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PowerHouse Distributors Hold Dealer Expos

Plainville, Conn. — Two East Coast distributors, both members of the PowerHouse Alliance, have wrapped up successful regional dealer expos.

Connecticut-based MRI and North Carolina’s 21st Century Distributing said their events variously treated their customers to training sessions, new product demos and of course some R&R.

At MRI’s 12th annual expo, held at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center in Sturbridge, Mass., guests partook in a day-long series of training sessions and a connected-home presentation by led by Lutron residential systems sales director Blake Deal, who encouraged dealers to embrace the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Big-name, popular IoT players are creating so much demand from consumers,” he noted. “And with that demand comes the need for someone to fulfill their technology needs. If you don’t, someone else will.”

Deal said connected-home device sales will drive over $61 billion in revenue this year, with smartphones and tablets the major beneficiaries.

Dealers, drawn from across New England and Upstate New York, also explored a show floor packed with over 50 vendors including 2GIG, Atlas, Lutron, Niles, Pioneer, RTI, Samsung, Sony and URC, and experienced Dobly Atmos sound in a home theater room deployed by Yahama, Epson and KEF.

Meanwhile, 21st Century held its annual Dealer Expo at the Kingston Plantation Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C., this past weekend, where dealers were similarly treated to a Dolby Atmos demo room, and attended presentations and trainings from Aquavision., Wyrestorm, Luxul, Elk, Onkyo, Sonance, URC and RTI.

Exhibiting vendors also offered dealers special show sales and inventory opportunities.

 The event, said Vanessa Zitzmann, 21st Century’s marketing and sales coordinator, provided customers with networking opportunities and face-time with brands they may have missed at CEDIA.

The Expo was highlighted by its traditional golf and fishing tournaments, and an opening-night VIP cocktail reception and dinner.

Both distributors are part of the 13-member, $800 million PowerHouse Alliance, which provides brand-name products to custom installers, specialty dealers, large retailers and buying groups in the residential and commercial A/V, home entertainment, security, IT and CE accessories markets. PowerHouse member companies together maintain some 800,000 square feet of warehouse space in 39 locations, stocking more than 150 product lines.