Continuing its mission to deliver a show tailored specifically for the smart home industry, Essential Install Live! North organisers were delighted at the response to their continued efforts to construct a UK show that really delivers the nexus installers and smart home distributors, manufacturers and service providers need.

David Kitchener, MD of All Things Media, owner of the Essential Install Live! shows says: “Once again we have been really impressed and pleased with the way the industry has reacted to the concept of the Essential Install Live! Shows. The Northern show is the oldest out of our current format of two shows and its geographical position, venue, pricing structure and marketing programme continue to attract large number of installers and exhibitors, allowing the show to keep growing and evolving.

“The shows are and will continue to be created and moulded in full partnership with the industry, as witnessed this year with the creation of the Essential Install Live! Integrator Challenge, which could not have been created without the team from Cornflake and of course the manufacturers who donated equipment to help us build the room set. This feature will definitely be back at the Southern show and at future Northern shows.”

The installer who captured the honour of being the very first Essential Install Live! Champion Installer was Ben Tomlinson, director of install company EPIXX, an experienced provider of home cinema, whole house automation and heating integration projects.

Ben competed with other installers to identify several common faults from a typical AV distribution set up, created by the team from Cornflake, led by John Fitzpatrick, operations director.

In a close run contest, out of all the installers who entered, Ben managed to find all nine in the quickest time of six minutes and fifty seconds. 

Keep an eye out for future editions of Essential Install Magazine and the pages of this website for more news on Ben following his historic win.

Pictured left Ben (centre in black) celebrates with the Essential Install Live! team and Cornflake staff

John from Cornflake was full of admiration for the skill and knowledge of the installers who took part.

Rated as the fault which caused the most problems throughout the day was the fact that the Internet was down on the room set which was being caused by the WAP being plugged into the wrong port on the network switch.

Ben will receive an exclusive logo for his company’s own marketing purposes identifying and underlining his win, as well as a fantastic Red Letter Day adventure experience of his choice.

Another challenge that was laid down by organisers was the Essential Install Formula One Challenge.

Over the course of the day, installers took a break from the show floor to post the fastest lap they could in the UK’s most advanced mobile F1 simulator.

Competition was fierce right up to the end of the day, when Alan Hardiman, director of Leyland based installers HAV Tec Ltd, was crowned the winner posting an impressive 47.31 lap time.

Alan walked away with a top prize donated by Yamaha, sponsors of the competition, in the form of the Trio Pack from the manufacturer’s new MusicCast platform.

Left, Alan is congratulated by Essential Install and CE Pro editorial director, Daniel J Sait

The prize included the ISX-80 source provider and WX-030 speaker, as well as the YSP-1600 soundbar.

Not bad for under a minute’s work!

Keep an eye out for a full review of some of the top kit installers were able to see at the event in the coming days on this site and in Essential Install.


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