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HTSA Celebrates 15th Anniversary At Spring Meeting

5/02/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

CHANDLER, ARIZ. – Home Technology Specialists
of America (HTSA) had two good reasons to
celebrate at its annual Spring Meeting last week
at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass outside Phoenix.

First, the buying group for specialty A/V dealers,
custom installers and system integrators turned 15
this year, and second, business has finally turned
a corner.

“The mood is definitely up tempo,” executive director
Richard Glikes told TWICE. “Business is
starting to feel better. You still have to go out and
get it, but ever since November business has been
good, and the members and vendors are happy.”

Some 210 HTSA members and manufacturers
attended the meeting, where they mixed presentations,
discussions, keynotes and store visits with jeep tours, go-cart races and golf.

Among the former were a series of presentations by
members and vendors on “The Greatest Opportunities
in 2011.” For Paul Sandquist of HiFi House, the
greatest opportunity lies in devoting more resources
to high-end audio. Brian Hudkins of Gramophone described
how taxing Internet transactions and employing
standardized specs industry-wide would level the
playing field.

Leon Shaw of Audio Advice pointed to customer
service, using the Disney Institute as a reference point,
while Runco’s Adam Schmidt spoke to the benefits of
digital signage. Brad Whitehead of Paragon Technology
Group suggested becoming a technology expert
in all areas for one’s clients, and Sonance CEO Ari Supran
urged members to form alliances with architects
and dry wallers in addition to builders.

Dealers also provided the how-to’s of mounting
successful marketing events, based on their own instore
promotions, and the membership was briefed
on HDLiving.com, the group’s new online technology
and entertainment magazine for consumers that was
launched in March. According to Glikes, the site has
drawn 13,000 unique visits and 100,000 page views
in the seven weeks since its launch.

Members also exchanged best practices on such
topics as apps and control, security, high-end audio,
marketing and customer relationship management,
and 3DTV.

A highlight of the week was a trip to nearby Scottsdale
to visit member Cyber Sound & Security. There,
attendees toured the company’s 3,300-square-foot
Savant Experience Center, a multi-room whole-home
mockup built upon Savant and Apple platforms.

The keynote was delivered by “Socialnomics” author
Erik Qualman, described as a “digital Dale Carnegie,”
who spoke about the importance of social media and
other digital trends.

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