Crestron gathers its Middle East dealers
MIDDLE EAST: Crestron recently held an Elite Partner Conference at the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi. The event was attended by more than 50 systems integrators from all across the Middle East, including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE.
The manufacturer has held two similar dealer events in the region: the first taking place in Dubai at Atlantis on The Palm and the second at Le Royal Meridien. With three years having passed since the last conference, the company invited the integrators that make up 90 per cent of its business in the region to this latest event. As 95 per cent of the company’s business in the Middle East is in the commercial and education sectors, those solutions were highlighted more than its residential products.
‘These events work very well,’ explained Robin van Meeuwen, president and CEO of Crestron EMEA. ‘We do this every three years and it’s good to get everybody together. A lot of these integrators and dealers don’t make it to international trade shows such as ISE or InfoComm. Therefore, it’s important to get them all together in the same room so they can understand our vision and the direction the company is going in, as well as the latest technology.’
Spanning two days, beginning at lunchtime on the first day and ending at the same time the next, the event began with a focus on Crestron’s strategy, operations, support and sales, before giving way to in-depth discussion of new technology and products on the second day. ‘It’s a product launch of sorts for the region,’ Mr van Meeuwen noted. ‘Director of technology Stijn Ooms is giving a demonstration of the NVX and Mercury systems launched last month at ISE for the first time in the Middle East.’
Mr van Meeuwen revealed during a speech given at the conference that Crestron’s business in the Middle East delivers approximately 20 per cent of the company’s EMEA turnover. He also noted that projects in the Middle East often result in sales across Asia, Europe and the United States, while a lot of business Crestron completes in Africa comes from Dubai-based integrators.
Although the two previous Elite Partner Conferences were held in Dubai, the choice of venue this time was due to it having been installed with a variety of Crestron products two years ago. ‘Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE,’ said Mr van Meeuwen. ‘It’s only an hour away from Dubai and the hotel is equipped with Crestron solutions.’
Crestron’s president and CEO, Randy Klein was also in attendace, flying in from New York especially for the event. ‘A big part of our message here is about partnership,’ said Mr Klein. ‘Trade shows are great as a networking event, but at the end of the day, the responsibility of maintaining customers lies on our shoulders, which is why we run these events. The one precious thing that you can’t replace is time, so when these people, who are all professionals and own their own businesses, dedicate two days of their time to us, it’s important.’