MERA Readies KnowledgeFest Seminars


North Andover, Mass. - The Mobile Electronics Retailers Association (MERA) has organized more than 24 business-oriented seminars during

KnowledgeFest 2011

, planned for Aug. 28-30 at the Gaylord Texan Hotel and Conference Center near Dallas.

More than 50 vendors are scheduled to exhibit, including 18 new ones, MERA said. Attendance is also tracking higher than last year, with the greatest percentage of attendees in the owner/manager category, said executive director Chris Cook.

Like last year, MERA divided the seminars into tracks targeted to owners and managers, sales professionals and marketers, and installation managers and specialists.

Each series of tracks will be followed by manufacturer training sessions, which will expose retailers and installers to the features and characteristics of specific products but will also provide installation tips and tricks for new products.

The owners and managers track features seminars on "Creating Your Business Vision," presented by Avidworx's Marcel Newell to help owners determine a business identity and maintain it. Keynote speaker Jim Ackerman, the marketing coach and author, will present a seminar on "How to Get More Customers Who Will Pay You More Money, More Often." In another seminar, MERA executive director Chris Cook and staffers Paul Pirro and Kris Bulla will join Alpine executive Steve Brown to present "Mission Impossible: Making the Sale Fit the Car." That seminar focuses on the issue of communicating new technology to consumers in a way that will improve consumer satisfaction and, as a result, profitability.

New marketing will be the focus of other seminars. One seminar, for example, will focus on creating and managing an online campaign, growing a database of customers, and turning online efforts into in-store sales, MERA said. That seminar, called "Cloud Marketing on a Sunny Day:  How to Evolve into a Modern Day Marketer," will be presented by Kara Holder and Mike Cacciabondo of Revenew Systems. Separately, John Haynes of retail chain Al & Ed's will focuses on retail websites in a "Navigating the Internet" seminar.

Another seminar topic will highlight practices to successfully market to car dealers and make the expediter relationship a manageable moneymaker, MERA said.

Topics centered on making install bays profitable will also be offered. Two seminars will focus on how to deal with increasingly complex electrical systems. A "Profitable Fabrication" seminar will point out ways to get a great return on investment while providing a well-executed install.


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