International Security Conference (ISC) and Exposition New York 2000: Aug. 29-31

The weather was mild and, unfortunately, so was the attendance at the International Security Conference (ISC) and Exposition New York 2000 Aug. 29-31 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. This year’s annual event attracted thousands of exhibitors and attendees from all over the world, who faced temperatures in the 70s and 80s with occasional showers and omnipresent humidity. However, lighter foot traffic on the convention floor and lackluster seminar attendance ended the trend that had seen the ISC East draw steadily increasing crowd volume in recent years.

One of the highlights of ISC East took place on the eve of the show when Security Sales presented its 6th annual Sales and Marketing (SAMMY) Awards during a gala reception at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square. The SAMMYs, which drew more than 230 entries for the 2000 installment, honors alarm dealers for their marketing ingenuity across 13 categories. The evening’s big winner was Bay Alarm Co. of Walnut Creek, Calif., which was nominated for eight SAMMYs and went home with three trophies.

One of the hottest issues to emerge from the gathering in the Big Apple was the establishment of a unified security association. Initial talks were opened aimed at forging an official alliance between the Security Industry Association (SIA), the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) and the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA). The effort could bring about more uniform standards and greater nationwide cohesion among security practitioners.

Although there were fewer bodies in the aisles, that didn’t stop hundreds of vendors from displaying their latest technology and equipment. A newcomer to the industry, San Diego-based Inetcam Inc. introduced its iVISTA 3.0 security Webcasting software during a press conference. The product provides live remote monitoring, motion detection and even notification via the Internet. Meanwhile, ADI, Ademco, Digital Security Controls (DSC), Integral Technologies, Panasonic, Pelco, Radionics, Sanyo, Sony and Visonic were some of the seemingly endless array of exhibitors offering dealers demonstrations of their products.

Speaking of ADI, the distribution giant once again hosted ISC’s most impressive social event with its annual party. As in 1999, the company rented out Pier 17 of South Street Seaport for another evening full of varied food, drink and dancing. The “Celebration” was pushed to a fever pitch thanks to musical entertainment provided by Kool & the Gang. Aside from ADI’s extravaganza, many companies hosted receptions, mostly at the Marriott Marquis, including St. Louis-based SLP Capital, a specialty lender to the security industry.

On Tuesday, Aug. 29, the winners of the Security Industry Association’s (SIA) annual New Product Showcase (NPS) were revealed. A record 54 product entries were turned in spanning five categories and 13 awards. Radionics was the big winner, capturing three trophies, including the Innovation and Product Achievement (Systems Integration) awards for its PC9000 Enterprise Conductor™ and the Product Achievement (Monitoring) award for its D6600 NetCom System.

ISC East 2000 marked the debut of the Electronic Systems Institute, a joint educational and training effort presented by NBFAA and Security Sales. Although the sessions were not as crowded as organizers had hoped, those who did attend received first-rate instruction across a broad range of vital industry topics. Among the highlights was a trio of Internet-related sessions featuring speaker Eli Bolotin of NRM Design and “Benchmarking Your Marketing for Success,” featuring Security Sales Managing Editor Scott Goldfine.

Another highlight of ISC week was an exclusive security briefing and tour of the World Trade Center, hosted by the facility’s manager of life safety and security, Doug Karpiloff, CPP. Approximately 30 security professionals, who had to pass a rigorous background check conducted by the Secret Service prior to attending, viewed a PowerPoint presentation at the Javits Center before proceeding by bus to the Trade Center. Once there, the facility’s thorough, $50 million state-of-the-art access control systems were explained and demonstrated.

The City That Never Sleeps offered a staggering choice of diversions away from the convention center. Sports enthusiasts were treated to Southern California‘s stunning stomping of Penn State, 29-5, in the Kickoff Classic at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., and the U.S. Open Tennis Championships at Flushing Meadows, N.Y., where Andre Agassi was an early upset victim. Other sightseeing options included the always-mobbed Times Square, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Broadway shows, Central Park and an assortment of world-class museums.

As usual, New York was a great place to visit, and just as great a place to leave. The town’s frenetic pace can wear down even the most intrepid traveler. And, although ISC East 2000 still qualifies as a success, hopefully 2001’s installment will rekindle the swelling attendance and interest that characterized the event in the late 1990s.

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