“The most fun and entertaining event in the security industry!” “A blast!” “A tremendous networking opportunity.” This feedback followed the 10th Annual SAMMY (Sales & Marketing) Awards gala at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas April 5.
Security Sales & Integration honored dealers and integrators in a dozen marketing and installation categories on the eve of ISC West.
The event, which culminates a yearlong process of soliciting, receiving and judging entries, has truly become one of the “can’t miss” activities during ISC week’s increasingly overcrowded calendar. While it’s true the hors d’oeuvres, beverages, presentation and awards are a delight, the theme of the program and the people are what make the SAMMYs truly extraordinary.
By people, I do not just mean the number of attendees — which was close to 200 — but rather their caliber. These people are among the finest our industry has to offer. The evening was marked by representatives of finalist companies showing off their professional, innovative approaches to marketing materials and installation techniques, and those from sponsoring manufacturers demonstrating support for their customers and overall industry excellence.
The inclusion of the SSI Hall of Fame (see Industry Pulse) induction ceremonies during the SAMMYs festivities has attracted even more esteemed individuals to the proceedings. Now, industry luminaries and their associates are there rubbing elbows as well. This year, all six inductees — Michael Barnes, Bill Bozeman, Jim Covert Sandra Jones and Stan Martin — were in attendance, some of them flying in just for the SAMMYs.
Indeed, the SAMMYs congregates a unique cross section from just about every segment of our industry. This makes it one of the hottest networking opportunities available. You really missed out if you were not there. However, there is always next year and I anticipate the event will continue to grow and surpass those that have preceded it. Whether you made it in person or are hearing about it now, you will surely enjoy and benefit from our exhaustive coverage (see page 34 of June issue).
Much like the Academy Awards have had Jack Palance doing push-ups, Cuba Gooding Jr. shouting, “Show Me the Money!” and Adrien Brody planting a wet one on Halle Berry, SAMMY receptions usually have an unforgettable, defining moment. This year, it was when Denver’s Digitron was named winner for Integrated Commercial/Industrial Installation of the Year. President Tony Ibarra led a group of five people jumping out of their seats with glee before merrily strutting on stage together.
On the other side of the coin, you know getting your hands on a SAMMY trophy is becoming highly coveted when a runner-up spends a half-hour harassing you about not being named a winner! I suppose it’s not so surprising when you consider the respect earning a SAMMY has come to garner, not to mention the powerful marketing tool it can be in its own right in validating a company’s commitment to quality to prospective customers.
My most hearty congratulations go out to the finalists and winners, and gratitude to the sponsoring manufacturers and judges that help make the program possible. In addition, all entrants are to be applauded for striving to be more conscientious and outstanding than their competition.
The SAMMYs program promises to be even more exciting and momentous as it heads into its second decade. A new Web site has been launched (www.the sammyawards.com) and 2006 will include the first Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) award, designed to reward companies that proactively minimize false alarm dispatches.
The program is a joint effort between the Security Industry Alarm Association (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), SSI and Honeywell.
Hopefully, those companies that did not win will become even more determined. Much like it usually takes an NFL team multiple trips to the playoffs before winning a Super Bowl, SAMMY winners are often former also-rans. And like they say, you cannot win it if you are not in it!