After weeks of buzz around its new name and new mission, the inaugural Oasys Summit proved to be a true curtain-lifting moment for Oasys Residential Technology — formerly Home Technology Specialists Nationwide. At the event, held May 15-17 in Nashville, nearly 100 attendees had the chance to hear directly from the group about the driving forces behind the rebrand and what it all means moving forward. That was in addition to a packed agenda that included several in-depth educational opportunities and plenty of networking.
“This summit really felt like the true launching point for Oasys,” said Hank Alexander, director of Oasys. “We had great attendance from both members and vendors, and everyone was really well-engaged throughout the entire event. But we know this is just the beginning. The real work starts now. We all see the potential, and I’m beyond excited to grow as a group right alongside our members.”
Education throughout the summit focused on the areas of business that custom integrators (CI) often overlook or neglect during the day-to-day. Renowned business and operational expert Jason Sayen, founder of I am Sayen, kicked things off with a keynote address that focused on workflow efficiencies and process management. Matt Bernath, a coach at Vital, dove deep into maintaining profitability during challenging times. And dealers also heard from one of their own, Greg Simmons, vice president of industry partnerships at Snap One, who ran a successful integration business during the height of the 2008 housing crisis.
In addition, Giles Sutton, senior vice president at CEDIA, shared some key industry updates and market analysis during a lunch and learn session. And Bruce Clark, a lighting design expert from Kaleidolight, shared best practices for integrators looking to expand their business into the booming lighting category.
“We’re new to the group as of this past August, so this was really our first opportunity to attend a standalone custom integrator event as part of Nationwide Marketing Group, and it’s been a tremendous experience,” said Lawrence Walters, co-owner of Detroit-based integration firm AV Imagined. “Being a new business ourselves, less than two years old, it is reassuring to know we have the backing of a group like Oasys and events like these where we can come together, learn from one another and build upon these important relationships within the community.”
The Oasys Summit was also the first opportunity for dealers and vendors to hear more in-depth about the group’s rebranding and refocused strategy as Nationwide’s custom integration division kicks off its “Drive to 1,000 Members” initiative. The bulk of that growth will come in the form of an expanded Oasys membership that will be comprised of integration businesses often overlooked by the buying group world.
“The dealers, vendors and press in the room could sense the excitement around this initiative, and they could certainly see that we mean business,” said Andy Orozco, senior vice president of custom integration for Nationwide. “Between the new look and mission of Oasys to the expanded CI support and field team, we’re ensuring that all custom integrators, no matter the size or scope of their business, have a home — and that they have a partner that is invested in their growth and success in this industry.”
As with all Nationwide-run events, giving back was a major element of this first-ever Oasys Summit as well. During the opening night dinner and networking event, attendees had the opportunity to pack meals for a local Nashville chapter of Meals of Hope. By the end of the night, the group put together more than 10,600 meals that were delivered directly to children and families in need right there in Nashville.