Friday, July 12, 2013

Top Products at the D&H BTS Expo

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to attend the D&H BTS Expo. If you’ve ever attended the event, you know how grueling, yet rewarding, the expo day can be. If you’ve not attended, think of a three minute speed date with 75 different vendors. Like the ICBA PRIMEtime event, you meet with each vendor there to learn what’s new and best sellers. And with that, here are some of my highlights of this year’s D&H Expo.

Streaming, or Bluetooth, audio is a hot category. I really liked the mobile speaker from bēm Wireless. They are a new vendor with D&H. I first met bēm Wireless at the ECRM Electronics Retail Summit in March and fell in love with the rich sound that came from this small cube—only 2.5". The speakers come in black, white, red, green orange, and purple, plus 24 “school” colors. MSRP is $69.99.

Many of you may already be familiar with Twelve South. They offer beautifully designed accessories exclusively for Apple products. The “BookBook” cases for MacBook Pro, Air/Retina, iPad, iPad mini and iPhones offer the vintage look of an old classic book. The cases are crafted in genuine leather and feature a zipper closure. MSRP ranges from $59.99 to $79.99. 

Braven Bluetooth audio speakers have been around
for a couple of years and continue to offer a great product with a great sound. The highlight of the line is the BRV-1 waterproof speaker. To demo the unit, water was poured directly onto the speaker grill while streaming music. The water danced on the grill, giving the fountains at the Bellagio a run for their money. D&H is offering a summer special of $15 off the regular wholesale price. MSRP is $179.99.

The next item is one of those “why didn’t I think of that….” type products—Guerilla Calculator Cases. We have cases to dress up and protect our smart phones and tablets. Why not the graphing/scientific calculators? Guerrilla has designed and perfected an extensive array of personalization items for the Texas Instruments line of graphing calculators. They offer protective silicone cases in a variety of colors, plus interchangeable faceplates, and themed image slide cases. MSRP is only $19.99 and is the perfect add-on to your students’ calculator purchase. 

Seems like everywhere we go, there is a GoPro camera close by recording the events. GoPro is the world’s leading activity image capture company. Their demographic is inclusive of your store’s customer—18-25 year olds, who embrace technology and social media and are looking for ways to capture life as it unfolds. They offer a great program through D&H, complete with a 2 ft. product display featuring a monitor to highlight what can be seen and experienced with GoPro cameras. MSRP on the cameras range from $199.99 to $399.99, with a wide variety of accessories that can help build add-on sales and margin.

In the headphone category, SOL REPUBLIC continues to be strong with their Collegiate Series. Collegiate Series SOL REPUBLIC Tracks are the first interchangeable headphones to deliver incredible sound, style and technology featuring your college or university. SOL REPUBLIC offers a kiosk program through D&H (for new accounts only) which offers different options to display your product. MSRP for the Collegiate Series is $129.99. Other earbuds and headphone styles range from $39.99 to $179.99.

Finally, the neatest and most simplistic products of the day were the cases and sleeves from Papernomad offered by Griffin Technology. Papernomad is an amazing, and patented, paper composite that has plastic's durability and is water resistant. Papernomad’s patented paper composite is created from several layers of paper and biopolymers. The items arrive as a blank page. You can mark it, draw it, paint it or more to customize your own personal case. Their products fit MacBook Pro 13" and 15", MacBook Air 11" and 13", iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, and Galaxy S III. MSRP ranges from $39.99 to $69.99.

These are only a handful of the new and unique products shown over 75 different companies at the D&H BTS Expo. If you attended the expo and found a new product for your store, reply to this blog and let me and the other ICBA members know. We’ll share your discovery with everyone.

We hope to have each of these vendors and more in the D&H Pavilion at ICBA 2014 PRIMEtime, February 3-6, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. For more information about these and other D&H companies, contact your D&H Account Manager. 

For information on ICBA 2014 PRIMEtime, visit

ICBA offers its member stores FREE registration (a $595 value), FREE airfare (up to $500) and a ground transportation allowance. A limited number of these are available, so register early. Registration is scheduled to open July 31. NO other organization or event in our industry offers this benefit to members or attendees.

Written by Marty Duncan, ICBA Program Manager

Monday, July 8, 2013

ICBA Concentrates for 2014

ICBA Concentrates for 2014

At member request, the ICBA 2014 Conference will begin with arrival on Monday, and end with departure on Friday. This means for our Strategic Direction, Apparel, iTech, and Academic Resources Course, the program will be one day shorter (Marketing, and Supply programs already departed on Friday).

So how do we make the Conference one day shorter, and continue to deliver the strongest solution-oriented professional education in the industry? ICBA is bringing a renewed focus to our Conference design. We are going to let the value of the content drive how the programs are structured and delivered. We are aiming toward more intimate exchanges, greater flexibility, and setting aside the typical industry rules about timing. ICBA will continue to provide the formal and informal networking that members rate as the highest value. In fact, some programs will find expanded networking time built into the program. Ultimately we believe these changes will deliver more value and benefit to our members. And we are confident that you will let us know if you like it.

Because Apparel and iTech have the most substantial PRIMEtime venues, buyers have requested that their programs offer education and networking both before and after PRIMEtime. For 2014 we are excited to announce the launch of our new Apparel and iTech Symposiums.Scheduled for 4:30 to 6:00pm on Monday, the Symposiums will deliver formal presentations and discussions, coupled with informal chatting, mixing, and mingling - and, of course refreshments!

ICBA 2014 - pre-conference (3/22-5/11)

From Stacy Waymire, ICBA Executive Director