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17 & 18 MARCH 2020


Young leaders engage in building the smart home industry of the future

On the 16th of November 2018 in London, Young leaders from Google, Sky, Signify, Bosch Smart Home, Energenie, & the Beacon Agency have responded creatively to the invitation by the Smart Home & Buildings Association (SH&BA) to find an answer on “how to overcome the barriers to smart home adoption.” 

At the 5th SH&BA Retailer & Manufacturer bi-annual panel held in Central London, the winner was announced – Thomas Joy, co-founder of the Beacon Agency. New to the smart home industry, but applying considerable creativity and marketing flair to a 5 minute vlog, he captured the idea of smart home as a service. Chief judge Stephen Pattenden, Secretary and Founder of SH&BA commented that it was his solution which made his response stand out, as well as the quality of the vlog. “With the prospect of millions of homes being smart, and the need to manage them so that everything works, even at a small monthly fee there is a huge opportunity in smart home as a service,” said Pattenden.

The winner received a £500 cheque, handed over by Teresa Johnston, Retail Account Director at Tech Data, which had sponsored this prize. Andy Dow, Group Marketing Director of Tech Data UK said “We consider smart home to be one of the most important emerging technology areas, and we are delighted to support the development of the Young Leaders’ Forum of SH&BA and to recognise the vital role that these young leaders have in shaping the smart home industry of today and the future.”

The other contributions in the form of essays and vlogs were also commended by the judges. These highlighted opportunities for development of the smart home category through the kitchen and home renovation route, better training provided to smart home installers, kinaesthetic product demonstrations, creative financing models based on the smartphone industry and providing service solutions like Best Buy in the USA. These blogs and ideas will be shared by SH&BA in the coming weeks. In the meantime, for all those passionate about the development of smart home, enjoy the winning contribution of Thomas Joy by watching the vlog bellow.


In the course of yesterday’s panel meeting, which included representatives of leading smart home companies from across the industry covering retail, distribution, manufacture, and academic research, Adam Simon, Chair of SH&BA explained the motivation behind the Young Leaders’ forum. “Thirty-five years ago, a bunch of young twenty-year olds entered the new and emerging PC industry, and, sticking with it over the years, ended up by running it. In SH&BA we want to give the voice today to those young leaders who are going to run the smart home industry in the future. We provide an excellent forum for them to meet, network and develop the collective thinking which is going to be vital to its long-term success.”.

SH&BA, an association which was founded in 2000, is the knowledge base for smart homes and buildings and people who live and work in them. SH&BA brings together every element of the smart home industry from Retailers to Manufacturers to Distributors to talk about the hot topics of the day and the challenges we face as an industry, in association with two of Europe’s major Smart Home associations in Germany and France (SHD and FFD). It is a venue where people and businesses can present their systems, devices, products and services and explain how they work and their value. The Association has a particular focus on how to develop smart home into a support for assisted living. 

For more details about SH&BA, please contact Jessica Hadleigh, Marketing Manager at