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‘Mobile Electronics Association’ to provide strong branding, kick off membership campaign

NORTH ANDOVER, MASS. – July 6, 2016 – Mobile Electronics® has approved a new name to represent the membership component of its industry offerings. Mobile Electronics Association™ (MEA) and its new logo will stand alongside KnowledgeFest®, the educational element, and the trade publication Mobile Electronics® magazine. In addition, a new website,, will provide retailers and vendors with information on the benefits of membership.
The Mobile Electronics Association is a vertically-integrated association with over 1,100 dealers, installers and manufacturers as its members. MEA provides a forum and voice for the mobile specialist channel and manages shared business resources and solutions for its retail members. In addition, through integration with Mobile Electronics magazine and KnowledgeFest, MEA promotes education and peer networking to advance the professionalism and profitability of the industry.
“In 2014 we officially retired the MERA (Mobile Electronics Retailers Association) brand and consolidated our three entities under the Mobile Electronics corporate brand,” said Chris Cook, president. “And while Mobile Electronics magazine and KnowledgeFest retained strong recognition, the identity of the membership was lost in the shuffle. MEA is a strong identity that also represents a broadened approach to membership.”
MEA will work to include all parts of the mobile electronics industry, welcoming vendors, retailers and service providers as members, while leaving the door open for other service and technology providers that significantly impact the market. The goal of the association is to increase participation and provide a better platform for networking and sharing of information through a diverse membership environment.
The new logo will be presented at the upcoming KnowledgeFest trade show and conference, August 20-22, in Dallas. The association will also launch a new campaign aimed at increasing membership and communicating the benefits of MEA to the mobile electronics industry. For more information, please visit

After only one day, KnowledgeFest 2015 may be on track to surpass the success of last year's event. Taking place here at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas, this year's event kicked off with a number of unique attributes, including having to share the complex with a bodybuilding competition, making for an interesting walk to dinner after the trade show and manufacturer trainings concluded.

But before the visual buffet of body donnas took place, attendees were treated to a wide array of educational seminars that featured part one of the "Tuning Cars" series with Andy Wehmeyer of Audio Frog, in which Wehmeyer discussed the pitfalls of trying to tune a car by ear, claiming that "tuning by ear sucks." He went on to describe the beginnings of the process. Tomorrow's seminar will feature Larry Frederick, who will likely use his own fun assortment of colorful metaphors to bring the topic to life.

Another engaging seminar featured Steve Witt of American Road Products and Derek Smiedl of NAV-TV discussing the power of a growing safety category in the class, "Safety is No Accident: Creating a Successful Safety Business." The two were able to execute convincing arguments on ways to sell the products to reluctant customers by providing convincing anecdotes, including one about a teenage boy betting t-boned in his brand-new sports car by an elderly couple. The couple ran a red light, making them at fault. But when questioned by the officer who arrived on-scene, they claimed the boy ran the light. Had it not been for his trusty dash cam streaming and recording video to his smart phone, he may have ended up at fault.

As night fell, cocktails emerged and this year's opening night ceremony commenced, beginning with a keynote by Tim Parenti, president of MVP Dynamics. The speaker, new to the 12-volt scene, discussed "Attitude - The Power to Direct or Misdirect." The presentation centered on a person's ability to change their situation with the power of attitude. Citing various case studies and having attendees write out various exercises, Parenti kept the crowd intrigued and made a strong argument for his topic.

Following that, Chris Cook, president of the Mobile Electronics Group, introduced this year's Town Hall panel, which included Joshua Landau of JML Audio, Brian Layton of Sound FX (current Retailer of the Year), Gary Stackpole of Benchmark Soundworks, Jason Digos of elettromedia, Steve Wood of Directed and Andy Wehmeyer of Audiofrog.

The discussion centered on four topics, including customer impressions of the business, how to grow the market, the installer shortage and future impact, and how to promote expertise and value. Regarding the last topic, answers varied from focusing on the install bay and showing customers what the business is all about to protecting product by keeping an eye on manufacturer selling practices to third party vendors looking to undercut retailers.

Overall, it was a successful first day, featuring packed class rooms and a total number of 794 attendees filling the seminars throughout the day. Stay tuned for Day 2 coverage.

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