The Academy Advancing High Performance Audio And Video To Sponsor Trade Days At HI-FI '99

Petersen's HI-FI Show management announced October 22 that The Academy Advancing High Performance Audio and Video will be sponsoring Trade Days at HI-FI '99, The Home Theater and Specialty Audio Show, taking place at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago from May 11 to May 13, 1999. This marks the fourth consecutive year that The Academy has sponsored Trade Days at the HI-FI Shows. Show management and The Academy also announced today that the Music and Film Seminar Series will be expanded in 1999 to a two-track educational program. Each track will consist of the five disciplines showcased at the Seminar Series in 1998: Sales Techniques, Digital Technologies, Room Acoustics, Video Technologies, and Multi-room Design and Installation.

Courses in the five disciplines will be offered on the "Ambassador" and "Master" levels. To qualify for the Master Series, participants must have prior Ambassador certification, or five years minimum experience in high-performance audio/video retail, with a letter signed by the store owner confirming the participant's employment history. Ambassador courses will be targeted at newly hired salespeople, salespeople coming from mid-fi backgrounds, or salespeople with less than five years' experience.

The Music and Film Seminar Series, designed by Andy Regan, Chairman of the Music and Film Seminar Series at The Academy, and Vice President of Meridian America, is the centerpiece of Trade Days at the HI-FI Shows. For the last three years, the Series has featured educational and technical seminars on breaking technologies like DVD and HDTV, and has focused on such topics as how to design and sell high-performance acoustic and video systems. "In this age of emerging high-definition, and high-resolution formats, the currency of the specialty audio and video retailer is their ability to decode this complex information for their customers. The Music and Film Seminar Series goal is to help these retailers to staff their stores with 'high-definition' salespeople," explained Andy Regan.

"I am really pleased that The Academy has decided to offer courses in these two tracks," stated Maura Rieland, HI-FI Show Director. "We have the opportunity to introduce new salespeople to high-end sales techniques and audio/video technologies, and also to offer courses specifically designed for those trade people who've been in the business a long time.

Training new salespeople in high-performance selling techniques, and giving them a thorough introduction to the latest video, audio, and digital technologies is in keeping with The Academy and the Show's goal of educating the public about high-performance audio and video."

HI-FI Show management also announced that Gretchen Grogan, former Assistant Publisher at Stereophile magazine, has been hired as Show Coordinator---Research, Market Development, and Education. Part of Grogan's responsibilities is to assist Andy Regan and The Academy in putting together the expanded educational program at HI-FI '99. Grogan began her new job on October 1, 1998.

Details regarding the newly expanded Music and Film Seminar Series at HI-FI '99, along with specific course descriptions, will be available at WCES '99. Attendees who pre-register for The Academy's Music and Film Seminar Series at HI-FI '99 will receive one free class. Salespeople can attend one of the two all-day educational tracks of five courses for a discounted $120. The tracks will be offered on Tuesday, May 11, the first day of the Seminar Series. The fee to attend individual courses on the second day, Wednesday, May 12, will be $30 per seminar.

The Academy Trade Days at HI-FI '99 kick off with the Music and Film Seminar Series on Tuesday, May 11 from 9am to 4pm, and Wednesday, May 12 from 9am to 12 noon. They continue with the opening of the HI-FI '99 Show floor to members of the trade and press only on Wednesday, May 12 from 12 noon to 6pm, and Thursday, May 13 from 10am to 6pm. Consumer Days at HI-FI '99 will be Friday-through-Sunday, May 14-16, 1999. HI-FI '99 will be the first high-end audio and video show taking place in Chicago since the Summer CES show in 1995. The Palmer House Hilton has 1639 guest rooms and 88 suites for exhibit rooms and comfortable sleeping accommodations.

For more information about Academy Trade Days at HI-FI '99, contact Sue Regan at The Academy at (770) 631-9800. For more information about HI-FI '99, The Home Theater & Specialty Audio Show, contact Maura Rieland at (505) 992-6601, or by e-mail. General information about the Show is available at the website. For information about exhibiting at HI-FI '99, contact Ken Nelson, Nelson & Associates, Inc., 62 Wendover Road, Yonkers, NY 10705. Phone: (914) 476-3157. Fax: (914) 969-2746.

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