Dealerscope magazine presents:

SBN EXPO Group Turns The Trade On in 2015

SBN EXPO Group, LLC, producer of the annual Spring Break Nationals Car Audio Expo and Soundoff, has announced that it is evolving the 28-year-old mobile electronics event in 2015 to meet the present-day needs of the industry by hosting both the Spring Break Nationals consumer/trade event and in.car.EXPO, a trade-only event.  The events’ dates will span March 20-23 and they will be held at the Ocean Center Arena in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The 29th Annual Spring Break Nationals opens as a one-day Consumer Expo on Saturday, March 21. The Arena will feature a trade show floor with manufacturer and dealer exhibits and displays, and there will be a seminar area set up on the show floor for brands to speak directly to consumers in 15-to-30-minute mini seminars. The louder SPL demonstrations and soundoff competitions will be held in their own exhibit hall along with a custom car show, main stage with emcee and the traditional sideshows.

The in.car.EXPO, on Sunday, March 22 at the Ocean Center, is being positioned by the group as the East Coast’s mobile electronics trade show. “Over the years, spectator attendance peaked Saturdays, so why not channel that exposure to Saturday and dedicate Sunday to the trade? The increase in dealer and distributor participation last year and the state of industry leads me to establish Sunday as a trade-only day,” event founder Paul Papadeas said.

Part of the in.car.EXPO appeal, according to Papadeas, will be the first annual IASCA Dealer “IQC Build-Off.” On the show floor, dealers will be invited to enter their signature installations, vying for cash prizes. Installations will be evaluated by the IASCA IQC (installation quality challenge) rules. In the ballroom adjacent to the arena, the audiophile listening room returns, but in a bigger way. “The audiophile listening room was a big hit last year,” said Papadeas, “and we will expand the space for this great consumer experience.”

Beginning on Friday, running throughout the event, SBN EXPO Group is planning a weekend of training opportunities.  Cost-free breakout rooms will be offered to participating manufacturers and their distributors for brand-specific presentations and trainings. Seminars presented by SBN EXPO Group will feature in-depth sessions focused on the organizational, promotional and financial side of running and controlling business.

“I’ve been a M.E. retailer for 40 years,” Papadeas said, “and it’s no secret that our business is changing. The time has come for industry to focus on its dealers and strengthen their foundations. For years, we’ve built the trade effectiveness of our event, and now it’s time to supercharge it. Last year’s exit survey supported this movement to trade; now, it’s ‘go’ time. This is an event that East Coasters can drive to and find affordable accommodations. We want to engage all mobile electronics dealers, reps and distributors East of the Mississippi to participate, produce and relive the camaraderie of years past. Our successful history of 28 years along with the perfect venue at the right time of year makes it easy to do just that.”

For more information on the Spring Break Nationals Consumer Expo, Soundoff and Car Audio Party visit www.springbreaknationals.com.  For info on IASCA in.car.EXPO trade show, visit www.incarexpo.com.  To download the IASCA IQC Judging Rules, visit www.iasca.com.

RadioShack Names MAEVA Group Advisers

RadioShack has announced that it retained The MAEVA Group in order to "provide advisory services to RadioShack's Board of Directors and management as the Company moves forward with its operational and financial turnaround."

The group's founder and CEO, Harry J. Wilson, has been named the retailer's Chief Revitalization Officer. 

Harry Wilson's experience in guiding companies through successful turnarounds speaks for itself and will be extremely valuable as we continue our efforts to revitalize the Company.  We welcome his insight and involvement," RadioShack CEO Joe Magnacca said as part of the announcement. 

HP Jumps Into 3D Printing

 HP this week announced a move into 3D printing from one of the world's biggest printing giants, through what it calls its Blended Reality ecosystem. 

The ecosystem includes the HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer and the Sprout by HP  Immersive Computing platform. 

"As we examined the existing 3D print market, we saw a great deal of potential but also saw major gaps in the combination of speed, quality and cost,"  Stephen Nigro, senior vice president, Inkjet and Graphic Solutions, HP, said as part of the announcement.

 "HP Multi Jet Fusion is designed to transform manufacturing across industries by delivering on the full potential of 3D printing with better quality, increased productivity, and break-through economics."

See the HP Blended Reality ecosystem for more. 

 

Panasonic TVs Add Netflix in 4K

Panasonic announced that their AX800 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TVs are now able to stream Netflix in 4K. This is true of the AX800 series, as well as the upcoming 65-inch class AX900 and 85-inch class AX850 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TVs. 

The AX800 series will receive the functionality via a firmware update. 

Several Netflix series, including House of Cards and the upcoming Marco Polo, as well as various nature shows, are available in 4K. 

 

Capitol Adds Sharp

Capitol this week announced a big new addition to its line card, with a new distribution agreement with Sharp Electronics Corp. The deal gives Capitol customers access to Sharp home entertainment products. 

The deal includes, and emphasizes, Sharp's Sharp’s AQUOS  HD, AQUOS Q and AQUOS Q+ LED flat screen Smart TVs. 

“Sharp is one of the most respected names in consumer electronics,”  Curt Hayes, Capitol’s President and CFO, said as part of the announcement.

 “With such a strong focus on home theater over the past year, Capitol dealers offering Sharp will be in a strong position to maximize profits through the end of year and into 2015.”

Microsoft Debuts First Wearable, the Microsoft Band

Microsoft has announced the arrival of the Microsoft Band, a fitness band that is the company's first wearable product. The Band will run on Microsoft's Microsoft Health platform, also newly announced. 

The Microsoft Band contains ten sensors and measures heartrate and more. 

The band will retail for $299 and is available now. 

See a video about the product below: 

  

Monster Expands 24K Availability

Monster announced Wednesday that availability has widened for its 24K headphones. 

The product, introduced over the summer at CE Week in New York, is now available at Best Buy, BestBuy.com and Zumiez. The headphones were "inspired" by rapper and Monster endorser Meek Mill. 

4K’s over-ear look and fit is the end result of a precision design that spares no attention to detail. The super soft ear  cushions showcase a contrasted stitch, matching its lush gold tone. Comfortable and ultra-durable, the swivel ear cup also adds function for either the casual user or the DJ professional.

Created for total user flexibility and for various uses, 24K comes with Monster's tangle-resistant coil cable, ProStudio Link cable, a ¼ inch adapter, and Monster’s advanced ControlTalk Universal™, providing easy music playback control for most mobile devices, as well as hands-free calling with many smartphones.

Monster's 24K's have become the headphone of choice for athletes and artists.

See a video of Noel Lee talking about the 24K and other headphones at CE Week: