SI’s new version of Janus power and control hub meets stringent fire and smoke requirements of NEC, NFPA, and UL, offering commercial integrators a motorized shading solution that’s versatile, powerful, and easily installed.
AUSTIN, TX (August 19, 2020) —Screen Innovations (SI), a premier US-based manufacturer of projection screens and window shades, offers a new version of its popular Janus power and control hub, expressly engineered for the needs of commercial integrators. Tested and certified by the NEC, NFPA, and UL for fire-resistance and low-smoke production, Janus Plenum meets all safety regulations for plenum installation.
The new plenum-rated Janus includes all of the same features of the original Janus, but with a new enclosure suitable for in-wall, riser, and general plenum spaces. This new design, along with its compact size, offers commercial integrators a variety of mounting options to minimize cabling runs and simplify installation. It can easily fit where other power and control hubs can’t, utilize all wiring topologies, including Cat5 or Cat6, or most any multiconductor wire, and handle extremely large shade jobs—up to 8 shades via a single Janus unit or as many as needed by locating multiple Janus units together.
“At Screen Innovations, we continue to innovate and refine our products to provide solutions for every shading and screen application. The introduction of Janus Plenum marks the debut of the motorized shading industry’s first commercial power supply that’s plenum rated and of solid-state construction,” says SI CTO Michael Braithwaite. “Adding Janus Plenum to our lineup offers new opportunities for integrators to handle large commercial shading jobs and integrate easily with all of our shading options including Nano, Zen, Solo 2, Solo Pro 2, and Veil draperies.”
Janus Plenum offers a host of additional features including redundant power supply options, infinitely scalable infrastructure, and more than 100 mounting configurations.
Screen Innovations engineers and hand-builds all screen and shade solutions at its 75,000-square-foot factory in Austin, Texas. Dedicated to developing the most unique and innovative screens and shades for the custom residential and commercial markets, the company offers a wide variety of design-forward products that suit any environment. As a leading manufacturer of screen and shade solutions, Screen Innovations is focused on the implementation of new technologies into its products and providing its dealers with the services and tools they need to differentiate themselves and grow their custom installation businesses.
Informative webinaron August 27 offers proven tips and techniques on how to successfully implement new procedures, product introductions, and organizational changes seamlessly and efficiently.
BOSTON, MA (August 18, 2020) In times like this, change is inevitable. Businesses, including home systems integration firms, need to quickly realign and adjust to thrive. To help home systems professionals effectively develop and implement lasting and meaningful change in their organizations,OneVision Resources, a leading provider of client service and support solutions for technology professionals, will host an informative webinar on Aug. 27, 11 a.m. EDT called “Creating Lasting Change.”
“Creating Lasting Change” will cover how to apply principles of behavioral science to form better decisions, introduce change, and develop and execute a plan that sticks with and prepares an organization and its employees for a smooth, purposeful transformation. Through the tips shared during the online webinar, home technology professionals will learn how to reduce stress and improve the results of a change initiative, whether it involves moving into new product categories, implementing a new piece of business software, or shifting organizational or design processes.
“We recognize that home technology professionals are facing unprecedented challenges these days; from the way they communicate with clients to how they manage their day-to-day business operations and product lines. Our primary objective at OneVision Resources has always been to provide the guidance, assistance, and tools home systems professionals need to succeed, and this workshop was created to do just that,” says OneVision Resources Director of Product Jason Griffing. “After attending the webinar, home systems professionals be able to develop a solid action plan to encourage and maintain lasting change in their organization.”
OneVision Resources will walk attendees through proven methods of adopting change, from focusing on the positive rather than the negative, communicating ideas effectively, removing friction from the team, shaping new behaviors, and celebrating small victories during the transition.
Committed to providing actionable strategies that forward-thinking integrators can use to modernize their businesses, OneVision Resources’ “Creating Lasting Change” webinar, Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. EDT, is open for registration. Visit https://www.onevisionresources.com/create-lasting-change to sign up for the event.
About OneVision Resources
OneVision Resources’ comprehensive platform empowers home technology professionals, giving them the services, processes, and technologies they need to provide round-the-clock support, avoid burnout, and build a more sustainable and profitable business. OneVision’s comprehensive service delivery model combines the latest in service technology with a world-class remote support team, allowing them to not only monitor, manage, and secure their clients’ home environments in a seamless manner, but scale rapidly and profitably. OneVision and its growing network of partners support more than 25,000 connected homes across North America. For more information, visitwww.onevisionresources.com and follow us LinkedIn.
For interviews please contact Katye (McGregor) Bennett ofKMB Communications by phoning (425) 328-8640 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
All products, product names, trademarks, and registrations mentioned are the property of their respective owners, all rights reserved.
Two-day virtual summit, available to HTA Certified members and HTA applicants, delivers education from top industry sellers, designed to help home technology professionals crush sales.
Santa Monica, CA (August 12, 2020) – The Home Technology Association (HTA),the first and only third-party certification for home technology installation companies, will be conducting its ‘Sales Dominance Summit 2020’ two-day virtual event on August 26 & 27. Some of the most successful sales leaders in the industry will deliver intensive sales panel sessions.
The Summit is open to all HTA Certified members and those firms who have completed their HTA Certification application as of August 24, 2020.
“We could focus on any number of things to help our HTA Certified members better their businesses, but right now, selling is the most crucial factor for most home technology firms,” says Josh Christian, CEO of HTA. “Moderated by Eric Thies from DSI, these sessions will be both fun and extremely useful, empowering home tech pros with new sales techniques and strategies.”
CI Sales Master Class I: “Coffee Is for Closers – The Sales Beasts of the HTA”
Learn from these HTA sales masters how to sell performance and not sell from your wallet. How do these pros sell millions and millions a year? We will find out in this fast-paced one-hour session (open for Q&A after). Panelists include:
Jay Bakaler, President/Founder of Metro Eighteen Inc.—Jay is a lifelong music aficionado who is responsible for all sales, client relationship management, and the evolution of Metro Eighteen’s service offerings to its customers.
Ken Johnson, Founder and CEO of Premiere Systems—Ken loves finding creative solutions for tricky problems. His company looks to build sustainable relationships with staff and customers based on a solid foundation of excellence and commitment.
Dan Stern, President & CEO of Aurum Home Technology—Dan has been in the industry since 1995, is very design-centric, and believes technology can enhance the overall design of the home and never detract from its appearance. He deals with all customer interactions and sales associated with growing the business.
August 27, 11:00-12:00 PM PST
CI Sales Master Class II: “East Coast Killers – The Sales Beasts of the HTA”
There is an enormous amount of sales talent in the HTA fold. We’ve selected three of the East’s sales monsters to share how they consistently sell at the highest level. You want to sell 10M+ a year? These amazingly talented pros will show you the way. A one-hour discussion with Q&A after. Panelists include:
Al Reinhard, AHT Global Principal—Al focuses on high-end luxury sales/engineering and the operations of AHT’s domestic offices.
Kim Michels,President at Electronic Environments, LTD—Kim led his company to more than $10 million in annual revenues by nurturing his team’s passion for technology, maintaining high internal standards, constant education, and dependable customer service.
Tom Clancy, Executive Vice President, Audio Command Systems—Tom is a dedicated husband, father, and coach. He provides ACS with day-to-day leadership while ensuring the long-term business development and future growth of ACS’ 44-year legacy.
The Home Technology Association (HTA) was formed to create a preeminent standard of excellence for the Custom Installation (CI) industry. HTA Certification is a rigorous-to-achieve standard that homeowners, builders, architects, and interior designers can rely on to find the very best residential technology integrators for their projects. Technology integrators who have passed the demanding 60+ point vetting process that focuses on exemplary customer service and aftercare support and a positive business reputation will be HTA Certified and recognized as part of an elite group of dedicated, highly skilled firms. The stringent criteria were developed by industry veterans, which were refined by the HTA Board of Advisors, which includes top executives from Sony, Lutron, Crestron, Control4, Savant, and more.
The mission of the Home Technology Association is to raise the bar in the CI industry by giving exceptional integrators a prestigious third-party endorsement they can use to differentiate their offering and ultimately, win more projects. Not only does this drive more business to the integration community, but it also ensures consumers have consistently great technology experiences. The result will be a dramatic transformation of the reputation and overall presence of the integration community and those who serve it. Learn more by visiting HTACertified.org and by following the Home Technology Association (HTA) on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
All products, product names, trademarks and registrations mentioned are the property of their respective owners, all rights reserved.
For interviews or media inquiries, please contact Katye (McGregor) Bennett of KMB Communications by phoning (425) 328-8640 or emailing email@example.com.
Trade Shows are falling like bowling pins. Are you ready with plan B?
Vendors who have (or will have) trade shows cancel in the coming months have expressed a range of emotions from reluctant relief to questionable optimism to extreme panic to aloof indifference as they try to figure out how to promote the products they’ve been prepping for release without a physical venue. We have clients who are in the throes of picking up the pieces for CEDIA Expo as we turn our sites toward anticipating the fate of ISE 2021, not to mention dozens of regional shows and other events. So, what do you do? Here are five major side effects of trade show cancellations as we see them and what you can do to prepare a plan B.
1 – You Have Nowhere to Show Your Products
So now you have a handful of new products but no physical venue to show them off, yet you still must get the word out about them. It’s a no-brainer that you have to go virtual. But do you have a strategy? How will you find this extra bandwidth? How do you cut through the noise of every other vendor out there who is trying to make a splash? How do you make your webinars engaging and interesting? Is this a function of sales or marketing or both? Should you do video or live presos?
KMB can help you create a strategy for your virtual demos, sales decks, videos, and more to make sure you have the right mix, not to mention the right promotion of that mix. We have a graphics team, a video department, plus PR, social media, content creation, and marketing chops that cover all virtual activities you need in a one-stop shop.
2 – You Are Suddenly Overwhelmed with Virtual ‘Opportunities’
Events are doing their best to create virtual experiences for exhibitors and ‘showgoers’. The problem is, there are so many of them. It’s impossible for marketing departments to know which ones to participate in, to keep track of them all, and to deliver the content needed by the deadline on top of everything else they are dealing with as they pivot to new messaging, new marketing plans, diminished and/or virtualized staff, and depleted budgets. Media outlets too are scrambling to make up lost revenue in show-related promotion, so there are opportunities galore with every digital and print publication out there. How do you know which ones to plan for?
Media outlets too are scrambling to make up lost revenue in show-related promotion, so there are opportunities galore with every digital and print publication out there. How do you know which ones to plan for?
KMB can help you sort through it all based on your budget, create a content calendar and deliverables, produce the content, and deliver it on-time. Let us handle this for you while you worry about your core marketing and business operations.
3 – New Marketing Plans Call for New Messaging
Marketing departments everywhere are scrambling. First, it was all about creating the Covid pivot plan. Now, manufacturers are trying to figure out how to weather the storm as it relates to their product mix by either streamlining product lineups or in some cases, revolutionizing their offerings.
Hamburger chain Fuddruckers addressed bread shortages by selling loaves directly to consumers. Liquor companies are producing hand sanitizer from distilled alcohol. While we all can’t magically begin making goods and services that serve the pandemic, manufacturers must look to what customers need now and adjust product lines and services accordingly. For example, KMB clients and home technology professionals Brilliant AV is focusing on service, and because that offering is virtualized the firm can move beyond local borders, providing service and support to customers around the country.
New products that were on the bubble are now being put on hold or killed indefinitely if they aren’t part of a new plan that moves the needle significantly in terms of revenue. How do you message this shift to customers while still making it known that you are supporting them in every possible way? The answer: Carefully Crafted Messaging.
At KMB, our expertise is content and messaging in marketing, communications, and editorial capacities. We have skilled and seasoned writers intimately connected to the AV industry in charge of crafting and honing your message to hit the exact right notes, so you don’t have to hassle with rewrites.
How do you message this shift to customers while still making it known that you are supporting them in every possible way? The answer: Carefully Crafted Messaging.
4 – Product Marketing Can Appear Insensitive
People have lost their jobs. People are sick. People are fighting for their rights in the battle against systemic racism. Next, there will be an election. How do you promote your products amid these intense moments in history? Carefully and instinctually. The world is changing day by day. The messages that are now being mocked (“in these trying, unprecedented, and troubling times…”) at one time were very relevant. Did you pivot on time, or were trite messages hanging out there, unintentionally hurting your relationships? Having your finger on the pulse of the industry and being involved in the community are extremely important to determine mass sentiment. KMB is connected into this pipeline and has the experience and instinctive knowledge to create a message that is timely, sensitive, industry-appropriate, and aware of the current state of the affairs.
5 – There Is No Substitute for Face-to-Face Networking
Trade shows are incredibly valuable in creating relationships and forging them in the fire, year after year. There really is no substitute for this, but you must try! This is where humanizing your company comes into play. How are you communicating with customers? How close are you to them? Do you know what they need right now? What is your social strategy and are you participating in the conversation? This messaging and strategy affects your communications, not just marketing. We can help you find your voice, and our social media and PR teams can be your bullhorn, megaphone…heck we even know how to yodel.
Contact us today to start planning your trades how plan B now, before you are caught without one.
We, as a marketing community, have stood at the forefront of bringing forward perceptions of diverse people since the days of Mad Men. We are the storytellers; we literally hold the pen to craft the story of how the rest of the country sees Black culture. As we embark on yet another ugly chapter in our country’s history being written, it is our responsibility to do more. We must do more than release a statement, make a donation or craft a beautifully written tweet. This is our moment to drive true change for a consumer base that has served as the muse for aspirational culture for decades. From music to food to clothing, brand advertising has rested and built its success on Black culture and, in return, Black people have demonstrated their commitment to our brands.
The article, written in response to the death of George Floyd and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, really hit home for the whole KMB team as a firm that provides words and images that shape public iconography and imagery. Although our primary scope of work is for the trade, we also provide B2C messaging, content, and related assets for our clients to complement their marketing.
Case in point, just a few days ago, our team was working on a direct-mail piece for one of our clients. We needed stock art that showed a family enjoying their home entertainment system. As we searched through the images available, we were confronted by picture after picture of white people pointing at television sets, with no BIPOC families to be found (BIPOCs being black people, indigenous people, and people of color). William’s article put a fine point on the issue, but more importantly, it outlined our duties as communicators, marketers, and advertisers as those who are helping to sculpt the image of the country. KMB is using this statement as a north star, of sorts.
Now, the article also opens the door to questions about the AV industry as a whole. Why are AV marketers and advertisers not representing BIPOCs in their marketing and advertising? Why do photoshoots and videos primarily feature white actors or spokespeople? And beyond mere representation, do we, as an industry, have a true understanding of the demographic and can we represent this market while avoiding damaging stereotypes? How do we begin the process of change?
Williams suggests a first step:
Commit to really understand and reflect these audiences through best-in-class work that elevates diverse communities. This includes investing in meaningful consumer research and going beyond surface-level insights to develop work that is truly resonant. For far too long we have rested on the same superficial insights that are reflected in the work—a portrait of Black families around a dinner table, a Latina mom doting over her multiple children, the cool brothers chatting it up at a barbershop or basketball court. Get into your diverse consumers’ homes with detailed ethnographies, spend the resources to get a statistically significant sample on your next brand equity study and develop multidimensional knowledge of diverse people the way you do for your other segments.
This week, Adweek provided another helpful resource, a letter from more than 600 black advertising professionals demanding meaningful action from leadership that calls on agencies to take more than symbolic action. Some things they suggest are public commitment to improve Black representation at all levels of agency staffing; tracking workforce diversity data to create accountability; bias training to HR employees and all levels of management; extending agency outreach to a more diverse representation; and much more. Read the full article for the complete list.
We recognize that this letter we are currently penning is in and of itself a “symbolic action.” Really, this note serves as our public commitment to improve, and education is the first step with content like these two articles. And we will hold ourselves accountable for this promise as we move forward in our work, because it is not enough to simply say we are committed to change. It must be followed by real and tangible action. We hope you’ll join us in the journey to do what we can to more accurately and completely understand and represent BIPOC families and people in our marketing imagery and verbiage.
Take a look at your social feeds and your marketing collateral with fresh eyes. Who is represented and how? The problem runs so deep, you might not even be aware it’s happening. Do you have a consultant or someone on staff that can help with cultural awareness to make sure you are accurately addressing these concerns and to help educate your team? What can your company be doing at an HR level to ensure inclusivity — BIPOCs included?
Discomfort is a catalyst. It’s necessary. Because now we are asking those hard questions, and educating ourselves so that we can answer them and begin to change our thinking at a foundational level. We appreciate the efforts of others in our industry who are taking a leadership position and applaud companies like Josh.ai, Leon, Cloud9 Smart, and others who are voicing their concerns about the way our industry has handled the situation, while sharing how they intend to change and evolve. Join us, and be the change we all want to see in the world.
The residential tech industry has a race problem, and it’s time we talk about it.
The events that transpired over the past week have shaken our nation and ignited a much-needed conversation about race inequality. The senseless killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have spawned protests in every major U.S. city, but sadly these are just a few of many similar tragedies the Black community has faced.
Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush responded with a cry for peace and empathy. Obama remarked, “You have helped to make the entire country feel as if this is something that’s got to change. You’ve communicated a sense of urgency.” Meanwhile Bush asked the long overdue question: “How do we end systemic racism in our society?”
The difficult part is that many of us aren’t racists. At least, we don’t think we are. The issues are so deeply ingrained in our society that it can be hard to see if you’re not Black. As someone relatively new to this industry, I remember my first CEDIA Expo in 2015, and feeling like it was largely a group of older straight white men. While that might not seem like a problem, as a gay man in my 20s, I certainly struggled at first to fit in. Now imagine if I were female, or Black, or trans – or all three. Would I have felt welcome? Would I have thrived? Or would I have said, “Forget this, I’m going to look elsewhere for work?”
At Josh.ai, we try hard to create a culture of inclusion. We’ve made diversity a core company value and authored articles on this topic, such as this one on diversity in the tech industry. When hiring, we think it’s important to focus on antiracism and allyship efforts, such as avoiding implicit bias from the places we recruit (here’s a great resource that Airbnb put together if you’d like to learn more). Further, CI marketing is often very focused on using white models in advertisements and collateral, and we’ve made it a goal to show more diverse models and actors. That said, we’re far from perfect and constantly strive to be better.
In CEDIA’s 2019 U.S. Market Size and Scope Study Report, the top challenge integrators said they faced was finding employees. As a community of mostly white men, we don’t always consider the extra steps needed to create a welcoming and inclusive environment to increase our industry’s diversity. For those who think this doesn’t matter, I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. If we want our industry to grow and thrive, we need to be inclusive. We need to ask the hard questions and make this a place everyone is welcome, particularly the Black community.
So why am I speaking out? I know this will be controversial, and not everyone will agree with me, but now is the time to wake up and address the problem. If you look at social media posts from top brands including Google, Nike, and Amazon, you’ll see nothing but #blacklivesmatter and empathy in response to the current situation. Yet, on our industry’s social media channels, publications, and Facebook groups, you wouldn’t know anything was even going on.
Earlier this week, I was asked to speak on a podcast and was surprised that not only was nobody talking about this, it was business as usual. You would have guessed nothing at all was going on. This is exactly the type of action that exemplifies the systemic problems we’re talking about. We need to be willing to discuss this, to listen, and to effect change in order to make a difference.
Now you might be thinking, as I was during part of this week, that rioting and looting are wrong and protesters are taking things too far. Keep in mind that most protests have been peaceful. That said, consider for a moment how you would respond if you were being persecuted based simply on the color of your skin. I was certainly angry at the destruction done to my city in Los Angeles. But, while buildings can be rebuilt, lives cannot be brought back.
The real issue here is the injustice that has prevailed for far too long. Many Black people are tired of having to look over their shoulder, being uncomfortable walking down the street, fearful that what starts out as a speeding ticket could end up being their last breath. According to MappingPoliceViolence.org, police killed more than 100 unarmed Black people in 2015. This needs to stop.
So, what can we do about it? It’s a hard problem, one that many of us are trying to figure out. For starters, I suggest participating in simple but meaningful acts on social media and choosing to be an ally. Even when you aren’t sure exactly what to say, consider putting out a public message showing empathy and heart. Something is better than nothing. Discuss with your employees why this matters. Donate if you can to causes that help (here’s a link to causes worth considering). Get out and vote in November. But most of all, make a concerted effort to put yourself in the shoes of a Black person and examine how you conduct business, how you hire, and how your environment can be made to feel more inclusive. Here’s a great link if you’re not sure where to begin.
This is going to take time, and there’s no magic formula. While hopeful, if we don’t address this head on and get serious about equality and inclusion, I do fear for the future of our industry.
Note: I serve on the Board of Directors for CEDIA, but these views are mine alone and do not represent those of CEDIA.