Helge and Chris Gilray
Helge and Chris Gilray


Chris Gilray, president and CEO of Catalyst AV member, AHA Distributing, stated that AHA’s 4th annual Big Show was an amazing success.

The Big Show took place April 19th and 20th at the Marriott Atlanta Northwest at Galleria hotel. It had 70 participating manufacturers, nearly 500 dealers and featured a keynote by Jason Knott, Chief Editor of CE Pro.

“For our customers, this is the only event they feel they need to attend because the offering of so many vendors, training and education is incredible. For our vendors, this is the best event they have ever attended due to how engaged AHA customers are with the vendors,” Gilray stated.

70 Vendors and 500 integrators
The event had 70 manufacturers and nearly 500 dealers.

“At Catalyst AV we encourage our members to create and promote dealer/installer shows at the local level. It is really the only way to fully inform the dealers and installers about the benefits that all the new technologies create. We get manufacturers to speak directly to the installers and answer questions,” added Catalyst AV Executive Director Helge Fischer.

“At the larger shows, CES and CEDIA, a lot of the staff do not attend, at the local shows, it is neither the burden of time or finance to get in front of the manufacturer. AHA, Aim High created a great show and they are by far the most progressive distributor, now 4 locations, in the South East of the US. They have great insight and are very good at sharing knowledge and information with the rest of the Catalyst AV members,” Fischer continued.

“The dealer turnout was just great! It was remarkable and allowed us to show off our latest technological innovations. Our new Short Throw ST Screen had a lot of attention. We heard many dealers comment that they thought it was a flat panel display as they walked by. They couldn’t believe how bright the screen was and wanted to know how we achieved the level of brightness we exhibited at the show! We showed off four different screens with four great partners at the show: Vivitek, Wolf, JVÇ and Digital Projection. You just cannot have as much quality one-on one time, with as many dealer decision makers as you can at a show like this!” said Russell Warnhoff of Screen Innovations.

“This show is not overwhelming, and it provides us with a great opportunity to see specific vendors in a more relaxed environment. This kind of quality time allows vendors to more fully access our customer needs; it’s important for both of us on a business and personal level. There were some great seminars/trainings. We are already Marantz and Denon dealers and their representative really hit a home run. I was equally as impressed with the Just Add Power seminar; it was excellent!” dealer Ron Snyder of Electronic Solutions also stated.

In fact, “Just Add Power Presents – The Truth About Distributing Ultra HD and Demystifying the Specs” was just one of several educational opportunities presented. Others attendees commented on, “RTI / Pro Control Presents – Winning Strategies For Selling Mid-Level Control Systems”, “Digital Projections- Value Added Projection Solution Strategies” and “Luxul Presents – How To Optimize Wireless Networks For Seamless Roaming.”

“Another highlight was that over $42,000 worth of prizes was given away including: Screen Innovations gave away over $4,000 in screens, Key Digital gave away over $3,000. in electronics and Middle Atlantic gave away an $1,000 rack; it was such an educational fun-filled event!” concluded Gilray.

Participating Vendors included:
Active Thermal Management, Acousticsmart, AudioControl, Aprilaire, Atlona, AVM, CasaTunes, Catalyst Wire and Cable, ClearView CCTV, IC Realtime, Nest, Rapid Mounts, Vanco, Vivitek, DataSat, Denon, Boston Acoustics, D-Tools, Draper, Datacomm, Definitive Technology, Digital Projection, Ethereal, HEOS, James Loudspeakers, JBL Synthesis, Just Add Power, JVC, Key Digital, Leon Speakers, Lexicon, Legrand, Luxul, Lyric Speakers, OnQ, Nuvo, Mark Levinson, Marantz, MartinLogan, Middle Atlantic, Metra Home Theater Group, NEAR, RTI, Peerless-AV, Platinum Tools, Prima Cinema, Origin Acoustics, ON Controls, Parasound, PRO Control, Revel, Rockustics, Russound, SurgeX, Screen Innovations, Speco, Spyclops, Straightwire, Soundtube, Seura, SureCall, TiVo, Transformative Engineering, UPG, Wavenet, Wilson Electronics, Wolf Cinema and Yale.