A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by Griffin Integrated Communications

Asserting that the Age of Interactivity is now giving way to a new Age of Hyperactivity characterized by an always-fast, always-on Internet, Stampede Presentation Products, Inc. yesterday told attendees at its 2013 Vendor Summit that a new era of unprecedented opportunity was now unfolding — creating sales opportunities for dealers that were unimaginable a few short years ago.

The annual two-day Stampede Vendor Summit, the industry’s only event of its kind, took place October 7-8, 2013 at the Marriott Hotel in Amherst, New York and featured a mix of immersive one-on-one sales interactions between manufacturers and the Stampede sales team, information-packed presentations from InfoComm Senior Vice President John Fuchs and PMA Analyst Rosemary Abowd, a challenging vision of a future built around ‘The Internet of Things’ by AV Girl futurist Midori Connolly, and an engaging dealer panel discussion of business and technology trends hosted by New Bay Media’s Lindsey Adler and EH Publishing’s Craig MacCormack.

“At a time when the traditional AV industry is maturing, a new personalized industry is rising up to take its place, one that is built upon the ideas of connecting, integrating, and sharing devices in entirely new eco-systems built around highly customized software applications,” predicted Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly. “This shift is challenging our industry to stop using the terms ‘audio and video’ and start using the terms ‘see, hear and control’ in order to understand the business opportunities that this shift is creating.”

Indeed, according to Kelly, Stampede has taken a number of strategic steps to empower its 11,000 dealers to take advantage of this seismic shift by consumers and professionals to connect, integrate and share devices at work, school, government and home. “In 2013 we added 20 new product lines and several new core platforms that traditional AV products can attach to,” Kelly emphasized.

“And the results of these additions speak for themselves as we conclude a fifth year of record-breaking growth — a year where earnings grew by 46 percent.” Equally important, according to Kelly, is the fact that the company’s sales grew in all three of its primary product categories — displays, projectors, and unified communications, which is by far the fastest growing segment of the company’s business. “During the Q2 period, our unified communications category sales increased by more than 239 percent over the same period in 2012 and that growth is being driven by the shift from an audio/video world view to a see-hear-control world view.”

Kelly reaffirmed Stampede’s commitment to constantly add value to every system installation it is involved with. “Value adds margin for our dealers,” Kelly told Vendor Summit attendees. “And, thus far in 2013, Stampede is adding value at an unprecedented level that cannot be matched by any other distributor in the business today. We can add this value on a consistent basis because we are focused exclusively on meeting the needs of the ProAV dealer community. We are not distracted by other industries and market segments. We devote 100 percent of our time and considerable resources to helping dealers grow their business.”

Meeting the demands of growth, however, requires an expanding commitment to maintain face-to-face training, online learning, and readily available credit facilities to qualified dealers, “all of which Stampede is committed to providing,” Kelly added. “In fact, in 2013 alone, we have increased our available monthly credit line by 28 percent, enabling us to serve as a bank to our dealer partners. In 2014 we will be opening a new southwest regional office and adding to our field sales team network to increase the number of contacts we can have with dealers and their customers. ”

Photo caption: Left to right: Jeff Willis, Senior Vice President of Stampede; Mark Wilkins, Founder and CEO of Stampede; Kevin Kelly, President and COO of Stampede.

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Related Topics: Corporate AV, Events, News |

Take1 and Event Safety Alliance to Host Industry’s First Webinar on Live Event Safety

                                                            

Asserting that the live event production industry can no longer take a passive approach to life safety, Take1 Insurance, the leading insurance provider to the entertainment industry, today announced that it was teaming up with the Event Safety Alliance (ESA) to host the industry’s first webinar focused on producing safer live events.

According to Scott Carroll, Executive Vice President & Program Director of Take1 Insurance, the precedent-setting webinar will take place on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 2 p.m EST and is open to anyone involved in the business of producing and staging live events.  Registration for the webinar is now open at this website.

“The time for discussion is over and the time to take action is at hand,” Carroll stressed today.  “For years we have emphasized the need for live event producers to take the time to prepare for the unimaginable and now, thanks to the leadership position taken by Jim Digby and the Event Safety Alliance, the industry can utilize the ESA’s“Event Safety Guide” to prepare complete emergency action plans that include having the right insurance coverage in place.”

Carroll emphasized that, “Investing 60 minutes to learn more about the issues involved in producing safer live events is not too much to ask of any of us, given the number of incidents that have occurred over the last several years.  It is our hope that ‘A 60-Minute Introduction to Producing Safer Live Events’ is the first in a series of additional Take1 sponsored topic focused webinars that involve a broad range of industry professionals in a very important discussion.”

“Due to a series of tragic accidents, life safety has become a major concern to many within the live event industry,” explained Jim Digby, founder of the Event Safety Alliance. “Whether you work directly on productions or provide support to them, everyone has a role to play in ensuring the well-being of our performers, workers, and audience members. In this webinar, leaders from ESA and Take1 will detail the importance and responsibilities of event safety for those who promote, produce, and insure live events. You’ll learn more about the mission and activities of the ESA, along with our vision for the future, as well as the solutions offered by Take1. Most importantly, we’ll discuss critical tools and resources currently in development, and how the insurance industry can work with the ESA to create safer live events.

A week after the Event Safety webinar, the Event Safety Alliance will take its message of “be prepared” to LDI 2013 (November 22–24, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada) where it will host a presentation entitled “The Event Safety Guide: The Future of Safe, Responsible Show Production” on November 23, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  At 3:30 p.m. the same day, the ESA will host a 90-minute roundtable discussion entitled “You Are The ESA” at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The Event Safety Alliance was founded in 2011 by Jim Digby, a 30+ year veteran of the entertainment industry. He is the founder of Collaborative Endeavour Group (CEG), providing international touring strategies and complete production solutions for the live entertainment industry. He currently serves as Director of Touring and Production for the multi-million selling artists Linkin Park, and has previously worked with artists as diverse as The Backstreet Boys, Bon Jovi and Marilyn Manson. A long-time advocate for event safety and ethical touring models, he is a three-time recipient of Tourlink’s “Production Manager of the year” award, as well as the Parnelli’s “Production Manager of the Year” award for 2012.

About Take1 Insurance

U.S. Risk‘s Take1 division has been servicing the insurance needs of the film and television production industry and has expanded significantly to meet the needs of audio-video and communications industry clients as well. The company’s experience includes underwriting film and television production companies, DICE (documentary, infomercial, commercial, educational) producers, touring entertainers, concert/playhouse venues, concert promoters, video game developers, and specialty rental operations focused on audio, visual, lighting, sound, grip, and production. For additional information, visit www.take1insurance.com.

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Photo Caption 1: Scott Carroll, Senior VP & Program Director of Take1 Insurance

Photo Caption 2: Jim Digby, President of ESA

 

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Award-Winning Homebuilders Use ELAN g! To Capitalize On Housing Market Recovery

Consumer confidence is high, new home sales surged 8.3 percent in May and new home prices have climbed month over month in 2013, so it’s clear the housing market is recovering. Builders need to find ways to stand out and capitalize on this market growth, and one way to do so is to offer things that others don’t even consider, like total home control. Award-winning builders Jim Blansfield of Danbury, Connecticut-based Blansfield Builders, Inc. and Josh Wynne of Sarasota, Florida-based Josh Wynne Construction have both partnered with local integrators and found huge success using the ELAN® g! Entertainment and Control System to help close new home sales.

“I’m a believer in ‘the new normal’ way of thinking,” Blansfield said, “and with the affordable and expandable control solutions made possible by ELAN g!, home control is the new normal! In the past two years, I’ve closed several new homes by demoing the g! system for prospective clients. I have a g! system in my own home, so I’m the first person to say how easy it is to use, and my clients are consistently impressed that I include technology in my designs and recommendations, because many other builders minimize the importance of home technologies.”

Since partnering with the Danbury integration firm Structured Home Solutions, Blansfield has built 13 homes that include ELAN g! systems of varying size and complexity. Whether the new buyers were looking for enhanced security, HVAC scheduling, lighting, irrigation and pool controls, or super simple whole-home audio and video systems, every client received a custom solution tailored to their specific needs. From a business perspective, Blansfield knows that his knowledge, appreciation and passion for technology place him in an entirely different category from other builders.

“Any builders who resist change and aren’t prepared to talk to clients about integrated home control solutions will hurt themselves in the long run,” he said. “I even push remodel clients to install the ELAN g! system because it adds so much value to the home, and brings it into the 21st century more so than new countertops or an updated bathroom could ever do.”

Josh Wynne has had similar success integrating advanced home technologies with the ELAN g! system, and has teamed up with Sarasota integrator SmartHouse Integration to offer his new clients the best that modern home technology has to offer. Wynne is building four new LEED Platinum certified homes in 2013, each featuring the ELAN g! system to control core subsystems such as AV, HVAC, security, lighting, window shades, irrigation, garage doors, pool controls and surveillance cameras.

According to Wynne, “I’ve strived to make a basic home automation package standard for every new home I build. When smartphones came on the market a lot more people started to see how easily these advanced systems could integrate into their homes and help them live more simply and comfortably, and I’ve used that culture movement to benefit my business. Most of my projects are relatively big budget, around the $1 million mark, but there’s absolutely no reason that a $250,000 home shouldn’t include a multi-room audio system, an integrated HVAC or lighting system that saves money and energy, or a security and surveillance system that can be accessed remotely from any smartphone or tablet.

Both builders agree that determining the buyers’ interests is key to selling advanced home control solutions, whether they love music and want multi-room audio or desire heightened peace of mind and would benefit from a mobile-accessible security and surveillance system. From there it’s a small leap to demo the entire ELAN g! system and highlight all the trappings that easy-to-use home control offers. Another thing they agree on is the need to use a reliable, qualified integrator to make the homeowner’s technological dreams a practical reality. That’s why they’ve each partnered with a top integration firm in their respective regions, and worked together to craft custom solutions that make every home the perfect living environment for the owners.

Integrator Finds The Sound Of Success With The Niles Cynema Soundfield In-Wall Soundbar

International custom electronics integrator Jim Beaumont of HomeTech Europe has installed hundreds, if not thousands of different products throughout his career, and he’s never seen anything quite as unique as the Niles Cynema Soundfield in-wall soundbar from Core Brands. As the first of its kind, the Cynema Soundfield naturally has some ‘wow’ factor to it, but according to Beaumont it’s the practical application of a high-quality soundbar that virtually disappears that’s making it fly off the shelves.

“When I heard about the Niles Cynema Soundfield I knew some of my clients would love it, but I didn’t think I’d sell 10 of them in the first month!” Beaumont said. “Niles recognized that homeowners want good sound to match their attractive wall-mounted TVs, but they also want it to be as unobtrusive as the TV itself. With TVs getting thinner and thinner, the TV manufacturers have run out of room for good speakers, and the only solution when your TV is an inch off the wall is to put the speakers into the wall itself.”

The Cynema Soundfield doesn't require cutting the wall studs and the grille can be painted any color to match any decor.

Beaumont says his clients and the designers he works with immediately see the value in a soundbar that can be painted over and literally disappear into the wall. For years, in-wall speakers have been the preferred solution of integrators and interior designers because they blend into the room, but they can be expensive and difficult to install in an existing room because of wiring and additional components such as amplifiers and AV receivers. The Cynema Soundfield solves this issue because it requires just two wires, one for audio signal and one for power, and it can be installed in less than an hour by a certified Niles installer, even if the TV is already hung on the wall.

“It’s easy to sell because it can be used in retrofits, new homes, board rooms and even retail locations like hotel lobbies, without anyone even knowing it’s there,” Beaumont continued. “Several of my clients were so excited when I showed it to them that they bought multiple units for multiple rooms. I think the market for this innovative premium sound solution could be huge, and I’m going to sell as many of them as I can.”

And it’s easy to complete the home theater experience with one of Niles’ small, powerful subwoofers and wireless kit, so the sub can go anywhere the homeowners want without running wires. The wireless kit hooks right up to the Cynema Soundfield’s amplifier, so there’s no separate amp or receiver necessary.

What makes the Cynema Soundfield so unique is its rail system; the only thing that gets cut into the wall is a thin metal rail that sits flush with the drywall, and then the three individual speakers and the amplifier simply lock into the rail. With such a fast installation time, models that match TVs of all sizes, plenty of power and fidelity (30W RMS per speaker, three speakers per soundbar) and the ability to paint the grill and make the speaker invisible, the Niles Cynema Soundfield is a hot item for electronics integrators and design-conscious homeowners everywhere.

The Cynema Soundfield includes inputs for optical audio, HDMI and analog audio, and can also be integrated into a multi-room audio system. It features autosense turn-on so that no separate remote is required, and it simply turns on whenever it receives an audio signal from either the TV or a connected multi-room audio system.

Stampede University Incorporates Web Trainings For DemoPad Control Solution

AMHERST, NEW YORK, August 27, 2013 — Following the successful market launch of DemoPad, the customizable software-based control solution, Stampede Presentation Products, Inc. today announced the launch of a web-based product training course, now available to integrators via Stampede University.

“Since its introduction at Infocomm 2013, DemoPad sales have been increasingly strong, and the need for a comprehensive and flexible online training solution is truly the next logical step forward in ensuring the success of the DemoPad control solution,” Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly said today. “As a strategic distributor of DemoPad, we’re very excited present this newly developed training program to our integrator partners. The implementation of this course further underscores our commitment to providing value-added, solutions-oriented benefits, such as in-depth training programs, to our partners.”

The newly developed eight-hour course, developed and instructed by industry expert Jonathan Brawn of Brawn Consulting, will introduce the DemoPad software and system design process. Enrollment in the course is $300, and open to all worldwide resellers. Upon successful completion, enrollees receive a certification certificate designating their eligibility to purchase an annual license.

According to Jonathan, “Brawn Consulting is proud to partner withDemoPad in the development of this training program,which is truly one of the best manufacturer trainings we have been able to produce thus far. Rarely does a manufacturer collaborate with us in such an extensive way to create a product that is an amazing resource for the systems integrators who will sell DemoPad into the market.  Manufacturer support like this is truly key to a product’s long-term success.”

By focusing on software that allows installers to create their own custom GUIs for their company or for each client, DemoPad reduces the costs traditionally associated with custom control systems. With simple tools to create these GUIs for iOS and Android devices, DemoPad installers can easily, quickly and affordably implement impressive touch screen interfaces that offer integrated control of audiovisual equipment, lighting, HVAC, CCTV, gate automation, window blinds and access control.

About Stampede

Known for its value-added distribution, Amherst, New York-based Stampede is the leading distributor of presentation equipment including LCD/DLP projectors and flat panel displays. Stampede provides a complete range of brand name presentation equipment to a variety of audio/video, computer, and home theater resellers and integrators in the United States, Canada and Latin America. These resellers rely on Stampede for value-added services in distribution, marketing and solution- based sales. Stampede annually produces the “Big Book of AV,” a 1,000-page catalog and companion website (www.BigBookofAV.com) providing hundreds of sales, installation and spec tips for Stampede’s dealers in addition to product details on more than 5,000 SKUs. For more information on Stampede, log onto www.stampedeglobal.com.

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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