Home Entertainment Retail Expo Kicks Off

The Home Entertainment Retail Expo, formerly known as the East Coast Video Show, opened here today with a series of seminars at the Convention Center. The exhibit hall will open tomorrow for the first time in this new location; the show was formerly held in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Attendees stopped to meet and greet friends and business acquaintances while picking up their badges. It appeared as though fewer than 100 retailers chose to attend today’s seminars, hosted by the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA).

Frank Lucca, director of the VSDA’s new Independent Dealers of Entertainment Association, facilitated the first pre-show seminar — a “retailers retreat,” where the retailers themselves selected the topics. Up for discussion were: alternate revenue sources, including Internet versions of their brick-and-mortar stores; resolving floor space issues during the transition from VHS to DVD; competing with the vast number of entertainment options available on the Internet; piracy concerns; and inventory protection.

“I just want to learn how to get the most out of being an independent store, and I really hope this show can give me the tools to do that,” Erik Tempelman, manager of Red Light Video in Huntsville, Alabama, told AVN.com, regarding his hopes for the show.

A second, smaller seminar gave networking tips for show attendees and suggestions on local must-see spots.

The show floor opens at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow, with the VSDA hosting two seminars earlier in the morning beforehand — one on using customer service, loyalty programs and marketing to stay competitive, and another on detailing the functions of VSDA’s Independent Dealers of Entertainment Association.