Car Audio Gets a California Show

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California KnoweldgeFest

Some are already calling it a possible alternative to CES for car audio. A new car audio trade show, sponsored by the Mobile Electronics Association (MEA), will be held next February in Long Beach, CA as a “KnowledgeFest West” joining the spring and summer KnowledgeFest shows held in Indianapolis and Dallas respectively.

The first California KnowledgeFest will be held February 23-25 at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Chris Cook of the MEA said, “I don’t see it as alternative to CES because CES supports an International audience…  That said, the exposure for the aftermarket on the [CES]show floor has diminished.”  He added,  “Other companies have moved outside the official CES venue.  The return on investment for them is just not there any more.  More importantly, the specialty retailers are not showing up at the event.”

The first KnowledgeFest held by the MEA was in Dallas in 2010.  The show grew to over 1,400 attendees and MEA launched a second show in Indianapolis in 2015 to serve the Midwest/East Coast region.

“While we didn’t want to become regionalized, to facilitate the retailers coming to KnowledgeFest and learning, we had to bring it to them…we noticed a vacuum of attendees on the West Coast.   There were retailers that needed the same education but they needed a place a little closer.  So we did the same thing…looked at a geographic area with a high concentration of dealers within a 6 hour drive.”

The upcoming Summer KnowledgeFest will be held August 12-14 and next year’s Spring KnowledgeFest will be held March 17-19, 2018.



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  1. Mini events all over I’m not going to drive 500 miles pay to stay overnight and pay to get into a show to help sell products there is not any markup on anymore.
    The difference between me and amazon is I have a lot more experience then they do.
    I actually care if you’re happy with your sound system and it sounds good when I’m done.
    You can’t buy that online, and it dosn’t ship in 2 days free.

  2. The effort is much appreciated. After 7 straight years I have also skipped out on CES the last 2-3 years (did my first Knowledgefest in Aug 2015) and focused heavily on our local Northern California vendor shows, manufacturer trainings and others like Ken Wards OEM integration classes. The regional aspect affords our store the time and money to take more staff. When I attended Knowledgefest in Dallas the West Coast was lacking in attendance ( compared to the Midwest and East) so I can see this as a positive for the industry and getting our region on the same plain as the rest of the country.

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