This fall, NOW! AudioVideo (formerly Stereo Sound, based in Chapel Hill, N.C.) held its Third Expo And Sale, and Bryn Mawr Stereo & Video, King of Prussia, Pa. held its Sixth Show & Sale. In both cases, Jim Colbert of Creative Productions Unlimited was retained to organize and manage the events.
According to Steven Lokoff, Bryn Mawr Stereo & Video's VP, "The show is a major component of our November promotional calendar. It positions Bryn Mawr as the leading specialty audio, video retailer in Philadelphia. It increases our visibility and consumer recognition." Furthermore, he says, "it gives us a chance to introduce new products to current and new customers. A substantial amount of business gets written, and seeds are planted for future business." Vendors involved in the shows benefit not only from the additional business generated, but as Michael Taylor of Pioneer states, from the "collection of extremely valuable feedback customers give us about our products."
Bryn Mawr picked up the KEF line of loudspeakers just before its Show and used the occasion to introduce the speakers to Philadelphia consumers. Vendors also benefit by working alongside the retail sales staff. Tor Sivertsen of Conrad Johnson commented that he values highly being able to "talk directly with the retail salespeople" at shows.
These events combine price promotions, demonstrations of the latest products, consumer education features such as home theater promenades, family-oriented activities, seminars, raffles, and giveaways.
The shows were similar, and both took place over a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so the following is a composite description of the two events.
About 4,600 people attended NOW! AudioVideo's Expo & Sale, and 4,000 attended Bryn Mawr Stereo & Video's Show & Sale. Women made up about 23% of the visitors, and 300 and 400 "families" (at least one adult and one child) attended each show, respectively. Both shows charged $4 admission at the door. Previous customers received complimentary tickets, which were also distributed in the stores along with half-price coupons. Part of the gate proceeds went to local charities. NOW! AudioVideo sold over $600,000 worth of equipment, and Bryn Mawr Stereo & Video Show sold over $610,000.