21st Century Distributing, the premier consumer electronics distributor serving the Southeast and PowerHouse Alliance member, shares details from their successful 2021 Virtual Roadshow event. The three-day event, hosted virtually for the second year in a row, took place October 13-15. Providing dealers with a platform to experience new product demonstrations, live trainings, business growth seminars, and fun arcade games, the Virtual Roadshow brought professional development opportunities to almost 300 custom installation dealers and integrators.
“The goal was simple, we wanted to provide our dealers and manufacturing partners with an interactive environment emulating that of an actual live, in-person event,” said Josh Vicini, Vice President of Business Development and Operations at 21st Century Distributing. “This year we elevated the event with 31 live educational training and collaborative sessions. Feedback from participants indicated that the coupling of virtual walkthroughs and demos from manufacturer booths alongside product trainings delivered a cohesive, interactive platform that more closely replicates in-person trainings. Our team is delighted by the record turnout from industry dealers, it seems we are learning more and more secrets to delivering successful events by listening to participants and giving them programs that work both with and for their business.”
The 2021 Virtual Roadshow would not have been possible without the support of 21st Century vendor partners. Platinum sponsors included Sony, RTI, Samsung, Vanco, Lutron, Sonos, IC Realtime, Nortek Control, Focal, and Ring. “The RTI team had a great experience participating in the 21st Century Virtual Roadshow,” said Jim Koenig, National Sales Director for RTI. “Dealers have missed the interaction and education that they receive at in-person events and 21st Century successfully replicated that experience. The event software and overall dealer experience was unique and engaging.”
Frank Santos, director of training and product knowledge at Vanco added, “This was the absolute best virtual event that the Vanco team has attended. The development of the interactive show platform was very well executed.”
After hosting their first virtual roadshow last year, the 21st Century team wanted to capitalize on what they learned to elevate the 2021 event and set new goals which included, an event that was simple to attend and participate in, valuable education and training, and fun. Building on the previous event’s popular virtual golf tournament, the team ideated a participant reward system to keep attendees active and engaged. 21st Century created a virtual arcade system that invited dealers to play a variety of popular games. Over the course of the three-day event, attendees earned points by playing arcade games, attending trainings, and visiting manufacturer booths. Every 100 points earned would land them a raffle ticket that could be used towards drawings for raffle prizes. Participating vendors provided over $30,000 worth of prizes and products for the raffle, including an 85-inch Samsung TV, a Sonance 8.1 garden set with amp, and a Focal 5.1 channel surround sound system. Additionally, attendees could visit the “food court” where they would receive food vouchers allowing them to order food and eat right from their home.
Feedback from both manufacturers and dealers on the execution of the 2021 Virtual Roadshow was tremendous. Manufacturers agreed that the reward system kept the attendees engaged allowing them to network and build new contacts while keeping their training sessions full.
“I really enjoyed both the flexible training schedule and the competitive reward system that this year’s Roadshow provided,” said Joshua Bright, owner of AV Upgrades. “After a year of tremendous industry growth, I looked forward to the educational trainings that help me stay on top of trends and new product releases, combined with the time and ability to meet the trainers. If I happened to miss a session, I was able to bookmark it and watch it later.”
Following a successful 2021 Virutal Roadshow, the 21st Century Distributing team has converted the training platform over to an online training center. All aspects of the event including training sessions and vendor booths will be available online and will be easily accessible to all 21st Century dealers. The 21st Century Distributing team is looking forward to next year’s event where they hope to execute a hybrid event with both in-person and virtual programming.