2005 North American Security Symposium and Exhibition (NASS EX): May 12-15, Montreal

This year’s North American Security Symposium and Exhibition (NASS EX) was an education, and not just because attendees had to learn a few French words in the Quebec city of Montreal. Education and training dominated the 2005 NASS EX, formerly known by the acronym NAMTSE, which hosts central station and alarm monitoring managers from throughout North America.

“These were probably the best educational sessions we’ve done since we’ve started this. John Lombardi, chairman of the education committee, and Pam Petrow from Vector [Security] worked hard to provide educational topics that central station managers wanted to hear,” says Steve Doyle, executive vice president for NASS EX’s host, the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA). “For a long time, we put more emphasis on the annual meeting, but we’ve gotten a lot smarter and realized that central station general managers and salespeople need and want some sort of universal training. We’re delivering it.”

Among the sessions in the extensive training program that lasted throughout the May 12-15 event were:

  • A daylong seminar hosted by CSAA, UL and UL of Canada that helped central stations and installing companies obtain a UL/ULC listing.
  • A session on ways to protect alarm and monitoring companies from lawsuits. The seminar was presented by IDS Research & Development Inc. President Jeffrey Zwirn, who was recently featured in a March SSI story on how a faulty alarm system may have played a role in a woman’s death.
  • A roundtable on the best designs to contribute to a central station’s functionality and ideas for renovation.
  • A presentation by SSI Hall of Famer Sandra Jones on marketing and growing your alarm business.

At a ceremony, Security Sales & Integration Publisher Mike Zawinski handed a $1,150 check to CSAA President Dick Sampson for the association’s participation in SSI’s LeadTracker program. To date, SSI has provided more than $3,200 to the CSAA from a portion of the subscription fee of each CSAA member that uses LeadTracker.

LeadTracker, at www.ssileadtracker.com, is a subscription-based service that gives integrators access to private commercial, large residential developments and government installation projects.

CSAA members were also updated at NASS EX on the overall health of the association, and Doyle says it has never been healthier. “The best part for me was after 14 years, I got to tell them that 2004 was most profitable year we’ve ever had. It’s our third-straight year with a profit,” Doyle says. “We were able to say every revenue avenue was up. I don’t get to do that very often.”

While Doyle admits there may have been some who may have been warded off by the event being north of the border, overall attendance stayed the same from a year ago and Montreal proved to be a good host for the event, which will be hosted by Savannah, Ga., in 2006.

“I didn’t hear anybody who said they didn’t enjoy Montreal,” Doyle says. “It was just truly outstanding up there.”


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