Azione Unlimited’s annual fall conference— this year named Nikhedonia in Nashville— was ready to welcome integrators and vendors for three days of learning and networking last week. Commitment to health and Covid precautions were high on the list with daily temperature checks in addition to requiring vaccinations to be mask-less in meetings.
“Put your cell phones in your pocket!” said Azione President, Richard Gilkes. “Be present!” A key theme during the conference was making connections, learning and enjoying being together again after 19 months. Throughout the conference, a huge effort was made by Azione to shake things up by assigning tables, dinner seating and grouping attendees together in a way to get everyone out of their comfort zones and into meeting new people.
Wednesday integrators participated in one-on-one meetings with vendors, presentations on managing businesses and roundtables on best practices. Gilkes and the team pulled together integrators and vendors alike to showcase the SmartHomeHire updates. With hiring always being an issue in the industry, Azione is looking to address the problem head on to help bring awareness and recruit for AV positions. Randy Stearns, CEO of D-Tools, then took the stage to speak about how to best utilize your current staff and streamline business processes, and he offered several suggestions about how to deal with the labor shortage.
Day Two opened with Chad Russell from Josh.ai taking us back in time to showcase the evolution of interfaces. The industry has come a long way and still has a long way to go, so don’t be afraid to embrace new technologies! The attendees were then treated to a talk by Runco International founder, Sam Runco. His rags to riches and back to rags story was engaging and hilarious. The self-proclaimed “Wise Guy Nerd” spoke about his success through failure and the support he found throughout the years.
Richard and the Azione team wrangled everyone together again for a team-building exercise. The outdoor escape room had your favorite AV professionals running around downtown Nashville solving riddles and trying to one up each other with crazier and more outrageous pictures. And of course, no conference is complete without great food, drinks and networking off-site.
Friday wrapped up the event with Ari Supran, CEO of Sonance, speaking to attendees about leading with culture. Giving the attendees several tools, Supran spoke about strengthening your team, how to lead and what effect culture plays in business.
The team at Azione Unlimited organized a fantastic event full of opportunities, learning, fun and was well worth the 19-month-long wait!