Distributor Round Table
You need them for product, but your distributors’ worth is growing exponentially. Here’s why.April 10, 2014 By Stephanie M. Adamow
Staying ahead in the consumer electronics business means having one eye open at all times for the latest trends and business opportunities. There are several ways to do this, but one very important element is establishing a strong relationship with your distributor.
Distributors today are so much more than box-pushers. They have evolved into a invaluable resource for education, training, information and support. And they are doing this primarily through special events and expos—one-day or multi-day conferences that offer everything from product demos, business-growth seminars, hands-on learning programs and much more. These events can be used simply for knowledge gain or specifically to earn continuing education credits toward your specialty.
We asked several of your distribution partners what product-presentation events/expos they have planned for 2014, and what will be offered there besides buying opportunities. And if they are not holding shows, we asked what services will be available this year, besides buying opportunities, to help you maintain profitable businesses.
Here’s what we learned:
Pam Baldwin, Vice President of
Almo holds an annual series of Appliance &
Consumer Electronics Expos designed to educate our customers on new product offerings and
technologies. These regional tradeshow and training expositions feature hands-on access to the latest products, in-depth product trainings, free skill and technology trainings as well as peer networking events.
Each year we adjust the format and
training schedule to ensure that we are
providing a valuable event that helps our
dealers remain competitive. This year we
have four locations planned. Full details
can be found at www.almo.com.
JONATHAN ELSTER, CEO
Training is critical for us. We do year-round trainings at our Atlanta, Ga., and Jupiter and Miami, Fla. locations. Our Atlanta location is optimized for that; it is a 50-seat training facility where we also offer the convenience of 24/7 product pickup through secure lockers. We also hold dealer shows four times a year, with around 50 vendors presenting product at each show. We don’t just sell boxes. We want to make sure our dealers understand our products.
Curt Hayes, President & CFO
Our two main events are CEDIA Expo and InfoComm. We traditionally head into both shows with our vendors’ latest and greatest introductions, and a full schedule of training sessions, promotions and more.
In addition, we host a series of training sessions here at our headquarters. As part of Capitol’s CLI On Campus training program, we bring in product specialists from a wide range of companies to work closely with our customers to ensure they are up to speed on the most relevant new technologies and products, as well as the best practices for marketing these new developments to their client base. Also, we run an online CLI component to make it easy for our customers to take part in the comfort of their office.