HTSA (the Home Technology Specialists of America) buying group took the occasion of the recent CEDIA Expo to leverage its locally based Denver member Xssentials’ trailing facilities to give members attending the show a full, multi-track roster of customized educational courses. The “Tommapalooza Learning Festival,” as it was dubbed, in a nod to HTSA Director of New Technology Initiatives Tom Doherty, ran Sept. 10 and 11 in Xssentials’ Parker, Colo., facilities.

Doherty told us at CEDIA that 94 members registered for the course regimen, which covered a series of HTSA training imperatives, including the categories of lighting and health and wellness – the latter, encompassing education about the Delos Darwin Premier program – as well as brand-specific training by a group of HTSA vendors.

“Wellness at this CEDIA is a big topic,” Doherty noted, saying the Delos initiative addressed various aspects of wellness’s relationship to lighting, including the impacts of indoor living on consumers, and how to talk to clients about how installers can implement wellness technologies to improve their well-being. “We take the Delos partnership very seriously,” said HTSA Executive Director Jon Robbins, noting that it is “a collaborative dialogue,” with the curriculum having been fine-tuned based on discussions and feedback.

Robbins and Doherty

HTSA’s pre-CEDIA program transcended mere classroom instruction, as members had the chance to participate in a hands-on manner in a specially constructed HTSA Lighting Learning Lab. The high receptivity rate among members to the availability of this level of education – three times as many members registered as were expected to register – was noted by Robbins, who said that “serves to show that our members understand and embrace that concept better than most in our industry.” Doherty noted that members appreciated the “efficiency of offering this event as part of their CEDIA week activities. I have already heard from many of the attendees asking when the next such event will take place for other Lighting level courses and vendor sessions.”

The group’s multi-level lighting training includes instruction that transcends the American Lighting Association (ALA) certification level to encompass higher levels of learning that enable members to “become real assets to builders,” Doherty told us. Coming out of the CEDIA-based training, 20 HTSA members were certified for a total of 75 to date.

Robbins also updated us on the group’s initiatives on aspects of selling. Keith Esterly, who joined HTSA as its Chief Learning Architect to spearhead the group’s efforts in this regard, has been conducting both Philadelphia-centralized trainings, and has already visited eight members for on-premises training visits, and conducted a session at a major vendor’s 900-member sales associates conference.

Members can look for more details on these programs and more to be issued at the group’s Fall Conference Oct. 22-24 at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel in Texas.