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Ringwood, Ill. – January 17th, 2020 – Race Sport® Lighting, the undisputed leader of aftermarket lighting solutions for the automotive, truck accessories, marine and power sports industries, has announced they will be training MEA dealers at all four Knowledge Fest events this year. Below is an outline of the training.

Tips to Become a Lighting Professional

Discover dozens of tips to becoming the lighting professional in your local market. From your sales counter staff to your installers, this training is for the whole team!

In this 1-hour training, Race Sport Lighting will cover the following installer/tech related topics:

  • Lumens vs Lux
  • Projectors vs Non-projectors
  • Patent features of the GEN4 LED headlight kit
  • Race Sport Lighting LED headlight specification comparisons
  • HID vs LED
  • Our quality testing, and what advantage it gives you

Also, we will train you on how to use helpful sales counter tools such as:

  • Road Map to Success
  • Starting Lineup
  • Vehicle Fit Guide
  • Dealer Resource site

At the end, we will show you how to sign up for no-cost continuing education courses through Race Sport University (RSU)! In one hour, any sales and tech staff should have the tools they need to be the lighting professional in their local market!

At Race Sport® Lighting, we are lighting. For almost two decades we have brought consistently high-quality products and full-service-value to our customers. This is our foundation for growth, and the reason we are the lighting brand the professionals use in North America and beyond. For more information on Race Sport® Lighting or to become an authorized Race Sport® Lighting dealer visit

KnowledgeFest was founded in 1994 by a group of passionate specialty retailers and reps in the Midwest who saw the value in mobile electronics retailers getting together to share knowledge and experiences. In sharing successes and failures, all participants become better, smarter and more profitable businesspeople. Since that time, KnowledgeFest has grown into a full trade show and educational conference like no other in our industry.

The $2.1 Billion Dollar Category and Growing

March 5, 2019 -- Race Sport Lighting, leading the way for the past 12 years as the Pioneer for the lighting category is hosting a lighting training session at KnowledgeFest in Indiana. The first half of the training focuses on the recipe for success in the lighting category. The second half of the training will be “CORE” training on the newest technology in lighting that dealers need to know to be successful and eliminate problems in the install bay.

Meet with us at KnowledgeFest in Indianapolis at Booth # 539. Training will take place on Friday, March 15, 2019 at 12:30 pm in the Marriott Ballroom 3 – 2nd Floor.

Race Sport Lighting is the leading manufacturer of LED and HID lighting technology in North America. Race Sport Lighting primarily serves the Mobile Electronic, Truck Accessory, Powersport, Motorcycle, Marine and RV industries. Founded in 2007, Race Sport Lighting is going on its 12th year leading the way as the Pioneer for the lighting category. They offer the highest quality lighting products to the industry and back it up with award winning customer service and tech support. This reputation has earned them the position of Preferred Lighting Vendor for AAM, MESA and Tint World franchises.

For more information on pricing and becoming a dealer, please visit us online at call us at 847-327-0073.

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.

As the event charged on, educators continued to bring their A-game by upping the ante with more seminars that helped enrich the livelihoods of the industry's finest.

In "Tuning Cars Part 2: The Next Step," Larry Frederick of Cerwin-Vega delivered what most were expecting with an honest, humor-filled seminar, complete with lots of expletives to enhance the experience for the installer-packed room.

The bulk of Frederick's lecture was focused on the tools of the trade needed to properly tune. Those tools included RTA's, oscilloscopes, and the CD=104 reference compilation, which contains a wide spectrum of music that can create the most balanced sound in a vehicle. He also emphasized the importance of using fewer speakers and subs whenever possible since "the more shit you put in a car, the more fucked-up it's going to sound," as he so eloquently put it.

Another popular seminar was Tim Parenti's "Face to Face Selling - The Forgotten Skill," part of the Sales Track. He emphasized the importance of looking at customers as ally's rather than adversaries you have to slay to make the sale. It avoids creating a combative atmosphere and instead establishes a collaborative element, getting them to see you as a friend that's helping them with a goal.

Palenti provided handouts that made the seminar interactive, asking attendees to write down responses to various objectives to focus on being helpful and positive rather than combative, rewarding them with suggestions rather than being defensive. He also broke down different personality types in terms of how people use their senses. For example, those who use hand gestures and require you to show them solutions are Visual, while those who make decisions based on how they feel are called Kinesthetic. As a sales person, it's important to recognize those types and match them with an appropriate response to best reach them.

Although the seminars are perhaps the biggest reason to come to KnowledgeFest from an educational standpoint, the heart and soul of the event seems to be taking place on the show floor, in the hallways and at the various bars and restaurants throughout the facility. This is thanks to the power of networking and friendship that is a staple of the 12-volt industry. Topics being spoken throughout the halls so far have been mostly positive, touting the wow-factor experienced by so many first-time attendees like Matt Cropper, a Top 12 Installer this year, who is in awe of how big the event is in scope.

Perhaps the biggest topic being mentioned, however, is that of the installer shortage and how the industry can solve it. One solution making the rounds is to make customers part of the business by bringing in the most dedicated either part-time or full-time depending on their current job status. At the least, making more channels to move up the ranks and cultivating the talent already in place is a popular sentiment, especially amongst some manufacturer representatives.

I for one am excited to see how the final day plays out, especially with tonight's industry awards.

4/13/2016 -- It takes time to build a business. First comes the idea, followed by the will to make the vision become reality. Once logistics are determined, the hard work of implementation begins. Any 12-volt retailer can vouch for the difficulty of opening a store, but all successful retailers share the same feeling at the end of the day -- a sense of accomplishment. 

Now in its second year, KnowledgeFest Spring Training has achieved a similar sense of accomplishment, nearly doubling last year's attendee numbers and gaining a confidence from manufacturers and retailers alike. The most common thing I heard while walking the halls of the event was, "this is great." Everyone was in agreement that the event was a success and better in many ways than last year. Considering it's a work in progress, the trade show has proven its worth as a mainstay for the industry, and in some ways, more timely than its counterpart, at least regarding its educational value. 

Taking place at the beginning of April, a time when most companies are planning the year ahead with new product purchases, manufacturers see the event as an opportunity to teach new products and gain new retailers for those products at the event. The centerpiece of the show was the theme of training. Regardless of whether it took place in the seminars, on the show floor, in manufacturer trainings, or at a table in one of the bars of the JW Marriott where attendees hung out after hours to talk over tasty libations, the word was getting out about anything and everything 12-volt related. 

Having only been in this industry for less than three years, I've learned a lot about the products and services offered, but nothing has given me more insight on what 12-volt is all about like its people. When I went to my first KnowledgeFest, I was overwhelmed with the positive, welcoming nature that everyone showed me, an outsider with zero experience. When I asked questions, no matter how rudimentary or naive, they were always answered without judgment by such names as Del Ellis, Bryan Schmitt, John Schwartz and Solomon Daniels, among others. 

The same spirit was represented at the town hall discussion where a panel of five retailers discussed how they got to the top of their game. Matt Schaeffer, last year's Installer of the Year Runner-up, spoke on the importance of how keeping passion at the center of his mindset allowed him to continuously improve his work. Ken Ward of Musicar Northwest delivered some of his signature wisecracks while mentioning how his shop does it different from others to help distinguish itself as a business. 

Overall, whether the comments were made on stage at the town hall, or in one-on-one conversations with individuals, the sentiment was the same: KnowledgeFest Spring Training is a great event and is here to stay. Regardless of whether you choose to go to Dallas or Indianapolis, your attendance is crucial if you hope to one day sit on the stage and tell the story of how you reached the top of your game. 

8-21-2016 -- As the event took on its second day, courses continued with packed rooms full of eager-to-learn attendees. While topics like fabricating to factory fit and practical tuning for a profit went as expected to hit all points on the head, there were added bonuses to most courses that presenters could not have anticipated: great questions from attendees. As KnowledgeFest continues to grow, so does its potential for learning. It's become clear in the last few years that for attendees to maximize their experience, they need to participate in a more active manner. This is understood by presenters as well, as most make it clear that feedback is encouraged throughout sessions to help provide the best knowledge possible from each expert. 

One example of this took place in the course, "Business Roundtable: Leveraging New Opportunities in Safety and Driver Assistance." The course consisted of a panel that included two retailers, Brian Layton of Sound FX and Mark Millar of Westminster Speed and Sound, and two manufacturers of safety and driver assistance products, Steve Witt of American Road Products and Phil Maeda of Rydeen Mobile Electronics. During the session, the presenters made their case for why retailers should get on board with selling the product, how to select vendor partners and how to approach selling the category to customers. But several retailers in the audience voiced concerns and made suggestions throughout the seminar that turned it into more of a discussion and brainstorming session, which was a pleasant surprise to the panelists who welcomed the comments and worked to find solutions. 

"I don't want to offer a product to my customers that only lasts 18 months. I want it to last," said Dustin Daigle of Prestige Car Audio and Marine. "The problem for us is the liability of it. I don't want to be drilling holes in someone's car for a product when a new one comes out 6-8 months later."

Witt responded by saying, "That's no different than when we started Alpine back in 1979. Those first head units, you'd push eject and the tape went into the back seat. There are definite good and back products, but it's important to know the products and choose the best partner that works for you." Former Installer of the Year Jon Kowanetz also chimed in from the crowd. "One big benefit of a demo vehicle is not just to sell things you're one hundred percent confident in but to use it as a test vehicle for new products. Nothing in our vehicle was permanently installed. It's an opportunity to test things out without fully committing and not on a customer's car."

Others, including the panelists agreed with the solution and the course continued. This was a common occurrence in other courses, where attendees brought up relevant concerns, with panelists and other attendees helping to find solutions. The event will conclude with its final day of classes, manufacturer trainings and the Mobile Electronics Industry Awards on Monday, August 22. 


TORRANCE, CALIF. -- February 3, 2020 -- Please join Rydeen Mobile at this year’s KnowledgeFest in Long Beach California February 7th through 9th. Rydeen Mobile Electronics, a cutting-edge electronics designer and manufacturer dedicated exclusively to advanced vehicle driver safety, will showcase its new and unique BSS-MI rearview replacement mirror as well as all of their innovative driver safety products. Unlike other mirrors that can only display the video inputs, the BSS-MI will also display a visual alert which is built into the mirror, replacing the LED indicators commonly found in each blind spot kit. The BSS-MI mirror not only adds safety to your drive but provides style in the same package.

Please click here for more information. 

Rydeen will display the BSS-MI and all their cutting-edge driver safety products at KnowledgeFest Long Beach as well as provide technical training in the sales and installation of their driver safety products. Don’t miss out and make an appointment for these trainings today.

Please call us, Mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or speak to your Rydeen representative for an appointment. 310-787-7880

At Rydeen Mobile Electronics, our mission is to provide the safest vehicle driving experience with solution-based products and technologies... aiming for ZERO auto accidents & auto thefts...thus creating “peace of mind everyday” to consumers worldwide! For more information, visit our website at

In its 20th year, KnowledgeFest reaches new heights by offering retailers the tools to shift their businesses to coincide with current OEM technology trends. The event also saw a new batch of industry award winners crowned to help usher in the next era of 12-volt.

9-6-2016 -- Milestones happen every day. People make goals and achieve them. But those milestones are almost never achieved without sacrifice.

After 20 years, KnowledgeFest has reached a rare milestone in the 12-volt industry, having created a place for anyone who loves car audio to come and learn new skills to enhance their craft. This year's event took place at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas August 20 to 22 and included over 40 exhibitors, 23 classes, nearly 50 product trainings and the culmination of a new round of winners at the 2016 Mobile Electronics Industry Awards. The city has hosted the event since 2010.

To house the event, the Hilton Anatole provided 10 classrooms, a trade show hall, a ballroom for the town hall and industry awards, and access to several restaurants, bars, shops and a brand new water park for hotel guests. The city itself also played host to visiting attendees thanks to its wide selection of quality restaurants, including many BBQ joints close to the hotel.

Guests were able to pre-register for classes using the website, which also served as the digital schedule of events for guests to check during the three-day conference. The event marked the first time the website was used as a primary resource for the event schedule. 

All of this was presented in cooperation with several manufacturers who operated as sponsors for the event, in addition to the registration fees paid by attendees. However, the largest contributor to the event could not be measured in money or time, but passion. To last 20 years, an event like this would not be possible without a continuous drive from its attendees and educators to help improve the industry and overcome all obstacles over the years. Thankfully, it has all of the above.


Day 1 - Bad Weather, New Faces

Being that Dallas is located in a central location to the rest of the country, one might think it's accessible enough to limit travel issues to a minimum. But mother nature doesn't always play by the rules. Due to inclement weather, many attendees coming from the east coast were delayed up to a day. Some of those attendees were also educators, like Matt Schaeffer, whose class, "The Perfect Pic: Better Photography to Promote Your Business," was postponed until the final day, while taking the place of a cancelled class, "Public Relations: Let the Media Market For You."

Thankfully, those were the only courses impacted by the weather problem. Meanwhile, in Dallas, the rain poured on and off like a faucet throughout the event, while hotel guests, including some KnowledgeFest attendees, kept a close eye on the rain to give themselves enough time at JadeWaters, the new water park on the hotel grounds. The park features a lazy river, swim-up bar and water slides. Despite the lack of pool time available, attendees found plenty of ways to socialize outside of classes, including between classes in the hallways, at the bars, outside with a cigarette, or on the show floor, which started with a bang on day one, with every booth seeing some action from the get-go.

Several companies made their debuts at the show in 2016, all offering a different category of product. Omega Research & Technology came to showcase a wide array of products, but geared its presentation toward the most relevant technologically advanced products, including its new Linker smartphone control app. The platform allows GPS tracking and is designed to incorporate linking between home alarm and vehicle security monitoring. The company, which has been around since 1971, chose to make this year its first at KnowledgeFest due mainly to the evaporating presence of 12-volt companies at shows like SEMA and CES, where it primarily showcased in the past, according to Mike Thompson, product development manager at Omega.

"With technology shifts being so rapid these past few years, dealers are struggling to keep up. The industry needs a regrouping internally so we can figure out where to go," Thompson said. "We're really excited to come to a show with a 100 percent focus on the aftermarket. There's a solid state of unrest throughout the country, so dealers are struggling and are more reluctant to go to shows like SEMA and CES. Although we do a lot of International business, I really feel like KnowledgeFest helps us turn our attention more to our domestic guys."

On the 12-volt accessory front was F.A.S.T. Rings, the foam acoustic sealers that have become a popular commodity thanks partially to their being sold and promoted by Mobile Solutions. The rings represent an expanding market for 12-volt accessory products that saw several other vendors present on the floor as well, including Kingpin University, Mobile Solutions and SoundSkins.

As a trend, the majority of the companies featuring new products either were enhancing already popular products or adding to an emerging market, such as safety. One such product was the Bury Hands Free Car Kit, presented by John Haynes of Al & Ed's Autosound. The German manufacturer has decided to branch out into the North American market in preparation for a continuing trend of OEM add-on products in upcoming vehicles. 

Read the rest of the story HERE.

February 14, 2019 -- Sony, a longtime supporter, and contributor to the Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) and of KnowledgeFest events has announced training events at the upcoming KnowledgeFest - Long Beach event. Sony continues its support through a Diamond ULTRA Sponsorship, retailer-focused training, and a prominent booth space where several team members can show retailers new products, offer tips on increasing their profit and answer technical questions.

“Our sponsorship of and team commitment to these events is important to us. We always value getting in front of our retailers to train them, and we love showing them new ways to grow their profit,” said Anthony Tozzi, Distribution Sales Manager.

Sony will be showing examples of the XAV-AX7000 High Power CarPlay and Android Auto deck that they showed at CES. Retailers will be able to sit and listen to it power its XS-GS1631C three-way components, XS-GS1621 coaxial speakers, and two XS-GSW101 subwoofers, with no external amplifiers, in its demo 2018 Subaru Impreza show vehicle in the booth.

National Trainer Kris Bulla will lead four training sessions focused on critical subjects that retailers will be able to use immediately in their stores.

Sony training sessions for KnowledgeFest - Long Beach are:

2/23 - How to maximize your profit with Sony Car Audio Products

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM, Seaside 3A

2/23 - Sony High-Power Head Units – How to Sell and Install Them Properly

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM, Seaside 3A

2/24 - Sony GS Speakers and Amplifiers – How to Make More Profit

4:45 PM - 5:45 PM, Seaside 3A

2/25 - How to maximize your profit with Sony Car Audio Products

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM, Seaside 3A

Sony won Vendor of the Year in 2018 at the MEA Industry Awards and took the Top Vendor: Autosound & Video award as well. These awards, voted on by the industry, are the result of the hard work of the Sony support team through its valued Distribution Partners, and the excellent retailers they service.

For questions, please contact Anthony Tozzi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Kris Bulla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

New EVO Series amplifiers include high-level inputs, better tuning flexibility.

DAVIE, FLA., March 4, 2019 (MEDIAWIRE) – SounDigital USA introduced more than 800 mobile electronics professionals to the newest versions of its popular EVO series amplifiers during the KnowledgeFest tradeshow and education conference, held February 23-25 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif. The 800.4S EVO and 400.4S EVO will replace the 800.4D EVO and 400.4D EVO, respectively. The newer versions of these amplifiers give retailers enhanced flexibility to use EVO amplifiers to improve the performance, headroom and clarity of factory-installed radios.

"The requirement to have back-up cameras on new vehicles means having radios with screens, and since these screens are often set up to display other functions of the vehicle, they cannot easily be removed," said SounDigital CEO Diogo Ianaconi. "Our new amplifiers are designed to better connect to these factory radios to allow customers to build a personalized audio experience while keeping the familiar factory installed ergonomics."

Power-wise, the 400.4S EVO and 800.4S EVO share the output capability of their predecessors. Also, like the 800.4D, the 800.4S comes in two-ohm and four-ohm versions. In addition to low-level inputs through RCA-style connectors, the new amplifiers add two connections for four channels of high-level inputs. The high-pass / low-pass / full crossover switch for each pair of channels is now paired with a variable adjustment of 45-850Hz, providing greater precision to match output with the system configuration.

Internally, SounDigital has employed higher-quality components and a new PC board to improve sound quality and noise rejection throughout the entire 2019 product line. In addition, all of the variable adjustments are now flush-mounted into the chassis, eliminating the possibility of accidental movement.

The 800.4S EVO and 400.4S EVO are expected to ship in April, with MSRPs to be announced. For information on the new SounDigital line, visit

Trainings to Take Place in Long Beach, Calif. Feb. 7-9; SSV Works and JVC Recently Announced a Collaboration Whereas SSV Works is Now the Exclusive Powersports Distributor for JVC’s New KD-MR1BTS Digital Media Receiver

OXNARD, Calif., Feb. 6, 2020 – SSV Works (, the market leader in powersports and off-road audio systems and accessories, is proud to announce that it will provide booth trainings for KnowledgeFest 2020 attendees in Long Beach, Calif. from Feb. 7-9 as part of its recently announced JVC headunit collaboration.

“We announced our new partnership with JVC during the recent CES 2020 show with great fanfare, and we are excited to get this new headunit in front of industry pros at the upcoming KnowledgeFest in Long Beach,” said Trevor Kaplan, SSV Works CEO. “As SSV Works is now the exclusive distributor for JVC’s new KD-MR1BTS marine/powersports digital media receiver, we are integrating and making available the KD-MR1BTS into a number of our existing and new Polaris RZR and CanAm Maverick X3 kits for our customers. Getting dealers and installers hands-on experience is vital, and KnowledgeFest is the idea venue for our trainings.”

The IPX6-rated KD-MR1BTS digital media receiver features Bluetooth®, USB, a 2.7-inch color display, global tuner with weather band, 7-Band EQ, rear view camera capability, and is SiriusXM-Ready®.

Available in Spring 2020, vehicle-specific SSV Works plug & play dash kits and harnessing to work with the JVC KD-MR1BTS include:

  • 2014 - ‘18 Polaris RZR XP1000, Turbo, 900
  • 2019 - ‘20 Polaris RZR XP1000, Turbo, 900
  • 2020 Polaris RZR Pro XP
  • 2017+ CanAm Maverick X3

“Current SSV Works customers can upgrade their audio kits with a plug-and-play mounting and harness solution, as well,” added Kaplan. “And as a special incentive, we are also announcing that for a limited time, we will include the backup camera with new systems free of charge. JVC is a legacy in the mobile audio radio market, and we could not be more excited to partner with such a brand and provide our customers with the best powersports radio and overall audio solution kits in the market.”

For more information, please visit, call 818-991-1SSV (1778), or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JVCKENWOOD Corporation and is a leading developer of imaging, home and car entertainment and navigation products for the consumer market, two-way radio communications systems for public safety, private industry and amateur users, and video equipment for the broadcast and professional markets. For detailed information, call JVCKENWOOD USA at 1-800-582-5825 or visit us at, and

Based out of its 20,000-square-foot facility in Oxnard, CA, award-winning SSV Works® was founded in 2006 and has since become a global leader in designing the market’s best off-road, weatherproof audio systems for today’s hottest and most popular UTVs. SSV Works is the original purpose-built audio manufacturer, offering every piece needed for a complete, plug-&-play install. With more than 40 years in audio design and manufacturing experience by team members who are also passionate off-road enthusiasts, SSV Works is the top choice among off-road consumers and professionals worldwide. SSV Works currently offers stereo systems for Polaris, Can-Am, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda, Arctic Cat, and Jeep vehicles. Take your ride to the next level and install an today!

North Andover, Mass., September 17, 2020 -- The Mobile Electronics Associaiton announced the last day to make your selections to recognize our best. Voting Ends Sunday, September 20, 2020!
It's your last chance to vote for all categories of the annual Mobile Electronics Industry Awards! Select your choices for finalists from the Top 50 Retailers, Top 50 Installers and Top 20 Sales pros, plus five retail performance categories.
And don't forget the Supplier Categories, Trusted Tech and Rookie of the Year!
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:
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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.

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