Daytona, Florida ,
March 9-10, 2013
Traditionally the International Consumer Electronics Show was the event for car audio manufacturers to showcase their new range of products each year, but are we now starting to see a shift toward Spring Break Nationals?
In late 2009 MEA had planned to attend CES 2010 in Las Vegas with full editorial coverage. However after discussion with most of Australia’s distributors it became apparent that in fact not many of the manufacturer’s actually planned to attend or support CES. Many cited economic downturn but just as frequently mentioned was the extraordinary fees charged to display at CES.
Spring Break Nationals at Daytona Beach appears to be emerging as the choice of many to showcase their product range, new demonstration cars and actively participate in the competition side of the industry.
The 24th Annual SBN now known throughout the 12V industry as the “World’s Most Famous Soundoff” takes place centre stage March 24th and 25th at the Ocean Centre at Daytona Beach. 2012 will see the largest support from the car audio industry to date with over 50 exhibitors already confirming their attendance. ”This year we are taking it to the next level with the idea that we will really raise the bar in 2012 as a full fledged 12v industry trade event” said SBN Founder Paul Papadeas.
The main exhibit floor will feature over 50 prominent 12volt manufactures and spaces for over 60 vehicles in the tuner car gallery. Highlighting this years exhibitors are Sony, JL Audio, JBL/Infinity, Directed Electronics, Orion, Polk Audio, MMATS, Memphis Car Audio, Hertz, Audison, Vibe, Metra, PowerBass, AAMP of America, Phoenix Gold, MTX, PPI, Power Acoustik and SoundStream. Distributors Audio America and LESCO will be hosting their dealers in areas just off the show floor. Sony’s Mike Kahn, Director of the Company’s Mobile Business Unit commented “Sony is back at SBN this year in a major way. As a manufacturer we recognize we must help create that “WOW” experience with consumers. SBN offers us that opportunity.”
Over a dozen manufacturers will conduct training sessions and workshops for their dealers. MTX, Orion. JBL/Infinity, Soundstream, Memphis Car Audio, Hertz, Audison, NAV-TV, and AAMP of America are included in the group.
Installer Institute will conduct dealer workshops for leather installation, plastic fabrication, jig making and steering wheel control interface.
MECA, dB Drag Racing and IASCA, including the INAC Finals, competitions will be a destination for competitors and spectators. Bikini contests, pizza and hot wing eating contests will certainly spice up the days for all – as will DJ Billy E and Lars of Mars.
In conclusion Papedas observed, “Exhibiting to consumers is a great way to promote, for when consumers can touch, feel and hear the experience; it makes all the difference in the world. Two-dimensional marketing for 12 volt is ill-effective; we cannot forget that we’re selling the experience! We must do all we can to reach out to greater segments of the market. It’s no secret that East coast dealer attendance at CES was underwhelming; SBN offers the platform to host dealers from the Eastern Region who can drive to the event more affordably.”
Our success as a trade show is in the hands of exhibiting manufacturers; not me, I’m simply the facility with a built-in audience of targeted demographics. Many manufacturers participate at SBN every year because they ‘get it’ and know how to use it, while those who don’t, seem to place more emphasis in push-marketing their products to dealers. I suggest that those days are over. Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come. We’re in a whole new era of consumerism and this industry has been on cruise control for too long. We simply cannot afford to do business “racing to zero”, a pattern evidenced in recent years. The most successful low cost marketing tool this industry has ever seen is the Soundoff event and SBN is the Great American Soundoff”.