Last week's CDEC sales and supplier conference, held in Mallorca, saw the AV integrator and reseller and its partners raise £15,719 for the Great Ormond Street Hospital charity at a gala dinner. Much of this came from a sing-off, where Shaun Marklew, sales and marketing director of Sahara Presentations, challenged Conor Ferris, CDEC senior external sales account manager (south east), with each company staking a £5,000 charity donation on the bet.
Both competitors had experience of singing on UK national TV in the past: Marklew had appeared in the 'Search for a Star' competition on Saturday Superstore in the 1980s, while, more recently, Ferris had been a contestant on Stars in Their Eyes.
Marklew took to the stage first, having elected to sing the Katy Perry number 'Last Friday Night'; as Ayesha, co-presenter of the Radio One Mallorca breakfast show, commented in her role as one of the judges, he appeared to have hampered himself by choosing a song that he was not completely familiar with.
Ferris then responded with a barnstorming performance of 'Mustang Sally', which had the audience enthusiastically joining in the call-and-response sections.
A tense judging session ended up – to the surprise of some – with a 50:50 split between the four judges: the contest was declared a draw, with both companies pledging to make their charity donations.
The event took place at the end of the second day of CDEC's three-day conference, which saw 20 manufacturers and distributors ship out over £100,000 worth of equipment to present to the CDEC salesforce – and members of the industry press. The suppliers were AudioLogic, BenQ, Casio, Epson, Extron, Hitachi, Iiyama, InVentry, Just Lamps, Loxit, Maverick, Midwich, NEC, OneLAN, Panasonic, Promethean, Sahara, Samsung, Sony and Steljes.
The conference also featured corporate presentations, strategy sessions, teambuilding events and the unveiling of a new CDEC logo.