Widgets Magazine

The Power of The CI Summit

As a third year attendee of the CE/CI Summit, it amazes me how this event continues to evolve and get better and more sophisticated with each year. The CI Summit is one of those rare events in our industry, not unlike the NSCA Business and Leadership Conference, where I can learn more and make better connections than at any other organized gathering of AV folk. There are really three main reasons to attend this conference every year:
Partnerships
Most importantly we have the value of partnership and relationship building that occurs at the CI Summit. This year marked a milestone for my company as we joined the esteemed ranks of USAV, a buying group for the commercial providers in our industry. I was able to meet quite a few more members of USAV for the first time at the summit. This gave me visibility with the leaders of those organizations and allowed me to make a face-to-face connection with them. Anyone in the business of sales knows the value of such exchanges. I also benefitted from growing relationships with other leaders in the industry, one of which has resulted in a partnership between our firms for a joint-venture integration project that is happening as we speak!
Aside from the networking with fellow integrators, it also gives attendees the opportunity to build a similar relationship with the vendor sponsors of the event. Companies such as Windy City Wire, Just Add Power, Sharp, Almo, Atlona, ConnectWise, ProCo Sound, Stampede, Analog Way, and Mimo, just to name a few of the 100 sponsors. Many of these companies have sponsored this event in previous years and their commitment continues to grow. It also allows for me to make a personal connection with very influential people in each of these organizations so that I can help increase our business in not only sales, but the quality of the sale to our mutual customers.
Education
This year,Aeos keynote speech was ,AeuThe Power of Purpose.,Aeu Like many presentations you would see at the NSCA BLC or the InfoComm Executive Conference, this was a focused presentation with a message to the owners and executives of the organizations collected in the room. The topic is one that every organization should seriously consider, especially as we welcome more and more millennials into the workforce (me included). Do your employees know the real purpose of your organization? Not a simple business mission statement, but instead the goal of how your organization,Aeos goal is to make a difference in the world? It helped me to realize that making a difference and making a profit do not at all have to be separate concepts. We, as an industry, help organizations and individuals to communicate, entertain, and learn with the technology we install. It,Aeos time we start to include that message with our sales pitch and begin to tug at the heart strings of the customer.
Exchanging of Ideas
Last, but certainly not least, is the ability for all of us to gather in a roundtable discussion to tackle important topics like: millennial engagement, business practices, improving revenues & profits, and regulatory compliance. These were the topics this year that allowed for me to share what my organization is doing (whether wrong, right, or indifferent) and to more importantly listen to what other organizations are doing on those same topics. I gained a wealth of knowledge on new ideas to bring back to my organization and a sense of where my organization stands with the rest of the industry. This extremely valuable exchange is one that I find to be unique to the CI Summit and something that everyone should strive to partake in.
If you have never considered attending the CE/CI Summit, or have considered but never prioritized it, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Tom LeBlanc, Craig McCormick & the EH Publishing team, along with John Galante & the AE Ventures team, really have a dynamic and powerful event that anyone who,Aeos anyone in this industry should be attending. I hope to see you in November 2016 in Atlanta, GA.

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