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Real World Retail for February March 2020

Slow and Steady

Ocala Car Audio has built a name for itself by hosting and attending local events and weekend Bike Nights. The shop has entered the new year aiming to increase revenue in the motorcycle audio category through grassroots marketing.

Words by Rosa Sophia

Prior to opening Ocala Car Audio in Ocala, Fla., Parish Tanner worked in installation, sales, distribution and as a rep. Then, in 2008, he started installing at his home garage before moving to a retail location and joining with a business partner. “We were growing 15 to 18 percent per year,” Tanner said. In 2014, he and his business partner separated, and revenue dropped significantly. “I moved to a smaller shop with a smaller staff, but since 2015, we’ve had about 15 to 20 percent growth each year.”

Tanner attributes this growth to...Read the rest of the story HERE.

 

NORTH ANDOVER, MASS. – March 4, 2020 – The Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) announced that its Indianapolis KnowledgeFest event has become the fastest-growing of the three current events (Long Beach, Calif., Indianapolis, Dallas), based on pre-registration numbers to date. The exhibit space is sold out for the event and an additional hotel was contracted to meet the increased demand. KnowledgeFest Indianapolis is celebrating its sixth year as a regional trade-only education conference and exhibition. More than 1,200 industry experts are expected to attend.
Since KnowledgeFest is a domestic event, it will not be cancelled or rescheduled as a result of the coronavirus concern. There is only one known case (Chicago) within 350 miles of Indianapolis and the convention center is taking precautions by providing continuous cleaning and disinfecting of exposed surfaces, hand-sanitizing stations throughout the facility, and posted reminders about best sanitary practices.
 
Upcoming KnowledgeFest Dates:
Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, March 27-29, 2020
NEW for 2020! Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida, May 15-17, 2020
Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, Texas, August 14-16, 2020
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, California, February 12-14, 2021
 
About KnowledgeFest
KnowledgeFest is now coast to coast. Its four regional trade-only events cover the eastern, southeastern, central and western US and Canada. KnowledgeFest combines a tradeshow floor with educational programming and training for dealers. KnowledgeFest is the only industry event dedicated to the mobile specialist, the installing dealer. For more information and to register to attend, go to www.knowledgefest.org. For exhibitor sales, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.\" style="color: #000000;">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
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.
 
 
NORTH ANDOVER, MASS. – February 24, 2020 – The Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) today announced KnowledgeFest™, in its third year at the Long Beach Convention Center, marked another success for education and training. Attendance was more than 1,500 industry professionals, including over 1,000 retailers and distributors. This year the event provided over 30 hours of educational workshops, including three additional sessions in Spanish. Also new for this year were three educational sessions focused on Fleet Safety technologies led by published author and business management expert Tomas Keenan. Key exhibiting companies provided education about new products and services with a record-setting 70 hours of manufacturer training.
 
“The decision was made three years ago to bring premium industry education to the west coast with the first KnowledgeFest in Long Beach,” said Chris Cook, MEA president. “Through the consistent effort of local reps, manufacturers and retailers who have attended our other Knowledgefest events, we have been able to educate local retailers on the benefits of our curriculum, training and networking. The collective hard work has paid off, and exhibitor space selection for the 2021 event finished with over 90% of the available exhibit space chosen. This includes several new exhibitors.”
Coming up next month, March 27-29, KnowledgeFest sets its sights on Indianapolis in a Friday-through-Sunday event at the Indiana Convention Center. KnowledgeFest 2020 will then continue with a new event in Orlando Florida May 15-17 and then concludes the 2020 season with its Dallas event: August 12-14 at the Dallas Convention Center.
 
“The Indianapolis show and education conference continues to be one of our fastest-growing events,” added Cook. “Attendee pre-registration is up 50 percent to date over the previous year. Our 2020 show floor is nearly sold out. We’re looking forward to a great show in Indy, and an exciting first foray into the southeast with the new Orlando show.”
 
Upcoming KnowledgeFest Dates:
  • Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, March 27-29, 2020
  • NEW for 2020! Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida, May 15-17, 2020
  • Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, Texas, August 14-16, 2020
  • Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, California, February 12-14, 2021
 
About KnowledgeFest
KnowledgeFest is now coast to coast. Its four regional trade-only events cover the eastern, southeastern, central and western US and Canada. KnowledgeFest combines a tradeshow floor with educational programming and training for dealers. KnowledgeFests are the only industry events dedicated to the mobile specialist, the installing dealer. For more information and to register to attend, go to www.knowledgefest.org.
 
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.
 

Mobile Electronics® Magazine Announces 2020 Digital Strategy

Interactive digital format to become more smartphone ready

North Andover, MA (January 23, 2020) – The Mobile Electronics Association (MEA), producer of Mobile Electronics magazine, announced today a new strategy that will focus on its digital publication which has more than 1.5 million impressions since the digital service first launched a few years ago.

For more than 35 years, Mobile Electronics magazine has been the industry’s premier information and education publication, including current topics like Real World Retail, What’s Happening, Difference Makers, Strategy and Tactics and Tech Today. None of that will change, and it will continue as a monthly publication featuring its rich content.  

As a digital focused publication, Mobile Electronics magazine will deliver more timely information while tracking which content is more interesting to the readers and provide quick links to advertiser websites and other valuable resources. The magazine will feature KnowledgeFest supplements (Long Beach, Indianapolis, Orlando and Dallas) with timely content of the latest information for each event.

“We have a new challenge to leverage faster, more interactive and more vibrant mediums to educate, inform and empower you (our readers),” stated Solomon Daniels, Mobile ElectronicsÒ editor-in-chief. “The book format will evolve into something else that will be more intuitive to electronic formats; we will be able to gauge your opinions in real time, share your advice one day, so other retailers can implement it the next day,” Daniels concluded.

“The economics of printing and mailing any publication, along with the increasing number of readers who prefer to access it from their smart phone, justifies this targeted approach,” said Chris Cook, President of Mobile Electronics Association. “Now,” Cook continued, “we can establish valuable partnerships with other magazines and associations to cost effectively increase our circulation.”

 

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 mobile-electronics.com.        

16 Dec

December Issue Feature: Lawson’s Car Audio

Monday, 16 December 2019
Real World Retail for December 2019
High Volume
When it comes to turning up the tunes, Lawson’s Car Audio stocks up to meet customers’ needs in any situation.
Words by Rosa Sophia

When the business first opened in 1994 in Augusta, Georgia, Lawson’s didn’t sell car audio—instead, the store focused on anything else electronic. Current owner Morgan Lawson said his parents opened the business, but car audio came into the picture by accident. Morgan’s mother, Su Lawson, went to an auction and purchased a pallet of car audio without knowing what it was. “We sold it all within a week,” said Morgan Lawson. “Ever since the early 2000s, we’ve been nothing but an audio shop.”

The store went from being called Lawson’s to Lawson’s Car Audio, and today Morgan runs the shop. The business had three locations in 2008, he added, but when his father passed away, they downsized. If everything goes according to plan, a second location in Evans, Ga. will open in mid-April with hopes of continuing to expand into the future.

Despite going away to earn degrees in criminal justice and psychology, and later becoming a real estate agent—which he still does on the side today—Lawson said he was always drawn back to the family business. “Music brings people together,” he said. “That’s what I enjoy. I did a whole bunch of other stuff, even got my pilot’s license, but I always came back here.”

Since the beginning, the focus of the business has been...Read the rest of the story HERE.

The Changing Role of Distribution
DOW Electronics, Velocity Distributing and Davis Distribution share how they view the role of distribution in 12-volt, where it’s been and where it will go from here.
 
Words by Rosa Sophia
 
Over the last few years, the line between retail and distribution has grown fuzzy, according to Dave Elkin of DOW Electronics. “Eight or nine years ago, it was still very much rules-driven—restocking fees and that sort of thing. We were just a wholesale step between the manufacturer and the dealer.”
But what changed? Elkin added that dealers wanted more of a retail experience for themselves. “If we want a high level of customer satisfaction, we have to adapt in that area for sure.” Elkin began his career with DOW in 1995, and the company itself has been in business since 1959. However, it wasn’t until 2012 that DOW began growing and expanding the 12-volt side of the business. “It’s not just moving boxes anymore,” he said, adding it’s about “the education of...Read the rest of the story HERE.

Real World Retail for October 2019
 
Diversified in the Desert
AZ Motor Trendz’s product mix meets the needs of a unique work and play clientele.
 
Words by Rosa Sophia
 
In Peoria, Ariz. in 2007, Randy Flora decided it was time to open his own shop after starting a business in his home garage. “I got tired of working out of my house, so I decided it was time to try to open a car audio shop. We did it and here we are 12 years later,” he said, adding that he started with a business partner but became full owner in 2010.
 
Currently, the bay can hold about four cars. The shop has a lift, a small woodworking area and a tire machine area. All employees are cross-trained to work with customers and answer phones, as well. “Both of my main guys can do audio, video and suspension work,” Flora added. “I have one guy who does tires, mostly. In Arizona, the big market is trucks. If I expanded, I would add another lift and probably go after dealership work, which is tough, but that way we could ensure we always have vehicles.” Continued training for team members and increased staff tenure has helped contribute to recent accomplishments, too. “The longer they’re here, the more they...Read the rest of the story HERE.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Andover, MA – October 16, 2019 – Kerry Moyer, MEA’s vice president of strategic partnerships, has announced he is retiring from MEA. Prior to joining MEA’s senior management team in 2014, Moyer worked with the Consumer Electronics Association (now CTA) and earlier in his career was a partner in a chain of audio-video-mobile electronics stores local to the Washington, DC-area.
Since joining the MEA team, Moyer increased revenue by developing innovative partnership programs for manufacturer members exhibiting at KnowledgeFest. Moyer was instrumental in engaging and supporting new partners and helped launch additional KnowledgeFest events (Indianapolis, Long Beach and soon in Orlando) making KnowledgeFest a national education conference and trade show event.
“I will miss working with my friend and colleague,” said Chris Cook, president, MEA. “We’ve spent many years together in this industry, and I will miss Kerry’s insight and advice. Many times, he added a voice of reason. Kerry has always brought integrity and customer service to his sales relationships.”
“I have been blessed to work in this industry in jobs that I loved. After 43 years and three careers, I’m going to work on my ‘retirement’ and carry-on with my consulting business. I won’t be sitting still. I plan on cycling and traveling, and I’ll always be on the lookout for new challenges and opportunities.”
MEA will be launching a new more-simplified partnership program for 2020 allowing manufacturer members to customize an offering to meet their marketing, education and budget needs. Chris Cook will be leading the new enterprise program efforts and Kerry Moyer will remain with MEA to provide consultation and support during the transition. 
Upcoming KnowledgeFest events:
  • February 7-9, 2020 - Long Beach, CA
  • March 27-29, 2020 - Indianapolis, IN
  • ·May 15-17, 2020 - Orlando, FL
  • August 14-16, 2020, Dallas, TX
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 mobile-electronics.com.
 
Media Contact:
Jenni Moyer
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
703-598-8296
 
North Andover, MA – October 16, 2019 – The Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) is pleased to announce a new partnership with WINNING, Inc./Sandler Training to provide sales training and other services to MEA members. Through this partnership, Kevin Hallinan, principal, will offer customized sales training programs to retailers and manufacturers at a reduced cost for MEA members and partners.
 
“We’re excited to offer this new benefit to our members,” said Chris Cook, president of MEA. “Sales training is an essential tool that increases our industry’s professionalism and a business’s profitability. It supports MEA’s goal to empower, educate and inform our members and achieves our mission to deliver exceptional customer experiences.”
 
Hallinan has over 30 years of sales, training, and management success.  An engaging and dynamic trainer and mentor, and an award-winning sales producer, Kevin has provided training and coaching to hundreds of companies in numerous industries. His experiences range from small private companies, to family run businesses, to the corporate setting where he has successfully sold both products and services. He is a former business owner, industry leader and constant overachiever, having earned numerous sales awards including Producer of the Year and Top Account Executive, and holds two yet unbroken company records for Highest Weekly Sales and Highest Quarterly Sales. 
 
For more infomation, go to www.Mobile-Electronics.com
 
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 mobile-electronics.com.
 
Media Contact:
Jenni Moyer
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
703-598-8296

For Installer of the Year Tim Baillie, moving forward meant choosing to make major changes. With a renewed sense of freedom and self-confidence in both work and personal life, he hopes to spread a message of health and wellness in the industry.

Words by Rosa Sophia

Tim Baillie was led into the 12-volt industry after growing up around his father, who was a mechanic. “I had my first car when I was 14,” he said. “I wanted to follow [in my dad’s footsteps] and be a mechanic.” Baillie took automotive courses in high school and went into the industry, but was led toward car audio in the early 90s. “There was a car audio school in Orlando called CMA. I think it was only around four or five years—before Mobile Dynamics and Installer Institute. My parents said, ‘If this is something you want to do, we’ll send you to school.’”

In the course of his studies, Baillie learned the fundamentals of sound and electrical. In 1992, he got involved in IASCA, eventually winning over 150 first place awards, and several eastern and western regional events. “I placed in the top five every year from 1992 to 1999 at the IASCA World Finals, and in 1997 I won an IASCA World Championship in the Expert SC+ Class. I met Mark Fukuda there,” he said, adding, “He was doing things with routers and vinyl then—ten, fifteen years ahead of everyone else. Talking to him [opened up] a whole new world [for me] as far as building cars and getting better at it.”

Having a strong work ethic helped Baillie move forward with his career goals. “My dad, being a mechanic, always taught me if you... [Click Here] for the rest of the story

Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline highlights KnowledgeFest™ Dallas
 

North Andover, Mass. – August 23, 2019 – The Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) with its media partner "Into Tomorrow" with Dave Graveline, reveals highlights from its most recent KnowledgeFest Dallas event. Take a moment to see what you missed! [Click here] to view the interviews.

 
2020 KnowledgeFest Dates:
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, California, February 7-9, 2020
Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, March 27-29, 2020
NEW for 2020! Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida, May 15-17, 2020
Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, Texas, August 21-23, 2020
 
About KnowledgeFest
KnowledgeFest is now coast to coast. Its four regional trade-only events cover the eastern, southeastern, central and western US and Canada. KnowledgeFest combines a tradeshow floor with educational programming and training for dealers. KnowledgeFests are the only industry events dedicated to the mobile specialist, the installing dealer. For more information and to register to attend, go to www.knowledgefest.org.
 
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.
 
Space Selection for KnowledgeFest™ 2020 Events Strong
 
North Andover, Mass. – August 22, 2019 – The Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) announced its KnowledgeFest 2020 events were off to a strong start. Space selection for Dallas 2020 and the other three 2020 KnowledgeFest events was held onsite at MEA’s recent event in Dallas where KnowledgeFest’s 25th Anniversary was celebrated. Due to a record number of exhibitors in Dallas, space selection was held over two days. Turn-out was strong.
 
“This year’s Dallas show floor was sold-out front-to-back and side-to-side—what a sight,” said Kerry Moyer, MEA’s vice president of strategic partnerships. “With advance onsite space selection for KnowledgeFest 2020 events now complete, floor maps for the venues are approaching sold out, and we are considering where to add booth space. We expect demand for booth space and manufacturer training time to continue to grow as more manufacturers look at KnowledgeFest as the industry’s trade show and MEA as a partner to help them meet their objectives in the market.”
 
As a key exhibitor put it, “Looking out at this year’s KnowledgeFest Dallas show floor, there was a greater number and concentration of pure 12-volt manufacturers than CES or SEMA. KnowledgeFest is the place to be to interact with qualified retailers from our industry. We will be at all four 2020 events.”
 
2020 KnowledgeFest Dates:
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, California, February 7-9, 2020
Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, March 27-29, 2020
NEW for 2020! Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida, May 15-17, 2020
Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, Texas, August 21-23, 2020
 
For KnowledgeFest booth sales, contact [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
About KnowledgeFest
KnowledgeFest is now coast to coast. Its four regional trade-only events cover the eastern, southeastern, central and western US and Canada. KnowledgeFest combines a tradeshow floor with educational programming and training for dealers. KnowledgeFests are the only industry events dedicated to the mobile specialist, the installing dealer. For more information and to register to attend, go to www.knowledgefest.org.
 
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.
Twenty-five Years and Growing Stronger
 
North Andover, MA – August 15, 2019 – The Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) hosted its largest KnowledgeFest to date in Dallas this past weekend. Marking its 25th anniversary, the trade show and conference broke records for attendance and exhibit space.
Held at the Dallas Convention Center, August 9-11, the event hosted more than 2,000 attendees, 73 exhibitors with over 50 show vehicles and covered 110,000 sq. feet of exhibit space. Over 120 hours of vendor training and educational workshops took place over the three day event.
“Being in Dallas was a great way to celebrate KnowledgeFest’s 25th anniversary,” said Chris Cook, president of MEA. “Looking at the numbers, we were excited going in, but the turn-out was beyond our expectations. We are already at work to keep that momentum going for 2020 when KnowledgeFest goes coast-to-coast with the addition of our fourth event in Orlando. Mobile specialists—both retailers and manufacturers—have recognized that KnowledgeFest is the only event meeting their interests; delivering education and manufacturer training and the opportunity to see the newest products.”
The Saturday morning keynote with Bob Phibbs, sponsored by Rockford Fosgate, opened to a standing-room only crowd. Phibbs, known as the Retail Doctor, gave an engaging and interactive presentation showing traditional brick-and-mortar retailers how to compete with online competition and bring more customers into their stores.
 
 
The first Women of Mobile Electronics networking lunch also took place during KnowledgeFest Dallas with more than 40 women attending. The lunch was hosted by MEA’s CFO, Ellen DeLuca, and included a panel presentation moderatored by Tech Up for Women founder, Dawn Pratt, with panelists Theresa Anthony from Rockford Fosgate, Rachel Clark from K40 and Elizabeth Parks from Parks Associates.
 
The event closed Sunday evening with the Mobile Electronics Industry Awards banquet hosted by Mobile Electronics® magazine. Top awards went to Tim Baillie - Installer of the Year, Sound FX - Retailer of the Year (single store), VOXX - Vendor of the Year and DOW - Distributor of the Year. The full list of winners can be found at ME-Mag.com.
 
MEA thanks its partners and sponsors for their help in supporting the event and the 12-volt industry.
 
Upcoming KnowledgeFest events:
  • February 7-9, 2020 - Long Beach, CA
  • March 27-29, 2020 - Indianapolis, IN
  • ·May 15-17, 2020 - Orlando, FL
  • August 21-23, 2020, Dallas, TX
 
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 mobile-electronics.com.
 
Media Contact:
Jenni Moyer
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
703-598-8296
 
Dallas, Texas - August 11, 2019 – Mobile Electronics® magazine, the industry’s #1 resource, published by the Mobile Electronics Association (MEA), announced today the winners of the 2019 Mobile Electronics Industry Awards. The awards were presented Sunday evening at a celebratory banquet held at the conclusion of a successful KnowledgeFest in Dallas. The awards recognize and honor professionals in the mobile electronics industry that exhibit outstanding service, business ethics, professionalism and expertise in their field.
 
Solomon Daniels, editor-in-chief, hosted the event which was attended by more than 450 industry professionals. Installer of the Year went to Tim Baillie of Trickfactory Customs in BC, Canada. Retailer of the Year (single store) was awarded to Sound FX, Lewes, DE. Vendor of the Year went to Voxx and Distributor of the Year went to DOW Electronics.
 
Installer of the Year
Tim Baillie
 
Runner Up - Installer of the Year
Matt Vowell
 
Vendor of the Year
Voxx Electonics
 
Distributor of the Year
DOW Electronics
 
Retailer of the Year, Single Store
Sound FX
 
Retailer of the Year, Store Chain
Certified Autosound & Security
 
Runner Up - Retailer of the Year, Single Store
Handcrafted Auto,Marine & Off Road
 
Runner Up - Retailer of the Year, Store Chain
Soundsgood Auto Services
 
Career Achievement Award
Kimon Bellas
 
Salesperson of the Year
Jayson Cook
 
Sales Representative of the Year
Jon Brothers
 
Trusted Tech
Nicholas Frazier
 
Rookie of the Year
Christian King
 
Expeditor of the Year
Titan Motoring
 
Rep Firm of the Year
Marketing Pros
 
Best Online Presence
Absolute Elextronix
 
Best Customer Retention Program
NVS Audio
 
Best Customer Experience
Titan Motoring
 
Best Store Culture
Titan Motoring
 
Customer Choice Award
Elevated Audio
 
Top Vendor, Autosound & Processing
Sony
 
Top Vendor, Accessories & Materials
AAMP Global
 
Top Vendor, Infotainment & Multimedia
Kenwood
 
Top Vendor, Powersports & Marine
JL Audio
 
Top Vendor, Security, Safety & Driver Assistance
Firstech
 
Most Improved Location or Chain
Handcrafted Auto, Marine and Off Road
 
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 mobile-electronics.com.
 
Upcoming KnowledgeFest events:
  • February 7-9, 2020 - Long Beach, CA
  • March 27-29, 2020 - Indianapolis, IN
  • May 15-17, 2020 - Orlando, FL
  • August 21-23, 2020 – Dallas, TX

 

North Andover, MA – August 2, 2019 – The Mobile Electronics Association (MEA), owner and producer of KnowledgeFest™, is pleased to announce the appointment of Lynn Swezey to the position of Director of Member Services. In this role, Swezey will oversee programs and benefits related to MEA’s retail memberships, as well as manage Knowledgefest education tracks and special events.
“With more than 1,100 members and the addition of a fourth KnowledgeFest event coming to Orlando, Fl. in May of 2020, we recognize the need to add resources to our team in order to meet the increasing growth of our retail membership.” said Chris Cook, president, MEA. “We are so pleased to have Lynn join us at such a crucial time.”
 
Swezey brings a wide range of experience and connectivity within the 12-volt electronics industry. She also brings with her an intense passion and drive to help improve the ways in which the Association communicates, trains and collaborates with its partners and members.
Swezey began her career in the mobile electronics industry as an Account Executive with D.A.S. Distributors in Palmyra, Pa., managing the New England and upstate New York territories. She also served as an Account Executive with A-Z Autosound a distribution house located in CT. In 2016, Swezey joined the firm of Trent Partners and Associates as a manufacturer’s rep covering the New England and upstate New York territories. 
 
Now in her sixth year working closely with 12-volt partners, Swezey also has a strong sales and marketing background dating back to 2002. She will be immediately taking over some aspects of planning and organizing the Association’s events. 
“Since starting in the mobile electronics industry in 2013, I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the smartest and proactive retailers and installers in the country,” said Swezey. “I look forward to continuing that work on a larger scale, helping to educate and empower our membership with new benefits and learning opportunities.”
 
Swezey will be at the upcoming KnowledgeFest event in Dallas, Aug. 9-11. Please join us in Dallas to welcome Lynn to the team. Welcome Lynn Swezey to our industry’s association at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
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 mobile-electronics.com.
 
Upcoming KnowledgeFest events:
  • August 9-11, 2019 - Dallas, TX
  • February 7-9, 2020 - Long Beach, CA
  • March 27-29, 2020 - Indianapolis, IN
  • May 15-17, 2020 - Orlando, FL
 

New extended service plan option now available to MEA members

North Andover, MA – July 29, 2019 – The Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) announced today a new partnership with Centricity that will enable MEA members to offer extended service plans to their customers. The service option, Protection Plus from MEA, can be integrated with MEA’s point-of-sale software program, TSS, and is also available as a standalone purchase option. Service plans are available nationwide and include removal and re-installation of covered mobile products for up to three years.
 
“As the connected devices market grows, we are partnering with companies who share the same vision to offer solutions around these products,” said Mike Kelly of Centricity. “Our product provides benefits to both the customer and retailer, delivering a customer experience beyond the point of sale.”
“We’re excited to partner with Centricity to offer this new service to our members”, said Chris Cook, President, MEA. “Extended service plans present an opportunity for our members to improve the sales experience and build stronger relationships with their customers. They also create an additional revenue stream.”
 
Protection Plus from MEA will be launched at MEA’s upcoming KnowledgeFest event taking place August 9-11 in Dallas, TX. Visit Mobile-Electronics.com to learn more.
 
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 mobile-electronics.com.
 
About Centricity
Centricity, a service and protection powerhouse, provides comprehensive risk management solutions centered around the customer. The company is a privately-held and wholly-owned subsidiary of Bankers Financial Corporation (BFC). Since 1976, BFC has been the corporate parent to a diverse set of businesses, including property and casualty insurance companies, a professional employer organization (PEO) for small business, and a financial services company. With assets over $500 million, Bankers Financial Corporation employs more than 800 associates throughout the United States.
 
Media Contact:
Jenni Moyer
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703-598-8296
Encouraging More Women to Get Involved in the Mobile Electronics Industry
 
North Andover, MA – July 26, 2019 – The Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) announced today a new partnership with Tech Up for Women to provide networking opportunities and engage more women in the mobile electronics industry. MEA will host an inaugural meeting of Women of Mobile Electronics during KnowledgeFest™, August 9-11 in Dallas, Texas. Dawn Pratt, founder of Tech Up For Women, will moderate a panel discussion during the meeting on Saturday, August 10. KnowledgeFest, the flagship event for MEA and the mobile electronics industry, brings together retailers and manufacturers for education, training, networking and the opportunity to see new products and technology.
 
“In our industry, women often work behind the scenes contributing to the success of their company,” said Chris Cook, president, MEA. “We wanted to provide an opportunity for them to network with other women that come to KnowledgeFest and to increase the visibility of women working in our industry. In a male dominated field, it’s easy for men to find others that share their interests. It’s a little harder for women to forge those connections in our industry. Our goal is that by providing a forum for women to gather at our event it will encourage other women to attend KnowledgeFest and get more involved with the association. And, long term, increase the opportunities for and the number of women working in our industry.”
 
“We are excited to offer our network the opportunity to attend MEA KnowledgeFest and the first MEA women’s event to discuss new trends, technologies and opportunities” said Dawn Pratt, founder of Tech Up For Women. Tech Up For Women is a resource platform and event for all women, in all industries, to advance through greater technology knowledge, www.techupforwomen.com.
 
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 mobile-electronics.com.
 
Upcoming KnowledgeFest events:
  • August 9-11, 2019 - Dallas, TX
  • February 7-9, 2020 - Long Beach, CA
  • March 27-29, 2020 - Indianapolis, IN
  • May 15-17, 2020 - Orlando, FL
 
About Tech Up For Women
Tech Up For Women is an event & engagement platform designed to enable in all job functions to “Tech Up” to advance their careers. Forbes named Tech Up one of the “Top Five Most Inspiring Conferences of 2018”. The 3rd Annual Tech Up For Women will take place on November 19, 2019 at the Javits Convention Center, NYC, www.techupforwomen.com. For more information reach out to us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us 203-255-2112.
 
Media Contact:
Jenni Moyer
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
703-598-8296
 

North Andover, MA – July 9, 2019 – Celebrating 25 Years this August, KnowledgeFest™ Dallas, produced by the Mobile Electronics Association, will be the largest KnowledgeFest event to date. The event will cover 110,000 sq. ft. of exhibits, include more than 65 exhibitors representing more than 80 brands, and more than 125 hours of dealer education workshops and vendor sponsored training. Advance registration is up 20% over last year’s Dallas event which hosted more than 1,700 attendees.

“KnowledgeFest Dallas is our flagship event. It’s exciting to be celebrating our 25th anniversary there,” said Chris Cook, President of MEA. “Since taking ownership of KnowledgeFest ten years ago, MEA is pleased with the growth and success of the event. Next year, KnowledgeFest goes coast-to-coast with our new event in Orlando joining our other regional events in Long Beach, Indianapolis and Dallas.” KnowledgeFestis the only industry event devoted exclusively to the mobile specialist, the installing dealer.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary, a special celebratory concert will be held on Saturday, August 10 at the House of Blues featuring the Chris Weaver Band. The event is sponsored by Sony, 2018 Vendor of the Year, and DOW Electronics, 2018 Distributor of the Year. “We’re excited to be partnering with MEA and hosting this special event to celebrate not only the 25th anniversary of KnowledgeFest, but all MEA has done to support the 12-volt industry,” said Dave Elkin, Sr. Vice President, DOW Electronics.

Saturday morning kicks off with a dynamic presentation from Bob Phibbs - the Retail Doctor, sponsored by Rockford Fosgate. In his keynote – "You Can Compete: How to Stop getting Your Butt Kicked by Online Competitors” – Phibbs will show retailers how to harness the advantages brick-and-mortar retailers have over online sellers. Attendees will discover how to engage customers, make bigger sales and sell more.

On Sunday evening, August 11, the winners of the annual Mobile Electronics® Industry Awards will be honored. Sponsored by Mobile Electronics® magazine, the Awards recognize those in the mobile electronics industry that exemplify the highest standards of professionalism, business ethics, service and expertise. The top 50 finalists for the awards can be found at http://meindustryawards.com/2019-winners/

For more information and to register for KnowledgeFest, visit KnowledgeFest.org

Upcoming KnowledgeFest events:

  • August 9-11, 2019 - Dallas, TX
  • February 7-9, 2020 - Long Beach, CA
  • March 27-29, 2020 - Indianapolis, IN
  • May 15-17, 2020 - Orlando, FL

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 mobile-electronics.com.

It’s All Part of the Process

Mobile Toys, Inc. continues to experience rapid growth year over year, attributed to its application of manufacturing processes and procedures on every aspect of the business.

Words by Rosa Sophia

Mobile Toys in College Station, Texas currently has two locations—a traditional brick-and-mortar store and a full-fledged production facility that houses the manufacturing side, MTI Acoustics. The company approaches everything they do with a manufacturing mindset, according to owner Christerfer Pate.

“The people who work here helped grow the business,” Pate said. “At any one point, there are 10 different big custom jobs in line, waiting to be worked on, and our retail side is constantly booked out two to three weeks. From the production standpoint, there are always...Read the rest of the story HERE.

When it comes to nurturing a positive store culture, retailers agree that small changes can go a long way. Staying organized, keeping the shop and showroom clean, and demonstrating care and concern to both team members and clients will transform a workplace atmosphere for the better.

Words by Rosa Sophia

In Waterbury, Conn., KarTele Mobile Electronics celebrated 25 years in business this April. The shop has held a positive reputation in the area for a long time, according to owner Mike Hungerford, who took over about two years ago. “To celebrate, we’re running a bunch of specials on backup cameras and remote starters,” he said.

When it comes to maintaining a positive store culture, he said it’s the little things that count the most. “I feel like a lot of little things make a big impact without having to really try that hard,” Hungerford added. “I’ll have coffee ready for them in the morning, and I’ll buy lunch three out of the five days of the work week.”

To begin building and maintaining a positive store culture, retailers agree there are...Read the rest of the story HERE.

 

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