If you’ve been to every one of the stops on the Almo E4 AV Tour in the past five years, you still missed something if you weren’t there when the companies under the Almo umbrella pulled into the Boston area for the first time, as three new members joined the traveling caravan.
Comprehensive Cable, Tascam and Tightrope Media Systems recently became Almo members and made their E4 debuts at the most recent stop. Each said the busy trade show floor was a good way to introduce themselves to potential customers and forge partnerships with fellow Almo brands.
Bob Jordan, principal at Right Track Marketing, said it was rewarding for Tascam to introduce its 50 or so audio interface products to the Almo family and its customers.
“This is the way to get more exposure to the client base and for these products,” he said. “There are a lot of people who are very familiar with Tascam and some who have no idea who Tascam is.”
Pete Tufigno, who works in signage sales at Tightrope Media Systems, was thrilled with the large crowd of booth visitors at the Boston area show.
“We definitely see the benefit of getting in front of a ton of people like this,” he said. “We’re talking about our new partnerships, like the one we have with BrightSign now. It’s a great way to get in front of a lot of customers. The digital signage space is big on the East Coast so this is good place for us to start our work with Almo.”
Ken Zabroski, business development manager of Comprehensive Cable, said his company joined Almo because “the footprint they have for distribution is ideal. They don’t overpopulate with similar vendors.”
As for the E4 tour itself, “There are some good questions and great conversations going on here. There’s the right mix between the installers and IT people.”
Comprehensive Cable has been talking recently about pairing with Chief and their booths were next to each other on the trade show floor, by coincidence.
“It’s always nice to see what people have on the floor,” said Zabroski. “We can talk about relationships or partnerships we can put together.”
Almo brought the E4 AV Tour to the Boston area for the first time this fall after hearing from the sales team it would be a good spot, says vice president of marketing Melody Craigmyle. There were more than 350 people pre-registered for the show, she says, and Almo boasts several large integrator partners in New England, including Adtech Systems, HB Communications and Red Thread.
Each E4 tour stop includes educational opportunities, exploration of new products and solutions, the exchange of ideas and business cards and expo time with exhibitors in a more intimate setting, says Craigmyle. The classes at the Boston stop were divided into business building and technical tracks, keeping in the spirit of tailoring each show to its geography. For example, the D.C. area show focuses on public policy, she said.
In addition to expanding the E4 tour map, Almo recently announced the creation of a network of about 1,500 independent systems installers. It’s another offering on top of distribution, joining the content creation services it started in the spring.
“The pro AV industry is doing very well,” says Almo executive VP and chief operating officer Sam Taylor, asked for the rationale behind launching the installation services offering. “There’s a lack of labor and it’s hard for a lot of these firms to bulk up quickly enough.”