Audrey Gray

Though it would surely take nerves of steel to start up a business in America right now, unique entrepreneurial opportunities seem to turn up during every recession era, and not just in bartending and debt collection.

A new podcast, featuring our Audrey Gray talking to several participants in the upcoming Spotlight on Imaging event at CES, has been posted to our sister site Picture Business magazine, and can be accessed, in mp3 format, here.

“Let’s look at the custom world right now. We go into the customer’s house. They are in their element. We build a relationship wth them and listen to what they have to say and find out about their lifestyle. We’re not just listening as a qualifiying process for a specific product. Why are we not doing that on the retail floor?” - Tim Ryan, Principal of Consumer Electronics University (

He hadn’t tried marketing at a consumer show for over a decade, but last week, Dave Gilbert, VP of Hi-Fi Sales in Cherry Hill, NJ, packed up staff, equipment, and a big fishbowl of candy bars and headed to the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the Philadelphia Autumn Home Show. It took Gilbert’s team a whole day to set up their exhibit, a lush royal blue tent complete with gold tassels that would house Epson’s Ensemble HD, a $5-7 thousand dollar front projection system. “We call it the opium den,” laughed Gilbert. “I added this red carpet at the entrance.” Though it was

“I hate to see salespeople grouped together on the sales floor by the door or the counter. What do they look like to a customer? Vultures! But if a salseperson is out doing something, a customer will walk right up to them.” -Bjorn Dybdahl, owner of Bjorn’s (San Antonio, TX)

“I’m kind of a show off. I guess it’s just something you’re born with,” says Tyler Lantzy, a Colorado A/V dealer who’s been evangelizing home theater in furniture stores and community centers around Boulder, CO, the last couple years. Lantzy, the owner of SaaviHome (“Saavi” is an acronym for security, automation, A/V, and integration), has an extensive background in IT training. He once started and later sold a company that ran classes, seminars and conferences around teaching tech. So, it’s been natural for him to employ those same skills in the home theater industry. “I just needed a venue,” he says,

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