Between Us Pros: Secret Sauce for SAMMYs Success
Security dealers and integrators of all sizes have a realistic shot at taking home a SAMMY trophy — if they follow these tips.
It is a pleasure to be able to continue my longtime relationship with Security Sales & Integration’s audience, in my new role as the marketing director for remote guarding leader Elite Interactive Solutions, through this column.
I aim to continue to bring you industry insights and perspective that sheds light on opportunities, offers operations advice, tackles challenges, and addresses hot trends and issues. I encourage you to email me at to provide feedback and input on topics you would like to see covered in this space.
As I write this, it’s a week after GSX 2023 — the industry’s second-biggest trade show (after ISC West), and the largest for end-user security professionals. To my eyes, it appeared busier than it has been since before the pandemic.
Robust Shows Correlate to Health
I believe that robust shows correlate to industry health, and, so, in my mind, this turnout was great news for all of us. One complaint I did have was the lack of sitting areas just outside the convention hall. (Perhaps this was intentional to keep people on the expo floor and inside booths.)
It is always fascinating — particularly now, looking through my new lens — to see all the flashy, and in some cases enormous, vendor booths, all vying to lure in some of the thousands of attendees. It’s like peacocks flaunting their colorful feathers!
One of the most prominent booths, right near the main entrance, was Securitas Technology and Security Services. There, I caught up with decades-old friend Tony Byerly, global president of Securitas Technology, a fellow SSI Industry Hall of Famer and member of the SSI editorial advisory board.
I have known Byerly through his leadership roles with HSM, Stanley, Diebold and, now, Securitas. His organizations and he have always placed a premium on thorough and vivid marketing campaigns and materials.
Those efforts, in addition to winning business, have resulted in numerous awards that his companies have not only celebrated and benefited from (via free media coverage, for example) but also wisely and conspicuously conveyed to customers and prospects.
I have seen some of those trophies triumphantly displayed in glass cases at trade shows, and Securitas’ 2023 SSI Integrated Installation of the Year win was, in fact, nicely promoted at GSX.
My Fondest Memories
Spotlighted in SSI’s annual Best of the Best Issue, that accolade is among the 12 categories that comprise this publication’s Sales & Marketing (SAMMY) Awards. As former editor-in-chief and associate publisher, I can say that some of my fondest memories stem from my quarter-century presiding over the SAMMYs. This venerable program will log its 29th year in 2024.
All those years reviewing thousands of entries helped inform my marketing acumen and now — as a marketer myself — it gives me a whole new level of appreciation for the process, which, particularly in the digital age, is really both an art form and a science.
Here’s a little inside baseball for the SAMMYs: Unless it is purely a drawing, when entering or applying for something, both form and substance are crucial. Carefully review the criteria that are independently judged for a given category. Then, in a manner that is direct, specific and succinct, explain or illustrate how and why your entry meets or exceeds them.
Wherever possible, include additional supporting materials. In particular, include photos and/or videos for categories like Community Service, Installer and Installation of the Year, and Overall Marketing.
It is much better to submit too much information than to submit insufficient information. The latter is like losing business to a competitor simply because you failed to communicate that you offer the same product or service. You’d be dumbfounded if you knew how often that undermines winning an award or a customer.
Also, although SSI tries to catch it on the back end, please double-check to make sure you are entering the intended category. The Installer and Installation entries, for example, are commonly confused.
The Greatest Perks
One of the greatest perks of the SAMMYs program is being named a finalist and being recognized as winners are named during the presentation at ISC West. Although the example I referenced earlier is a very large company, believe me when I say that security dealers and integrator businesses of all sizes have a realistic shot at taking home a beautiful SAMMY trophy. Since it is free to enter, the only thing it costs is a little bit of your time.
Think of the potential recognition, company morale boost and opportunity to leverage this accomplishment to gain new business. To participate, go to sammy.secure-platform.com.
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