HTSA’s “Tommapalooza” was a lallapalooza. The Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) held its first-ever two-day “Tommapalooza” educational event in Denver prior to CEDIA Expo 2019, and the event drew 94 registrants… well above expectations. This event was held at local HTSA member Xssentials modern training facilities in nearby Parker, Colo.
Known within the consortium as the “Tommapalooza Learning Festival,” the event was conceived, coordinated, and largely conducted by Tom Doherty, HTSA’s director of new technology initiatives.
Courses Reflect Key HTSA Initiatives
The planned courses covered a series of important initiatives for the buying group, including custom-created Lighting-Level 1, Lighting-Level 2 training, and Delos DARWIN Premier education. There were also several brand-specific training sessions from a group of supporting HTSA vendors.
Attendees not only received educational content in a classroom setting, but they also had the opportunity to participate in a specially constructed HTSA Lighting Learning Lab for pragmatic, real-world, hands-on lab work.
“Attendees and vendors alike expressed to me how absolutely thrilled they were with this event,” says Doherty. “Many said they appreciated HTSA fielding an event like this, and especially noted 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. So, all-in-all, I’d say this was a very satisfying event for HTSA.”
“Technology is a fast-paced, always-changing business and only those who lace up their sneakers and charge ahead to keep pace will succeed in the long run,” says Jon Robbins, executive director of HTSA. “The fact that more than three times as many HTSA members participated in this first-of-a-kind educational event serves to show that our members understand and embrace that concept better than most in the industry.”
121 Members Now Certified in Lighting
Two years ago, HTSA led the industry as the first major dealer organization to target growth in the lighting segment – including lighting design, fixtures and services. As part of this initiative, the organization oversaw the creation of a custom, multi-level educational program designed to drive member success in the category. HTSA partnered with the American Lighting Association (ALA) in creating this educational program and the Lighting courses at Tommapalooza were part of this initiative.
For those HTSA members who took part in the Lighting-Level 1 training, upon successfully passing a post-course examination from the lighting association, the students were awarded the ALALighting Specialist certification. Prior to the Tommapalooza event, fully 55 HTSA member employees had earned the ALA’s Lighting Specialist certification. Coming out of this event, another 20 member employees have been certified – giving HTSA a total of 75 Certified Lighting Specialists.
Similarly, the Lighting-Level 2 course delves extensively into lighting design, with students receiving no less than 16 hours of intense training from an International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) professional. Prior to the Tommapalooza event, HTSA had 37 member employees who had completed this training. After the event, another 9 member employees have completed the course for a total of 46 HTSA members trained in the finer points of effective residential lighting design.
Tom Doherty himself created a special course titled: “Lighting Design and Fixture Sales: How Tom Doherty Did It.” In this class, Doherty shared a very personal story of how his integration company targeted and grew their lighting category revenues and profits, the challenges they faced and overcame, and even some of the mistakes to avoid that they made as part of their learning process.
40 Members Now Delos Wellness Trained
Beyond lighting, the Home Technology Specialists of America is also targeting the emerging residential indoor wellness segment, becoming the exclusive partner of Delos. Indoor wellness touches on a range of sophisticated issues related to the indoor environment of today’s residential dwellings, including air quality, water quality, human-centric lighting and more to promote well-being.
At Tommapalooza, Delos conducted an accredited course on its Darwin Premier System. This course educated attendees on the nuanced science of the negative health impact of unaddressed issues surrounding standard residential air, water, lighting, and comfort systems.
The course went on to describe in detail: Delos technologies and solutions that mitigate or eliminate these issues; a financial model for accurately estimating the cost of upgrading any system with a full Darwin Premier implementation; and finally, set out the process for a deep collaboration between the HTSA member and Delos including assistance in the design, installation and commissioning of the Darwin Premier indoor wellness solution.
Prior to the Tommapalooza event, there were a total of 25 HTSA member employees who had received training in the Delos Darwin Premier accredited course. After this event, another 15 participants were added for a total of 40 HTSA member employees who have been fully trained in the Delos Darwin Premier accredited course.
HTSA Vendor-Specific Education Sessions
Finally, the event was additionally supported by several of the Home Technology Specialists of America’s vendors. Each of these vendors conducted detailed educational courses on their various products and technologies. Full sessions were held by: Vantage (on Lumenetix), RoseWater (power quality), DMF Lighting, Tech-Element, LF Illumination, and Crestron (OS3).