I AM CEDIA: Buddy Hughes at CEDIA Business Xchange
As part of our I AM CEDIA series of profiles, we had a chance to spend some time with Buddy Hughes at the 2017 CEDIA Business Xchange in San Antonio. Hughes founded Crown Audio Video in Texas during the depths of the great recession after working for years for a doomed “big box” chain of stores.
ON STARTING HIS BUSINESS DURING THE GREAT RECESSION
Let me tell you: eating “mystery meat” (the stuff that’s been in the freezer forever) was not fun. But even though the economy wasn’t good, I had to feed three kids.
But we had a plan: so many companies – especially big box stores – weren’t building relationships. We figured out a way to fill that void.
ON THE NEED FOR THE CEDIA CHANNEL
What we do has become a need more than a luxury. You can't walk into a doctor's office without experiencing sound and video. You can't walk into a house without seeing at least one TV hung on a wall. You can't walk into a restaurant without hearing ambient music. So we do play a big part in a lot what of what happens.
Imagine the world with no audio and no video -- it would not be very fun.
ON HIS FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB
Favorite part of being an integrator? I would say it's the end result. The last five percent: shaking hands with the customer, getting to see the smile on their face, on that brand new TV or that brand new sound system or that brand new theater that's done. Last five percent is a blast. We focus on it because that's where we have fun.
ON HIS FAMILY
We have 14 year old twins and an 8 year old -- we are always busy. It's always a football game, always a baseball game, always a soccer game, always a cheer squad, something.
When they were younger, my kids thought I made TVs and speakers. Now, my older ones are full of questions: "Hey Dad, is this sound okay? Does that video look okay? Can you make it look better? Can you make it sound better?"
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF CEDIA AND EVENTS LIKE BUSINESS XCHANGE
I attend to meet others and ask questions. We're looking at the competition and saying, "Hey guys, that was great, the way you did that. I’ll do it my own way but what was your idea behind this? Why did you put yourself on the website? Why did you carry that product? What was the idea behind it?”
When we’re speaking with a customer, we can let them know we’re part of this great trade organization – it lets them know we’re legit. It just shows them so much.