KnowledgeFest Set for Oct. 10-12

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A date has been set for the car stereo industry’s MERA KnowledgeFest of October 10-12 to be held at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Dallas, Texas.
InstallerNet, which now owns MERA, the Mobile Electronics Retailer’s Association—the show’s sponsor–said the event will be different from the past as it will include non-traditional autosound vendors including possibly mobile carriers such as Verizon or Sprint who are adding car-related apps to their smartphones. Suppliers such as TomTom and Garmin, makers of GPS tracking devices, and even OnStar are also being wooed by MERA, said InstallerNet president and CEO Tony Frangiosa, as the car audio landscape shifts away from CD players and car amplifiers and towards “the connected car.”
KnowledgeFest 2010 will include a Connected Car pavilion as well as a show floor of up to 50,000 square feet for a “Mobile Electronics Expo.” It will also include seminars on industry topics and hands on installation training as in the past. MERA is hoping to attract 800 to 1000 retailers to the event that had a top attendance level of 600 retailers in the past. There’s no projection yet on the number of exhibitors.
MERA owner InstallerNet operates a network of car, home and commercial installers that includes 3,600 car AV retail installers, 1,110 of which are Best Buy outlets. “Most likely we’ll see Best But at KnowledgeFest,” said Frangiosa.
The InstallerNet executive is bullish on the car electronics market, despite its recent contraction. “I do think the industry will grow this year. It’s already bottomed out and the sale of the products tie in with sales of the vehicles,” he said adding that new products will also be entering the market this year including driver safety products, telematics products and car diagnostic tools—some as apps on cellphones—that will help grow the business. Frangiosa would not specifically name the products but said many will be announced this year and some sold later in the year.
MERA KnowledgeFest was cancelled last year, as the recession hit and MERA was in the process of reorganization. MERA was purchased by InstallerNet and converted to a for-profit business in September last year.

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1 Comment

  1. It’s great that you are scheduling this at a slow time for the car audio retail environment. We always had a difficult time going to knowledgeFest when it was scheduled in March as this is a busier time of year. Thanks for scheduling it during a slower retail month. We will probably attend.

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