The inaugural ESX, the Electronic Security Expo, has been held this week in Nashville, Tenn., and overall has been a very strong show. Owned by the Central Station Alarm Association (the CSAA membership roster which includes many of the top alarm monitoring providers in the U.S.) and the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (which has in its ranks many of the top security and fire installing dealers and integrators), the show served as a training ground, a product expo and a place for the associations to handle their annual meetings and business.
Being held shortly after the ISC West show which occurred in Las Vegas this past April, it's useful to compare the two shows. For one, ESX is purely an installing/integrating and monitoring show. While ISC West has evolved into a massive show that brings together both end-users and dealers/integrators, the ESX program is focused very specifically on a subset of our market. And while traffic here at ESX is much smaller than at ISC West, there is still quite a bit of business being done here and on the couches in the adjoining hotel lobby. In fact, I have speculated that, based on the number of top monitoring and installing companies here, we're probably seeing representatives from companies that do well over 50 percent of the total business in our installing and monitoring industries. The smaller show size has definitely given this event a very personal, family-like feel. In sum, don't expect the "buzz" that you get about technologies at the ISC West show, but understand also, I think, that this show is driven by training and networking, not technology.
Asked whether the show has "legs", a number of dealers and exhibiting manufacturers said they thought it did, but would need to address issues such as event, education sessions and tradeshow schedule overlaps to ensure that attendees will be able to not only receive their much needed training, but also have more time to visit with product exhibitors on the tradeshow floor. The general attitude from the crowd has been that the training was quite good, with ESX sorting pure educational training from exhibitor training sessions, but promoting both as a value for the attendees.
The 2009 ESX show is planned for June in Baltimore, Md., and the Pennsylvania Burglar and Fire Alarm Association is reported to have signed on as the presenting chapter from the NBFAA.
I want to close my summary of ESX (you can see our content on our ESX 2008 coverage page), with a quote from outgoing NBFAA President George Gunning, who told attendees before the Cris Carter keynote:
"Starting this show is a leap that the industry should have taken a long time ago. This show is for the betterment of you, your business and the industry."
Gunning said that for the NBFAA, any profits from the show will be invested directly back into the organization to help fund association programs such as apprenticeship training for alarm technicians.
Talking to burglars about security
UNC-Charlotte to work with AIREF to help prevent burglaries
Kristie Blevins, Ph.D., an assistant professor of criminal justice at UNC Charlotte, tells SecurityInfoWatch.com that her department will be working with AIREF (the Alarm Industry Research Educational Foundation) on a unique project designed to find out what can deter burglaries. The research is unique because Blevins and others will be speaking to actual burglars to identify how the criminals target homes and businesses for thefts. According to Blevins, AIREF is already working with Rutgers (the state university of New Jersey) on similar research into alarms and burglaries.
In other news...
GE Security's fire research, ADT's new western VP, Another Stanley purchase
On Tuesday, July 1, GE Security will be opening a new, half-million-dollar fire detection research lab at its corporate headquarters in Bradenton, Fla. The lab will allow the company to test and design new products for saving lives by detecting fires.
Former GE Security Homeland Protection Division manager Tony McGraw has been named the new western region vice president for ADT Security Services. He begins at the end of this month.
Stanley Security has continued to grow, and purchasing the retail branch of National Guardian. According to Stanley CSS chief operating officer Tony Byerly, the purchase was a very good fit with the company's planned unification of HSM, A-1 Alarm and Sonitrol. If you're wondering how to unify acquired businesses at your own firm, stay tuned to SIW. We spoke with Byerly earlier this week while at the ESX show and he shared business tips and strategy on the unification of acquisitions.
In the forums
Cameras and bugs: A tech tip
SecurityInfoWatch's forum members regularly discuss incidents, security management, employees issues and more, but this week's featured forums thread concerns the issue of bugs and surveillance cameras. The question was raised about how to keep bugs from obscuring cameras and the tech tip of the week is to consider using mothballs (placed inside camera housings) to keep bugs at bay. It's not designed to take the place of regular maintenance for outside security cameras, but might just work as a stop-gap measure between regular maintenance efforts. [Registration and membership in the SecurityInfoWatch.com forums is free.]
Finally, we close with a look at the most read stories of the week: