– Eric Stromquist, Ken Smyers
Control Trends Awards
The Control Trends Awards were created to
provide a chronological means to acknowledge and capture the
extraordinary technologies, companies, products, and mostly
importantly, personal accomplishments.
What are the Control Trends Awards?
In the process of creating Controltrends.org
as a place for HVAC,
controls, and system integration professionals to learn and share
information about our rapidly changing world of commercial and
industrial controls, we began to sense the vital importance of
community and connection.
: John Nasibitt
cautioned us about high-tech,
high-touch in his book Megatrends and he predicted that as the world
became more and more technical and dependent on computers -- lessening
human interaction, the more humans would need a “high touch” or human
connection for emotional satisfaction to balance things out.
way than to have an industry recognize products
and individuals that are making a difference and combine it with an
Awards event to create new connections? Think about it, most of
us grew up watching the Academy Awards and how do you explain the
popularity of these Dancing with the Stars shows? Why do
companies pay athletes and celebrities millions of dollars to promote
their products? The short answer is positive association -- as
humans, we love competition and we love pulling for our
favorites. It is one of the primary ways we relate.
We have started a venue for creating these types of high-touch
connections within our industry. So, win, lose, or draw our
finalists will connect in a very different and positive way with our
So it sounds like this is as much
about marketing as it is about Awards?
Well Ken, it is both. Like it or not there are new
marketing realities. For example, one of the new social marketing
principals is “Third Party Validation”, which inhibits many marketing
options. Meaning, that a major control manufacturer could not
have created an industry recognition program and Awards Ceremony for
the Industry. Additionally, the younger folks that have entered
the HVAC Controls marketplace are less likely to go to a company
website for information and more likely to use Google and other social
media and view the “product review”.
Smyers: This will take
them to a third-party site like
automatedbuildings.com or Controltrends.org to get their
information. And this is where Control Trends adds the high-touch
concepts through personalized demonstrations, training videos,
technical blogs and current news about the issues that affect them as
controls professionals. Control Trends serves as an information and
networking conduit that provides its community with unfiltered,
Stromquist: You have the
opportunity to feel like you connect with the people
on your terms. People that go to Control Trends feel like they know the
site people Tim, Sean, Mr. Jones, Clint, and myself. It is a much more
personal type of connection.
Smyers: But the CTA Awards
are first and foremost to
recognize the heroes and superstars of our industry by the
industry. Eric and I have both been in this industry for over
thirty years. We know how hard the people in our industry work
and how great these people are -- and the contributions the
manufacturers are making with great technology and products.
There is something bothersome that at the end of a career in the HVAC
industry, there's little more than a pat on the back and a watch.
We think that some intermediate attention and a more lasting form of
attention is warranted.
What our Industry lacks is a collective structure and tradition.
The Control Trends Awards were created to provide a chronological means
to acknowledge and capture the extraordinary technologies, companies,
products, and mostly importantly, personal accomplishments.
How have the CTAs been received?
The response has been absolutely amazing. The CTAs
a life of its own. We initially thought the CTAs would take one,
maybe two years to develop, and that the first year would be a
web-hosted, virtual award presentation.
Smyers: But the positive
response from seasoned professionals
and our sponsors has quickly led to a live version. With the
additional flair and expertise of Marc Petock, the Master of
Ceremonies, and Heather Deal, of HD Resources, as well as the
other steering committee members, which, includes (you) Ken Sinclair,
we are on track for something spectacular. With the continued
support of all of our sponsors and the media partners, the momentum
will continue to build until the awards luncheon takes place on January
29, at the Eddie Deen's Ranch House in Dallas, TX.
How does the Control Trends
Academy work and how do people participate?
The first step was establishing the academy
itself. We then invited professionals in the industry to join and
register as members of the CTA Academy. We received over 100
registrations from around the world. The Academy members then
nominated the candidates for each of the twelve categories. Then
the top five or six from each category were chosen by vote and are now
on the final ballot. Now voting for the one finalist in each
of the twelve categories is open to anyone within the industry who
registers through Control Trends. Voting is open until the
beginning of January, 2013; the votes will then be tabulated and the
winners announced at the CTA awards ceremony and luncheon.
Currently, the nominees are creating an informative video about
themselves or their products that will be accessible on Control Trends
-- to give voters the opportunity to review and evaluate each candidate
before they cast their votes.
What can we expect at the CTA
Everything... we hope to make this a memorable and fun
after all it is the first of what we hope will become a yearly
Smyers: In addition to the
excitement of the Awards themselves, we
also have a very entertaining program in store for the attendees.
We can say for certain that you should make every effort to attend.
Because we have an extraordinary staff and the strong support of our
sponsors, we are committed to deliver an event filled with high
marketing value coupled with genuine entertainment and excitement. We
also have a few surprises in mind, but the real values are the CTA
What can we expect from the CTA
Awards in the future?
Let us conclude by saying that Eric and I are big
fans of AutomatedBuildings.com. Your earnest endeavors to inform,
enlighten, and accommodate critical networking within our industry is
well recognized and noted.
Stromquist: In fact, Ken,
you are the type of hero that we are
determined to recognize at the CTA Awards. We'll have to add
another category for next year.
Thanks Guys, please keep us
updated. See you in Dallas.
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