Homeowners, property managers, and design-build professionals find great value in seeing tech in design-forward environments that illustrate what’s possible.

SAV Digital Environments is a luxury home technology firm based in Bozeman, Mont. The firm caters to high-end clientele and works very closely with adjacent trades, as well as artists, photographers, and other creatives. The company’s Wallace Ave. showroom in downtown Bozeman is co-located with an architecture firm and an art gallery. The facility is often used for events, and many include a combination of tech and design.

NKBA Big Sky Chapter Spring Meeting
The NKBA Big Sky Chapter Spring Meeting was held at SAV Digital Environments.

“Events play a crucial role in uniting the design-build-integration trades, fostering collaboration, and enhancing a shared understanding of each other’s trades. Through shared learning experiences, we gain a deeper appreciation for the unique contributions each offers in crafting exceptional environments. Having a space that mirrors our capabilities is paramount to showcasing our collective achievements,” says Scott Abel, VP of marketing & creative direction for SAV Digital Environments, who is also now the communications chair for the NKBA Big Sky Chapter.

Recently, SAV hosted the NKBA Big Sky Chapter Spring Meeting with brands Sonance, MagnaTrack outdoor screens, and Emtek offering CEU courses throughout the day. Lutron shared its Designer Series presentation as an educational walk-through of the facility, showing attendees how Ketra lighting brings out the best in artwork, finishes, and surfaces. A lively “find the invisible speakers” game showed designers how to hide audio in walls, and Leon Ente Soundtiles showed them how to showcase audio as art.

The day offered equal parts education, inspiration, and networking. I witnessed a room of interested, intrigued, and newly inspired design-build professionals who asked thoughtful, challenging questions. Presenters provided equally thoughtful responses, and, together, everyone learned quite a lot about design-forward tech and how to integrate it into future design considerations. A few site visits were scheduled as a result, which suggests the longer-term benefits of providing these types of spaces to the adjacent trades for their meetings and events.

Innovative Consulting & Marketing Inc. is a rep firm covering Arizona, Southern Nevada, New Mexico, and El Paso. The team recently opened a gorgeous two-story design and experience center in Scottsdale, Ariz., featuring design-centric brands like Leon, Samsung, Meridian, Lutron, Ketra, Iluminii, Josh, MP Lighting, RoseWater Energy, Origin Acoustics, and others. Local artists’ work is presented alongside tech, and a curated tour includes a lighting demo that illustrates the power of light and the amazing results that can be achieved with thoughtful lighting design and the right application of tech. Principal Patrick Boyer led a portion of our tour after Lightapalooza and shared his successful approach to showing design-build pros how lighting solutions like Ketra can “fix” otherwise costly mistakes that can result in delays and added expense for clients.

Last year, Brilliant AV opened the Brilliant Experience Center in Costa Mesa, Calif., during a catered event attended by more than 200 people. Designed for consumers, property managers, design-build professionals, and trade partners, the layout of the 3000-square-foot “education facility” provides a range of experiences and showcases solutions for “smart homes and smart offices.” Brilliant tours typically take 45 to 60 minutes and include interactive engagement with audio, video, lighting, and control systems, and the facility is available to others for events, training, or design consultation meetings.

Brilliant is now part of Daisy, as is cyberManor in Los Gatos and others across the U.S. cyberManor smartly converted a charming century-old home into a livable, enjoyable smart home that is listed on Airbnb and is used to showcase how tech can be integrated to be simple, enjoyable, and beautiful all at once. (Scoop drop: Daisy will soon announce several new branches and is eager to add to its nationwide footprint. Contact me if you want to get “in” on this.).

Scoop drop #2. The Quantum Theater RED Studios Hollywood will be completed this summer and offered as a very exclusive demo space to interested clientele and industry partners. For those of you who have witnessed a Quantum Media Systems demo at CEDIA Expo, you know what this is like. John Sciacca has twice called it one of the best he’s ever seen. I am stoked beyond words to be an industry partner for this brand and can’t wait to see this theater and the demo they offer in person!

Bottom line. If you build it, they will come. But, you need to work your contacts and get more active at the local and chapter level of the trade associations that intersect with the work you do if you want them to come not only early, but often. Does that last sentence sound familiar? It should. The integration community is begging to be involved early and often, and this is a great way to make sure that happens.

Need help connecting with design-build pros or need help with your comms strategies? I’m here to help. Drop me a line at [email protected] and let’s have that conversation.

The original article can be found at: https://www.residentialsystems.com/features/secrets-of-success/making-tech-and-design-relatable-through-showrooms

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.