Mobile Electronics Magazine

Switch to desktop
MEA’s first virtual event hosted a record number of retailers
North Andover, MA – December 22, 2020 –The Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) hosted its largest KnowledgeFest to date as a virtual event. The trade show and conference led with an industry first technology that allowed attendees to connect live with exhibitors. Exhibitors received nearly 13,000 booth visits with nearly 20,000 views of exhibitor-related content. The event also launched a new sales rep networking feature called “Rep Connect.” Over 45 sales reps were engaged with hundreds of attendees. When it comes to KnowledgeFest education and training, no event can compare. The education and training had over 5,600 in attendance for the 60 hours of education workshops, manufacturer trainings and keynotes. And when it came to live interaction, over 1,200 attendees enjoyed the new live booth experience allowing them to connect and interact with exhibitors.
“Due in part to the event’s online platform, KnowledgeFest.Live saw a record number of attendees totaling over 2,500 from across the country and around the globe,” stated MEA president Chris Cook. “the event featured more than 30 brands, 24 show cars displayed in the online platform, five keynotes and events, and 57 manufacturer trainings and educational workshops.”
Finishing the event was the annual Mobile Electronics Industry Awards that that was live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube. The event has more than 4,000 views and 850 comments making it our largest audience to date. At the opening of the awards, Mr. Cook encouraged viewers and attendees to see the coming year as a “comeback,” and to take the time to develop new relationships with customers, new opportunities for businesses, and instead of a “new normal,” focus on utilizing newly acquired knowledge to spark future successes. “It’s been a difficult and challenging year,” Mr. Cook noted, adding, “One we will never forget and for many, we can’t wait until it’s over. Let’s make sure we reflect on this experience and think about how we adapted, learned and—in many cases—conquered.”
MEA will host the KnowledgeFest.Live education workshops, select manufacturer trainings, keynotes on-demand through the end of 2021. Stay tuned for future KnowledgeFest.Live event announcements for 2021 as MEA looks towards the future of online and hybrid events to meet the education needs of our industry.
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, regional trade-only industry events 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.
Learn more at
Media Contact:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The second day of KnowledgeFest Spring Training culminated in the Town Hall discussion, a staple for the event. The panelists consisted of five of the top retailers in the business, who answered questions based on the theme of what it takes to be successful in 12-volt today. 

The discussion was moderated by Chris Cook, president of the Mobile Electronics Group, and included Eric Carter of Cartronix, Brian Layton of SoundFX, Josh Mojica of GNC Customs, Matt Schaeffer of Safe & Sound Mobile Electronics and Ken Ward of Musicar Northwest. Questions for the panel ranged between having the right mindset with the business, what to look for in staff to ensure their success, and how to create a customer experience that makes a business stand out and build rapport. 

"We treat employees and customers like family. It's part of my vision on how to do things differently," said Mojica. "Passion is the reason we are here right now," said Schaeffer at another point. "You can't teach passion. Passion is just there."

The event took place after a full day of educational seminars and manufacturer trainings at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Ind.  


Panelists will discuss going beyond average to build a successful, longstanding operation

NORTH ANDOVER, MASS. – March 25, 2016 (MEDIAWIRE) – The town hall meeting at the upcoming KnowledgeFest Spring Training show and education conference will feature five prominent retailers, discussing how specialist mobile electronics outlets can continue to grow their businesses. "Breaking Through the Retail Ceiling" will focus on the strategies and practices that elevate a business from moderate performance to legitimate success and sustainability. 

The town hall signals the midway point for KnowledgeFest Spring Training, following the first full day of exhibits and education. Its purpose is to present and discuss topics that concern or benefit the industry, led by an informed group of panelists.

"This year, we felt it was important to let retailers speak to retailers," said Chris Cook, Mobile Electronics president. "KnowledgeFest has always thrived as a peer environment, where people in the same profession can network and share ideas. For the town hall, we've selected a group of retailers who have achieved above-average levels of profit, market share and repeat clientele, and all of them are excited to relay their experiences and advice to our attendees."

The 2016 retail panelists are all current or prior recipients of awards from Mobile Electronics. They include:

  • Eric Carter of Cartronix in Valparaiso, Ind., multitime Top 50 and Top 12 Retailers award recipient
  • Brian Layton of Sound FX in Lewes, Del., a recent Retailer of the Year award recipient and multitime Top 50 Retailer
  • Josh Mojica of GNC Customs in Goshen, Ind., a recent Top 12 Retailers award recipient
  • Matt Schaeffer of Safe and Sound Mobile Electronics in Manassas, Va., 2015 Installer of the Year runner-up
  • Ken Ward of Musicar Northwest in Portland, Ore., previous Retailer of the Year award recipient

KnowledgeFest Spring Training leverages the time of year when new products have begun to ship and retailers are most in need of instruction on product features and specifications as well as selling strategies. The event will be held April 8-10 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Ind. Professionals who wish to attend can register at Prospective attendees can view and register for available workshop classes, reserve seats, and print out a personalized itinerary at Find more information on KnowledgeFest Spring Training, travel to the event, and accommodations at




Hello All,

It’s Time! This is the official notification that the 2014 Industry Awards are underway.

This blog is intended to outline the process and rules for the awards, starting from selecting the Top 100 Installers and Top 50 Retailers, all the way to selecting the final winners. Those winners will be announced and celebrated at the Mobile Electronics Retailers Association (MERA) KnowledgeFest event in Dallas, August 16-19.

For those of you who don’t know, The Industry Awards recognize the top performers in our industry. At the retail level, we identify the Top 100 Installers and Top 50 Retailers. Each of these groups narrows down to the Top 12, and finally we select winners from this group. This year, we’ve made changes to the Retailer of the Year awards. There will be one winner and one runner-up award given in two categories: single store and chain. The Installer of the Year award remains unchanged.

And there are other awards as well. The Trusted Tech award goes to the individual installation expert who is not only an excellent troubleshooter and detail-oriented worker, but has also earned the recognition and respect of their peers. The Rep of the Year and Rep Firm of the Year recognize sales representatives who go beyond the transaction to provide support and encouragement to retailers. Distributor of the Year (new for 2014) and Expediter of the Year award the top performers in these sales channels. And our Vendor of the Year awards celebrate the hard-working staffs of our suppliers and manufacturers in several different categories.

Before we delve more into the details, I want to first thank the members of the Mobile Electronics Advisory Group for their time and valued input. My goal for the group was to streamline the rules and policies of the awards so that we can present a fair and transparent process to the industry. The guidelines you see below are the result of their dedication.

Good Luck to All!

Solomon Daniels, Editor-in-Chief


2014 Mobile Electronics Industry Awards – Rules and Guidelines

Retailer Qualifications:

A publicly accessible, licensed brick-and-mortar or mobile business that has a dedicated mobile electronics department with full sales, retail and installation support. The business must have been open for a minimum of two years, regardless of location. (Home-based business must meet the same criteria and be licensed by local municipality to operate a mobile electronics retail business in its location.)

Installer Qualifications:

Installation specialists with a minimum 5 years of experience under a licensed business (company or sole proprietor) who are gainfully employed as a professional installer. Installation must be their primary duty within the business.


Vendors, Expediters, Distributors, Reps and Rep Firm Awards


A vendor, manufacturer's representative, distributor or expediter that produces, sells or supports products in the mobile electroncis industry.

Vendor Awards:

Expediter of the Year

Rep of the Year

Rep Firm of the Year

Distributor of the Year

Top Vendor - Vendor – Autosound / Video

Top Vendor – Security / Convenience / Safety

Top Vendor – Power / Installation Components

Top Vendor – Processing and Integration



June 3: Voting to Select the Top 12 Begins

Individuals who vote are divided into two categories:
Consumers / Enthusiasts – people who are customers, family members, friends or competitors and are NOT employees in the mobile electronics industry in a professional capacity.

Industry professionals – people who work for an industry manufacturer, supplier, distributor, affiliate company or a retail location.

Because this is primarily an industry award, the value of an industry vote will be higher than that of a consumer vote:

  • If a candidate gets fewer than 5 industry votes, the consumer votes do not count.
  • If a candidate gets 6 to 9 industry votes, the consumer votes are worth 1/5 of one industry vote each.
  • If a candidate gets 10 to 19 industry votes, the consumer votes are worth 1/4 of one industry vote each.
  • If a candidate gets 20 to 29 industry votes, the consumer votes are worth 1/3 of one industry vote each.
  • If a candidate gets 30 to 39 industry votes, the consumer votes are worth 1/2 of one industry vote each.
  • If a candidate gets 40 or more industry votes, the consumer votes are worth 3/4 of one industry vote each.
  • Each person may select one retailer and one installer. Voters must supply contact information for verification purposes, and IP addresses are monitored to reduce the possibility of fraudulent voting. (Multiple store employees may vote from the same computer / IP address.)

    June 20: LAST DAY to VOTE!


    August 18: All winners announced at KnowledgeFest

    Errors and omissions:
    If, throughout this process, we determine that there is an error or more detail / clarification is required, we will publicly announce the adjustment via Hotwire, our email newsletter. 

    HAUPPAUGE, NEW YORK – JULY 31, 2017 -–VOXX Electronics Corporation announced that the company will be attending the 2017 KnowledgeFest Training in Dallas on August 11-14, 2017 to showcase its extensive 12-volt retail and car dealer-specific products across its numerous brands.

    The Company will also be hosting 3 separate training seminars at this years’ event. They are: 
    - Remote Start Certification for authorized dealers on Friday, August 11th from 6:00PM to 8:15PM
    - New Code Alarm Launch & Training on Saturday, August 12th from 4:45PM to 5:45PM
    - New Flashlogic FLRSBA Launch & Training on Saturday, August 12th from 6:00PM to 7:00PM

    “KnowledgeFest’s dedication to improving education and increasing retailer awareness sets the perfect stage for us to display our broad lineup of 12 Volt products to a group of passionate specialty retailers and VOXX reps as well as give us the opportunity to introduce our brand-new Code Alarm product line-up, Carlink BT Long Range and the Flashlogic FLRSBA program”, said Aron Demers, Senior Vice President of VOXX Electronics Corporation. “We have a tremendous amount of trainings and product introductions scheduled for this event, and look forward to seeing everyone in Dallas."

    The scheduled trainings and product launches will be presented by VOXX Electronics product managers and technical support team members. Technical representatives of the company will also be participating in the Remote Starter Technology Integration & Troubleshooting workshop on Sunday, August 13th from 8:00AM to 9:20AM. 

    The VOXX Remote Start certification program is designed to give everyone attending the knowledge they need to install remote start systems on today’s most challenging vehicles and a lot more. Those that successfully pass the program will receive a VOXX Factory Certified Remote Start Technician Certificate and their store will receive priority listing on our Dealer Locator, indicating a Factory Certified Remote Start Technician is on staff. There will be drawings for prizes and give-a-ways at all the trainings.

    The Company will also be showcasing the latest offerings across all of its product categories including; Advent/Audiovox Mobile Video, Vehicle Security and Tracking, Remote Start Systems, Telematics, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), Navigation and OE Integration.

    Visit VOXX Electronics at the 2017 KnowledgeFest –Training on Friday, August 11th, through Monday, August 14th at the Dallas Convention Center Omni Dallas Hotel.
    For more information about VOXX Electronics please visit:


    Product Training, Product Demonstrations, and Program Presentations in Indy.

    March 15, 2019 -- Houston, Texas -- Wet Sounds will once again will be attending the Indianapolis KnowledgeFest March 15-17, 2019.

    Wet Sounds is inviting dealers to attend the Friday March 15 training sessions, held at 12:30 and 3:30, led by Bobby Eldridge, Director of Customer Service. Come by Booth 438 and meet Wet Sounds CEO, JR Stocks; VP of Sales and Marketing Randy Davis; and Regional Sales Manager Ray Woodall. Live product demos will be held throughout the event as well as product and 2019 program presentations. 

    Wet Sounds is the leader in innovative design and manufacturing of the world’s best performing element-proof audio and lighting components. We specialize in marine-grade audio with high quality standards that can be used and enjoyed anywhere. Since developing the world’s first true wake board boat tower-specific HLCD speaker system, we have grown to design audio and lighting components that can be utilized on the water, off-road, on road, residential environments and more. We believe that over-engineering our products to exceed standards is in our DNA and quality and performance value should never be sacrificed.

    Wet Sounds Inc., is the recognized leader in innovative design and manufacturing of the world’s best performing and most rugged audio.

    To maximize your driving power, no matter how busy you are, you need to slow down in order to speed up business. Take the time to create an accurate road map to lead you to the best route for your business.

    Take a good hard look at your business with the eye of an outside, unbiased consultant and gather honest answers to the hard questions on the High Performance Road Map below. Include your team, and keep their involvement ongoing.


    What are our three greatest strengths as a business?

    How can we leverage our greatest strengths to grow our business?

    How’s our reputation in our community?

    How’s our reputation in our industry?

    Do we need to make a bigger effort to develop a reputation customer service excellence?

    Are our advertising, sales, and marketing strategies working?

    Do we need ads and visuals on our website that are more eye-catching than any competitors’?

    Do we have enough video on our site to draw traffic to our site and show customers what we can do?

    Are we obtaining business and inquiries from our website, or is it time to obtain the services of an SEO specialist?

    Are we using online marketing to draw more traffic to our business?

    Do we have a newsletter we send out with great visuals, ads, and the latest information on new products?

    What are we doing that is different from other retailers that will make us stand out in the minds of our customers and promote word-of-mouth advertising?

    Where are there opportunities to obtain more referrals or drive more business to us?

    How much of our business comes from referrals? Are we asking for them?

    How can we promote our business in a way that is different than the competition?

    Can we depend on each other, so we can focus on the most important person to our business—the customer?

    How can we improve communication on the team and with customers?

    How would customers rate the level of service we provide?

    Are we obtaining feedback from our customers, or should we start calling after every job or major sale?

    Are we consistently working to improve our service?

    How quickly do we respond to calls? Is it easy to do business with us?

    Are we making a conscious effort to be friendlier than our competitors?

    Do we make our customers feel like “family”?

    What have we done to exceed expectations, and what practices can we put into place to exceed expectations in the future?

    What three areas need the most improvement?

    How is our pricing?

    Do customers feel they receive value from the price they pay?

    Do we consistently strive to be a better business?

    Do we consistently work toward being better than our competition? Do we make an effort to be better than our competition in every aspect of the customer experience?

    Do we strive to under-promise and do everything we can to over-deliver?

    Who is performing well? Who is not?

    What should be our major strategic initiative for the remainder of 2015?

    Once you finish compiling answers, which may take some time, you'll be in a better position to see things more clearly, make decisions, and create your winning race strategy. This can be hard work, but your biggest challenge will be to implement necessary changes to sustain the momentum of the drive.  

    So after this session take a good hard look at your answers, and then create an action plan that will help drive the growth of your business and improve profitability. Unfortunately, we sometimes (even unknowingly) put up our own roadblocks to success. We make an action plan with a road map to follow and we don’t follow it. We go back to “business as usual.”

    Smart business professionals, however, understand that,

    “Knowing what you should be doing and doing it are two very different things. Execution must be a strong part of your competitive strategy!”

    Here’s another key: Put Knowledgefest as one of your destinations. There, you will obtain the knowledge and skills to accelerate your business.


    Keep in mind:

     •    Always maintain a clear focus on your customers. Encourage everyone who works in your business to embrace an obsession for customer service excellence with every customer encounter.

     •    Follow your race strategy. Once you have completed the road map stage, you will have your own plan. Follow it as closely as you can in order to stay on course. But if something is not working, do what any smart executive or business owner would do—shift gears fast!

     •    You will always have to find ways to be better and smarter—and drive faster—than your competitors.

    Once you decide what needs to change in your business, implementation is crucial. Attend my session, What Needs to Change in Your Business – 10 Steps to Successful Change Implementation, sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association.

    See you there!

    To hear more of Carelli's insights, attend her KnowledgeFest seminar. Details are available at

    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.

    Interested in getting free registration for the upcoming KnowledgeFest in Indianapolis? Then here are some questions to help you decide:

    What are you doing to help your cause?

    In the early 1990s the Internet was just becoming popular and a man with a vision left his job and home in New York to map out his course that would change consumer purchasing forever.

    What did the man do after he moved away from New York?

    There was a trade show for all “Book Store” owners and he drove himself for this four-day “INDEPENDENT TRADE SHOW” to learn how to become better at what he was planning on doing. Topics included “Selecting Opening Inventory” and “Inventory Management”. In the mean time, his associate was learning other aspects of the business to build one of the most successful teams in US history and with a threadbare budget.

    Who was the man and what was the name of his business?

    Before I answer you let me ask you this, between who the man is and what the man did to become successful, what’s most important? If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you'll achieve the same results.

    - Tony Robbins

    You see you have before an outstanding opportunity to do what the man I am talking about did!
 We have some of the best trainers in the field of car audio coming together to help you to learn to become better at what you are planning on doing!

    We have people like Jason Kranitz, Micah Williams, Mike Bartells, Eric Carter, John Schwartz, Ken Ward, Harry Lichtman, Bryan Schmidt and of course yours truly. 
You have manufacturers wanting to invest their time and energy on how to make your facility better and more profitable, and yet you look for or make excuses not to go!

    By the way, the man Tony Robbins is talking about above is Jeff Bezos, CEO of 

    Based on all the above info, you ask, "Del, what should we do?" 
The answer is, I would beg, borrow or do whatever it takes to get yourself and your staff underneath the teaching of these great leaders in our independent industry which we all love so much and come learn the secrets like Jeff Bezos learned in the early 1990s.

    Now, as promised, here's what you do to get your FREE registration: 

1. Go to

 2. Fill in your contact information. Be sure to enter your title under 'Registrant Title.' 

3. Under 'Exhibitor Name,' select the vendor you're most excited to see at KnowledgeFest Spring Training. 

4. Under 'Registration Classification,' select 'I am a VIP retailer invited by an exhibitor.' 
 5. Click Registration Confirmation and that's it! You'll receive a confirmation in your email.

    We look forward to helping you in Indianapolis at our own Independent Trade Show on April 11th-13th 2015.

    Copyright - Mobile Electronics Association 2020

    Top Desktop version