Over three days, October 16-18, Stampede employees and vendors gathered at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center to focus on driving growth and ways to redefine and expand the company’s audiovisual business.
One such avenue has been the company’s strong event presence. In 2017 alone, Stampede has attended and/or put on 59 events in eight countries in an attempt to deploy technology, drive value, and find unique points of sale.
The company’s Mobile Technology Showroom has made finding those unique points of sales easier for resellers—the mobile showroom (don’t call it a bus!) has traveled more than 6,500 miles to all kinds of locations. This unique platform allows resellers who may not have a physical showroom, and those who do, to showcase their product portfolios to end users. Best of all, the vehicle’s “driver,” Brian White, is a tech expert who can speak to all of the equipment in the showroom. Fun Fact: In his 6,500 miles, White has used 600 gallons of gas, spent 150 hours driving, slept in 60 different hotels, and visited 18 different Walmarts.
The Mobile Technology Showroom has limited space and hosts just a small portion of Stampede’s offering, which is why Stampede has also invested in multiple showrooms throughout the world, including buildings in Toronto, ON, Atlanta, GA, and Reading in the U.K.
Stampede needs the additional space to focus on its expanding product lines. The company has seen growth across the board, according to Jeff Willis, Stampede’s senior vice president. Again, with a focus on unique avenues, Stampede has increased its add-on items for drones, which has grown in the commercial space. In fact, Intel, which recently entered the drone space, has chosen Stampede as a distributor and one of the company’s 41 direct accounts.
In addition to presentations on company strategy and growth, “speed dating” meetings were conducted between vendors and Stampede employees in order to increase product awareness and personal relationships with the 90-plus manufacturers.
Those relationships are a clear focus of Stampede. Willis stated to the company’s vendors, “We have to grow with you and the way to do that is to bring resources and opportunity to the marketplace.”
Not only is Stampede growing its vendor relationships and programs, the business is growing its people. “We continue to attract and have world-class people," Willis said. "We have 20 people who are brand new to our organization, already involved in distribution—they understand how it works, another investment of Stampede. We’re not just adding some talented people to the organization; we’re taking 20 people that understand this marketplace and can deploy themselves, grow their strengths, and grow as individuals within what we do every day.”
Growing people is a clear indication of the distributor’s commitment to its employees, reinforced by a heartfelt speech given by Mark Wilkins, Stampede's founder, owner, and CEO. Wilkins teared up as he said, “Distribution is about people. If you haven’t got great people, you haven’t got a business. And I think Stampede has phenomenal people.”
Megan A. Dutta is the content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta puts her passion for the audiovisual industry on each and every page, whether print or digital.
Prior to Future U.S., Dutta was the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. In this role, Dutta was an active supporter of the AVIXA's InfoComm Exhibitor Steering Committee; she chaired the committee for the 2017 show, a prestigious honor that allowed her to provide leadership and support to both the InfoComm tradeshow and its exhibitors.
Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.