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KnowledgeFest Indy Brings the Experience East

Another Record-Setting Event

NORTH ANDOVER, MASS. – March 29, 2018 – The Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) announced attendance for its March 16-18 KnowledgeFest® event in Indianapolis, Indiana. Following a successful first-time event in Long Beach, California earlier in March, KnowledgeFest Indy, now in its fourth year, was another record-setting event with year-over-year growth for all KnowledgeFest events continuing in 2018.

Held in the Indiana Convention Center, KnowledgeFest Indy 2018 attracted more than 950 attendees, including more than 630 dealers, a thirty percent increase over 2017. KnowledgeFest Indy is the only industry event dedicated to the mobile electronics specialist, the installing dealer. And, KnowledgeFest is the only mobile electronics tradeshow east of the Mississippi; attracting dealers from more than ten surrounding states, as well as the east coast, “near east” cities like Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Buffalo and Rochester, and Canadian cities like Toronto and Ottawa.

Forty-five exhibitors packed a sold-out trade show floor. KnowledgeFest is unique in that it combines a tradeshow floor with educational programming and training for dealers. Indy featured sixty hours of manufacturer training and thirty hours of educational sessions focused on management, sales and installation. Billed as “Spring Training”, KnowledgeFest Indy is scheduled to allow dealers to get training on new products just coming to market and to kick-off the spring season.

“Indianapolis has become a great venue for us, our attendees and exhibitors. We continue to attract manufacturers from the specialty sector of our industry who don’t exhibit at other trade shows and who want to get their products and new technologies in front of our audience of mobile specialists, the installing dealers,” said Chris Cook, MEA president. “The opportunity for manufacturers to train dealers adds value to manufacturers and the dealers overall KnowledgeFest experience. Having Davis Distribution’s presence in Indy has helped drive attendance from nearby markets, and I thank them. As a Massachusetts-based business, we continue to focus on driving attendance from the northeast, New York City and Philadelphia. These dealers aren’t going to Vegas, so we need to communicate that KnowledgeFest Indy is accessible to them, inexpensive to attend, and a high-value experience.”  

KnowledgeFest is three regional events covering the eastern (Indianapolis), central (Dallas) and western (Long Beach) US and Canada. The next 2018 KnowledgeFest takes place in Dallas from August 17-19. For more information go to

About the Mobile Electronics Association

Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) is a trade association comprised of installing dealers and product vendors dedicated to serving the needs of the mobile electronics specialist industry. MEA owns and produces KnowledgeFest®, events in Long Beach, Indianapolis and Dallas that combine educational programming and vendor training with a trade show floor. MEA owns and publishes the monthly Mobile Electronics® magazine, which is the industry’s #1 resource, as well as other digital media, including websites and the industry’s e-newsletter Hotwire. MEA provides software and data-driven services to vendors and retailers.

Utilizing a quality venue, good timing and a solid combination of educational seminars and manufacturer trainings, the first KnowledgeFest Spring Training event drew retailers from areas never before tapped for the industry-specific event.

Being the second of its kind, this event was created to focus primarily as a bridge for retailers who are unable to travel to Dallas in August and meet directly with manufacturers for training and to ask questions in an intimate setting. Located in downtown Indianapolis at the Indiana Convention Center, this second KnowledgeFest offered trainings from Kicker, Kenwood, Alpine, Voxx, Directed, Escort, Memphis Car Audio and K40, among others. Companies provided trainings on their latest products and gave sales tips on how to sell those products in the most effective ways. New technologies have been a source of confusion for many retailers in recent years due to the rapid rate of change, which manufacturers saught to help with at the event.

The educational tracks saw a variety of pairings from veteran retailers and industry gurus. One such pairing was between Del Ellis and Jason Kranitz, who were their to promote their new venture, Kingpin University, in an attempt to promote more education in the industry due to a shortage of installers. Also presenting were Marcel Newell and Ben Vollmer from Avidworx/Businessworx, alongside retailers Mike Bartells and John Schwartz.

The biggest strengths of the seminars came in their topics, focusing on some of the hottest issues causing headaches to retailers today, including how to find good help amidst an installer shortage, sale strategies for less popular categories like window tinting and techniques for integrating new technologies like iPad dash kits and OEM integration.

The event also showcased a Town Hall Meeting, featuring a panel of veteran retailers providing their thoughts in an open forum for both retailers and manufacturers to hear. Topics discussed included customer retention, finding and developing new talent and the importance of continuous training. Questions from the audience bore some controversy with some retailers airing grievances regarding topics like a lack of POP from some manufactures, specifically regarding literature for clients to read, as well as issues with defective products and no reimbursement for return shipping costs.

To close the meeting, Solomon Daniels, editor-in-chief of Mobile Electronics magazine, discussed this year's Industry Awards, which will take place in Dallas, Texas at KnowledgeFest 2015. The awards process officially begins on May 1st and will include many changes, including new awards for Rookie of the Year, Trusted Tech (separately voted), various retail performance awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award. A new website will be created specifically for the awards, which, in addition to current contest information and rules, will include previous winners and nominees.

The Mobile Electronics® group has added 7,500 square feet of exhibit space to make room for its new exhibitors at the second annual KnowledgeFest Spring event in April. Attendance for this year’s trade show and training event is expected to double over the previous year as a result of several manufacturers incorporating their regional training efforts into KnowledgeFest Spring 2016.
The event will be held April 8-10, 2016 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. The Spring Training show floor is projected to feature more than 50 brands from manufacturer and vendor exhibitors throughout 42,000 square feet of exhibit space and 10 meeting rooms.
The Spring Training event provides dealers a top-notch venue in the midst of the new-product shipping season, allowing attendees and exhibitors to network and train on the latest mobile electronics technology. First time manufacturer exhibitors for KnowledgeFest Spring include
JL Audio, Sony, AudioControl, AAMP Global and Accele, all of who will be holding brand specific training on-site for their authorized dealers.
“We are extremely pleased to have these new exhibitors join us at KnowledgeFest Spring Training 2016, most of them have been supporting our Dallas event for several years” said Chris Cook, Mobile Electronics Group President. “Their support recognizes this event as the best opportunity to provide quality sales and installation training during the launch of their new products and services introduced earlier this year at CES”.
KnowledgeFest Trade Shows and Conferences are the mobile electronics industry’s largest educational events. This year’s events combined will offer more than 80 hours of business management, sales and installation training along with nearly 120 hours of manufacturer specific training. Additionally, some of the industry’s best known training organizations such as BusinessWorx, Del Ellis International, Mobile Solutions, Sonus Evolution and MECP will also be participating and exhibiting.
In 2016, KnowledgeFest will also return to Dallas August 20-22. For more information about either event, go to

Words by Rosa Sophia

4-13-2018 Mobile Electronics -- The theme of this year’s Indianapolis KnowledgeFest was OEM integration, branding and profitability, while DSP took the forefront of the discussion as retailers discussed the future of 12-volt. Meanwhile, industry veterans shared advice on how to apply knowledge and lessons learned back at the shop.

On the first day of KnowledgeFest, attendees waited for the show floor to open. For newcomers, the crowds and classes, activities and trainings might have seemed overwhelming. There was a lot to do and even more to learn—but those who’ve attended many previous shows advise retailers to take notes, record trainings to listen again later, and don’t try to make too many changes at once upon returning to work.

At the Indianapolis Convention Center, crowds spread across the wide hallway while people lined up to check in and get their conference badges. On the event floor, some exhibitors displayed brands that were recently unveiled or set to be released in the next few months.

Many attendees had been to the event before. For some, it was a first-time experience. Wes Tyson, owner of Wet Audio & Accessories in Columbus, Ohio was there for his first KnowledgeFest, as well as to unveil an exciting build on a 2007 Jeep that he and two team members completed in 13 days. Memphis Audio sponsored the project.

“As a business owner, KnowledgeFest is a must,” Tyson said.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

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