The annual 2015 MERA KnowledgeFest event returned to Dallas this year at the Hilton Anatole Hotel and Convention Center. KnowledgeFest encompasses three distinct elements: a trade show, continuing education workshops, and industry awards.
The mobile electronics trade show element contains manufacturers and suppliers exhibiting with their specialty retailer audience in mind. Judging from the mood of attendees and exhibitors at this year’s event, the outlook for the immediate future is bright in the 12-volt aftermarket. In particular, high-end speakers, OEM audio integration and signal processors, data integration for remote starters, driver safety products and alternative audio in marine, SSV/UTVs and motorcycles all have a resurgence of interest and prosperity. Many of these solutions were on display at the KnowledgeFest trade show exhibit space. Lunch was provided on site in the exhibit hall to keep attendees talking with manufacturers.
Aside from the trade show, KnowledgeFest is really best known as a continuing education platform where industry professionals attend seminars and workshops to expand knowledge of their day-to-day work responsibilities. There are three tracks from which to choose: installation technician, sales professional, or owner/manager. Each track is intended to target the content from which those individuals can best benefit and implement back at home in their business. The classrooms are often standing room only, especially in the installation technician tracks. The featured speakers and topics resonated tremendously well with the attendees. You have business leaders like Marcel Newell of Avidworx, fabricators like Bryan Schmitt, audio gurus like Andy Wehmeyer and Larry Frederick, driver-safety product advocates like Derek Schmiedl and Steve Witt as well as a host of other well-respected presenters offering incredibly useful learning opportunities.