Contacts: Andrew Wiatrak, Owner, Sensation Design Group, Minneapolis, Minn.
Andrew Wiatrak, a custom retailer who specializes in high-end home and boat automation projects, has come to believe over the years that advertising is a waste of his resources. “We are reasonably small,” says Wiatrak of his business, Sensation Design Group, which has been called the best Crestron dealer in the mid-West by Crestron Sales Manager Craig Gulley, “but we turn some big numbers because we’ve learned how to handle clients. Word of mouth has done it for us.”
Wiatrak has a singular approach to handling his clientele. Aside from the typical wining, dining and project proposal etiquette, he’s learned to create low-key fun events hosted at his own home that nurture client relationships. This past weekend, he threw his annual drive-in movie event, a house party essentially, that welcomes vendors, clients, neighbors and their families for an evening of big-screen entertainment.
This year’s drive-in movie night featured outdoor projection (people set up lawn chairs in Wiatrak’s driveway), indoor movies networked on eleven different HD displays throughout the house, and a garage full of food. “We make it a concession with hot dog machines, snow cone machines, cotton candy, all given out for free. A lot of my neighbors came by and I got a few jobs out of the evening. A lot of people with big homes are interested now in refurbishing their basements with TV’s at a bar, things like that. Nights like this are networking, basically.”