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 visit 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.
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?
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.