PSA President Presents His Plan
The PSA Security Network raised eyebrows when it announced it would begin co-locating its annual conference/exposition with the National Systems Contractors Association’s (NSCA) Systems Integration Expo in 2004. What did PSA — the industry’s largest aggregate of security systems integrators — have in common with an association focused on commercial audio/video, communications and networking? Whose members stood to benefit more? The answers remain unclear.
From a PSA perspective, transitional logistics and unfavorable scheduling in close proximity to ISC West (which was also in Las Vegas) marginalized the first unified effort in 2004. Having learned from that experience, PSA and NSCA have reloaded for this month’s event in Orlando, Fla. I recently spoke to new SSI Hall of Fame inductee (click here) and PSA President Bill Bozeman about this alliance and the current direction of his organization.
Why did PSA merge its conference with NSCA?
Bill Bozeman: We had grown out of the conference facility we had been using for 15 years. The booth show was always a sellout, so we had to turn away vendors that wanted to show their products to our members. The hotel would also sell out, making conference attendance less convenient for some.
We looked at a number of alternatives, including a different hotel in Denver and moving the convention to another city. The other option was to co-locate the conference. NSCA has a reputation of putting on a terrific show and several of our members were also NSCA members. PSA had exhibited at an NSCA show previously, so we felt there was an opportunity, especially because we believe our industries are converging.
Were the results what you had hoped for with the 2004 event? What is different this year?
Bozeman: In some ways, the results exceeded our expectations. PSA was part of a huge show and we were in front of NSCA members and vendors. On the other hand, because this was the first show we did together, there were some problems such as transportation from the hotel to the convention center. Those problems have been fixed for 2005. The biggest difference is this year’s show year is in Orlando rather than Las Vegas, which will make the it more intimate for PSA members.
How is PSA maintaining its own unique identity?
Bozeman: During the conference, we still have many events open only to PSA members, including the PSA party, certain training courses and the PSA banquet. By having our own pavilion, the PSA name is singled out as the leader in security and life safety.
What benefits has teaming with NSCA brought?
Bozeman: We’ve added new members that are also first-rate systems integrators from NSCA. PSA management has also learned many valuable tips from NSCA on how to run a large professional conference.
Do you believe there is more interest in security crossing into NSCA businesses or vice versa? Bozeman: From what we can gather, the interest in is about even. All low-voltage disciplines are converging, including building automation, alarm companies and electric contractors.
Have you heard of any PSA members and NSCA members teaming up on projects? Bozeman: The potential is definitely there. PSA is in the process of forming vertical market teams that specialize in areas such as government, health care, gaming and transportation. There will be additional synergies since many NSCA members already specialize in these sectors.
What else is new and in the works for PSA?
Bozeman: We are looking to bring in additional members that are not necessarily core security systems integrators — from IT, and energy and building management. Also, we have begun a CEO committee that will provide training for executives in order to improve business acumen and practices. These and other changes will assure PSA’s growth.
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