Gearing Up for a Big Week in Vegas

Well howdy, sports fans! I have been SO busy preparing for the big ISC West show in Las Vegas next week, including our SAMMY Awards event.

This year’s SAMMYs, which I am hosting, promises to be extra-special. Not only will there be a great presentation of the industry’s finest sales & marketing materials, installations, business practices and false alarm programs but also the official inductions of this year’s SSI Industry Hall of Fame selections. It’s a fun and outstanding networking event that draws some of the industry’s top movers and shakers—and it’s FREE and includes food and beverages! I hope to see you there, Tuesday, March 31, from 4:30-6:30 pm, in Room 602 of the Venetian Hotel. And, if you want to stick around afterwards, you’re welcome to observe my exclusive videotaped interview with PSA Security Network President Bill Bozeman—but shhh, you’ll have to keep very quiet!

In addition, on Thursday from noon-1 pm in Room 1002 off the show floor at the Venetian, I will be sitting on a panel for a “Meet the Press’ session. Attendees will learn how to more effectively work with trade media to to get their message out to the industry’s masses. There’ll be inside info on what makes a good press, product or news release, how to get sourced in articles, and what to do to get your business featured in a profile or case study article. There will also be ample opportunity to ask questions. Hope to see you there.

Regarding ISC itself, if you’re attending keep an eye out for me hightailing it across the show floor throughout the event as I am booked with appointments nearly every half hour. However, don’t let that keep you from saying hello and giving me some feedback about SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION, this blog, your business, the industry, whatever. Also, feel free to stop by the SSI booth (#1054) to interact with our staff. And if you can’t make it, not to worry as we will of course share all the relevent happenings in print and online.

I am curious, though, what you are anticipating for this year’s ISC West. For years, it has been the show for installing security contractors. And in recent years, it has attracted a substantial number of others immersed in or peripheral to the electronic security industry. Reed, the event’s organizer, has said not only are the number of vendors down but many returning exhibitors are scaling back on the size and/or lavishness of their booths. Vendors I have spoken with say their sales are way off for the first quarter and they are cutting back dramatically wherever possible. This has also led to fewer evening mixers and parties; many that are still being held have been significantly scaled down.

In addition, projections indicate an attendee dropoff of at least 10 percent. Optimists say that is fine because it weeds out the “tire-kickers” and only the serious security professionals participate, which means time is better spent. That phenomenon was in evidence at last year’s ASIS show in Atlanta. And it makes sense for struggling businesses to participate in a show like this to help overcome some serious challenges in the marketplace. However, another issue for ISC is that, supposedly, members of the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) and Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) are supposed to abstain in order to throw their full support behind their own upcoming trade show—ESX 2009 (this year in Baltimore). Speaking of that event, it REALLY has its work cut out to succeed as it is only in its second year and facing a bleak economy at a time when the foot traffic on the exhibit floor at its inaugural effort in 2008 was VERY sparse.

The thing about ISC West in 2009, I believe perhaps more than any time in the event’s history, is whatever takes place is going to set the tone and pace for the balance of the year. For that reason, I think we all need to root for it to be as positive, enthusiastic, surprisingly well attended and productive as possible. As an industry, we need it to be the spark that ignites the opportunistic fire to help propel us through the balance of this recessionary period so we may be poised to really excel when the dark economic cloud abates. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, how about you?

As always, thanks for reading,

Scott Goldfine



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