With so many attendees from out of the country, organizers for the combined ASE and AFE shows consid

The 7th annual Americas’ Security Expo (ASE) joined forces with Americas’ Fire Expo (AFE) and Americas’ Building and Home Automation Expo (BHA) for their first combined exhibition at the Miami Beach Convention Center July 24-26.

More than 4,000 security and fire professionals from Latin America and the Caribbean attended the show, which featured new fire, security and automation products and a variety of educational conferences. The show had a decidedly Latin flavor with a majority of show participants conversing in Spanish on the show floor and in seminars.

In the past, the two shows were held separately. This year, for the first time, both shows were set up in the same hall, giving attendees the ability to view both security and fire products and services, whether they were registered on the security or fire sides of the shows. Digital CCTV was the hot ticket item for the show, with a majority of exhibitors displaying cameras trained on passersby in order to illustrate the clarity and searchability of its systems.

DSC and Interlogix were among the show’s largest exhibitors, wowing visitors with flashy displays. Many exhibitors took advantage of the show’s short hours and sponsored morning educational conferences aimed at teaching dealers about their products. Other exhibitors took a different approach to their booths, engaging visitors with humor, music or perhaps a bit of sex appeal. Despite some companies’ light-hearted approach to their booths, technology was king and digital CCTV and integrated building controls captured visitors’ interest.

Among the best attended seminars was Vance International’s session on GPS as a tool for personal protection. The standing room only crowd listened intently as Training Manager Steve Vitarius demonstrated how Vance plans to use GPS technology to aid its clients in foreign countries, offering everything from personnel tracking to driving directions for lost travelers. Vitarius informed attendees that Mexico was at the forefront of Vance’s Latin American expansion.

In his keynote address, Peter Michel, president and CEO of Brink’s Home Security addressed the issue of client retention. He talked about how it is not only easier, but less expensive to retain a customer than it is to search out a new one. In a climate of shrinking market share many dealers said they were looking for ways to make sure their customers would never shop around.

Other keynote speakers for the shows included Lou Sepulveda, senior vice president of dealer development for ADT and Tyco; Jim Spencer, president and managing director of the Tartan Group; Martin Reiss, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) chair; and Perry Ludy, senior vice president, business group for NFPA.

Security Sales acts as one of the event’s publication sponsors.

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