well as their rep partners, is now in its eighth year and going strong.

The Summit is organized and managed by industry veteran Mark Cichowski and sponsored by independent manufacturer rep firms in Southern California: AV Partners, ByDesign Vision & Sound, Calwest Marketing, Chris Dixon Company, I Rep Green, Morris Tait Associates, Paul Collins Group, ProWest Sales, and Studio Decor.

Here at KMB, we are biased about the value of regional rep trade shows on a number of levels:

  • Our chief strategist, Katye (McGregor) Bennett, used to run a rep and distributor-based regional trade show in Dallas
  • Most of KMB’s clients are participating in the Tech & Business Summits
  • Summit founder Mark Cichowski has invited and commissioned KMB Communications to shoot video at the event

Keeping all this in mind, we firmly believe – and always have – that regional trade shows provide a tremendous opportunity for small-to-mid-size technology professionals to break through the noise of national and international shows and learn so much about the brands they carry. These shows offer the time, space, and place to understand the products, partners, and technology that make custom integrators successful, and to develop close working relationships with your rep partners and peers.

CEDIA also recognizes the value and fully supports these shows, which brings manufacturers’ reps and distributors together with their direct customers in a laidback setting where they can share ideas, ask and answer questions, and network. (And did we mention technology professionals can earn CEU credits?)

What You Can Do at a Regional Show

As much as the larger trade shows have incredible value, it’s challenging for smaller technology professionals to get an audience with larger manufacturers. You’ll get your badge scanned and receive a product overview from the sales team, but rarely will you gain a real understanding of the product’s benefits and applications. Regional shows can provide in-depth understanding of how to sell and integrate the newest technology, and also afford you the chance to really get to know the people you do business with.

If you have ideas to bring to the table, your regional rep has the time to listen and pass your feedback directly on to the manufacturer. You may even have the opportunity to share your ideas directly with your favorite manufacturers. But – as with any trade shows – it’s about much more than just what happens on the show floor.

SoCal Technology

John and Katye get ready for another trip!

The breakfast and lunch networking events offer multiple opportunities to strengthen relationships. Or maybe you can hang out in the hotel bar after the show closes for the day and grab a drink with the marketing manager for a company whose products you respect, but have had a few small issues with in recent times. Maybe you have suggestions to improve these products. A regional show gives you the chance to have your voice heard and fast-track relationships to be more productive back in the office.

As the Summit’s official press releases states: “The intimate venue and focused displays encourage an interactive environment where dealers truly get to talk with the exhibitors as opposed to doing a ‘fly-by.’”

Think about it as you make your travel plans: How can you be an active participant in the industry with your local rep show as the catalyst?

KMB Connects

With many of our clients, including Stewart Filmscreen, Ihiji, Quantum Media Systems, Datasat, and Torus Power (represented by AV Partners) products on display, KMB will be onhand to support our clients, helping elevate and amplifying their messaging to media, bloggers, and podcasters in attendance.

We have also been commissioned to shoot video for the Summit, capturing not just the new products and the technology, but the essence of this regional show.

And, like the integrators in attendance, we plan to use this show to connect more deeply with our clients and meet face-to-face with peers and prospects. KMB Communications recognizes we are not a “big fish” either, but a highly personalized, specialized, boutique PR firm in the industry. The “small pond” of the SoCal Technology and Business Summit gives us a chance to shine in an intimate setting and form synergistic relationships with companies whose products and services complement our existing client base.

We are looking forward to this event for so many reasons… and we hope to see you there. So mark your calendars (oh, wait, the show is already on THE AV Industry Calendar, an online resource brought to you by the founder of the Summit, Mark Cichowski) for the SoCal Tech & Business Summit.