Attitudes from the Publisher -- April
A rather impressive CE industry mind-meld took place early last month, in a not-so-predictable setting. It wasn't a D.C. boardroom, or even a Las Vegas Convention Center display booth. I'm talking about the 2003 Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Summit, held March 3-4 at the St. Regis Resort in Aspen, Colorado. On the snowy slopes of the Rocky Mountains, top executives from retail and manufacturing firms, as well as a few select members of the press, gathered to discuss issues and strategy for the continued improvement and growth of the industry.
CEA initiated this more relaxed, more informal meeting style a few years ago, and I can personally attest to its efficacy. While a tete-a-tete between vendors and retailers, given their divergent concerns and experiences, might not seem like the chummiest of events ever planned, the value of such a summit, and those that preceded it, can't be overstated.
Dealerscope learned this lesson firsthand at the 2003 CES in January. There, we assembled together the members of our Editorial Advisory Board — representatives from the retail, manufacturing and distribution segments of the industry — for a business breakfast. I can't tell you the number of compliments, and thank-yous, we received for giving these people the simple opportunity to hear one another, to communicate, one-on-one, the particular challenges faced by their respective businesses. Dealerscope certainly benefitted from the exchange of ideas, but I think even we were surprised by how much our EAB participants got out of it.