Buying Power : HTSA Fall Meeting Focuses on New Tech, Bright Future
Integrators Group Forecast is Realistic But OptimisticNovember 1, 2012 By Howard Whitman
“Focused Energy” was the slogan for the Fall 2012 meeting of the Home Technology Specialists of America, and it was not an empty promise. The meeting, held Oct. 8-10 in Chicago, was all about pumping up the trade group’s member dealers to focus their energies on upping sales in today’s challenging retail landscape.
The meeting kicked off on Oct. 8th with a welcome address from HTSA Managing Director Bob Hana (who recently celebrated his one-year anniversary in the position). This session amounted to a state of the union address, with Hana reviewing the organization’s structure, goals and plans for the future.
Hana spoke of the “new” HTSA, saying the reorganized group now “has the focused energy and commitment to lead our industry and leverage the enthusiasm building around new technologies for the connected home.”
He also emphasized the organization’s new emphasis on marketing, saying “HTSA is focused on becoming the most powerful marketing force in our industry, and has a comprehensive plan on how to succeed.”
Hana was refreshingly frank about the current state of the tech business, stating “For most members, the retail transaction business is kind of weak—or it sucks. People are not coming into stores and that will continue to decrease.”
However, the forecast wasn’t all bleak: Hana cited positive projections that bode well for HTSA’s member dealers: “Money is flowing again. Employment news is encouraging. Housing starts are up. Home values are beginning to increase. Consumer confidence is on the rise.” All of these factors, he indicated, could lead to an uptick for home technology integrators in years to come.
Hana also cited growth on the custom side of the business. He emphasized the importance of lead generation, and told the group that HTSA is partnering with marketing firms Revenew and Netsertive to generate more leads for member dealers. Netsertive will also be working on improving SEO performance of member dealers’ websites.
“I’m excited and confident about our future”, Hana said. “I’m very excited about the opportunities that exist in emerging technologies.”
Emerging Tech: Keep Your Eye on the Cloud
Those emerging technologies were the focus of the meeting’s two technical panels.
“Disruptive Technologies” was the topic of an Oct. 8th panel discussion featuring Tamaryn Pratt, President, Quixel Research; Brendan Morrisey, CEO, Netsertive; and Kathleen Finato, SVP Marketing/Business Development, InterCall.