Your Guide to Enjoying Atlanta

August 31, 2009

Yes, believe it or not CEDIA is a mere week away! For the majority of us that means long days and even longer nights, sore feet and probably a whole lot of Band-Aids.

Just when we were starting to get the hang of Denver, the free bus and all the best hot spots, CEDIA up and moved us to Atlanta. Now we have to go and figure out the nightlife scene all over again. Fear not, Caster is here! If you find yourself with some free time next week (yes, I do realize what I am saying), take a look at our list of the best things to do in Atlanta.

The Georgia Aquarium
Dive into a one-of-a-kind aquatic experience at the world’s largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium! Get up close with gentle whale sharks, toothy sand tiger sharks, graceful beluga whales, playful sea otters and aquatic animals from around the globe. With the largest collection of aquatic animals, you are sure to see things you’ve never seen before!

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site & Sweet Auburn District
The area of Sweet Auburn served as the thriving center of Black enterprise in Atlanta from the 1890s through the 1940s, and is the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. At the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, explore his birth home, visitor center, historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, and The King Center, where Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize is on exhibit. The crypt and gravesite of Dr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, are also located at The King Center.

Churchill Grounds
660 Peachtree Street
Offering some of the best jazz in the city, Tuesday-Saturday.  The club is known for introducing
local talent as well as featuring jazz legends.

Dad’s Garage Theatre Company
280 Elizabeth Street
Little Five Points – Don’t miss Atlanta’s hottest new comedy improvisation show.

Best Restaurants

  1. Ritz-Carlton Dining Room
  2. Bacchanalia
  3. Chops & Lobster Bar
  4. Rathbun’s Restaurant
  5. Nan Thai
  6. Aria
  7. Joël
  8. Nam
  9. Bone’s Restaurant
  10. Nikolai’s Roof

Got something to add to the list? Please let our readers know. Add your favorite spot in Atlanta in our comments.

Posted by: Lauren

NuVo Terminates Two Dealers for Violating Its Internet Sales Policy

August 20, 2009

CE Pro’s Tom LeBlanc yesterday published an interesting, detailed piece about NuVo Technologies’ termination of two dealers for selling its products over the internet, a clear violation of NuVo’s policy. Residential Systems’ Jeremy Glowacki also covered the NuVo story in-depth in the context of another manufacturer’s similar initiative.

Some people would say, hey, what’s the big deal? They’re just electronics products. If someone wants to eliminate the middleman, what’s the harm?

Well, it’s a big deal on two fronts. For one, NuVo’s whole home audio products are by no means DIY or off-the-shelf retail; they are clearly and explicitly meant to be professionally installed by an authorized dealer. Only someone who is trained in installing this stuff can fully understand its capabilities, install it properly and make it sing. These systems aren’t just something you plug into a wall; they require wires to be run throughout a house, inside the walls (and in the case of NuVo’s upcoming Renovia system for retrofits, they require a knowledge of electrical systems).

Not everything is meant to be bought on the internet. Like one of my other clients, Universal Remote Control, says, “Sure, you could buy an artificial heart online, but you’d probably want a trained professional to install it.” Of course, electronics products aren’t a matter of life or death, but you get the picture.

The other aspect of this is NuVo’s effort to support dealers who play by the rules. By dumping products on the internet, rogue dealers are negatively impacting policy-abiding dealers. If NuVo were to let the rogue dealers run willy-nilly, what would that say to its ethical dealers?

And what are those rogue dealers saying to the world about their own industry: custom installation? By selling installation-only products on the internet, or selling them to third-parties who resell them online, these dealers are implicitly and wrongly communicating to the public that their custom installation services aren’t really necessary. Essentially, they’re destroying the foundation of their businesses and their industry just to make a few quick bucks.

It’s great for the CEDIA channel that manufacturers like NuVo are standing up to the bad guys and protecting the good guys.

Posted by Joe Paone

Pass the Bubbly

July 9, 2009

The New York Times this week published a fascinating article about the changing role of public relations in Silicon Valley. Largely a profile of Valley PR phenomenon Brooke Hammerling, it’s a sobering, exciting and at times exasperating examination of the ascendance of social media as the primary tool for getting the word out about small companies and start-ups. My favorite line in the story was, “Now the best ideas bubble up… It’s no longer, ‘if you can’t get so-and-so to do a story, you can’t make it.’.” So true.

However: My clients are concentrated largely on the consumer electronics and particularly the custom installation markets, which, even though they are tech-focused, are shockingly far behind the Valley in terms of social media usage and acceptance. Even as the staffs and titles of the print magazines dwindle, there doesn’t seem to be much that is galvanizing or compelling on the social media side of the industry. If a CEDIA Twitterati with wide followings exists, I haven’t been able to identify it yet.

What’s exciting is that because my clients’ industry is so far behind the curve, I can really help blaze a trail for them. The groundwork we lay now will pay off huge dividends going forward.

Posted by Joe Paone

The Coolest Thing That Ever Happened to Former CEDIA EXPO Booth Space

December 21, 2008

RCA Dome go bye-bye

The quad-view portion at 1:16 is seriously awesome.

Posted by Joe Paone