Calling all judges!

I’ve been a judge for the Security Industry Association’s New Product Showcase awards-based marketing program for quite a few years now. The NPS was established in 1979 to recognize innovative products, services and solutions in electronic physical security. Technologies showcased through this program are used in the protection of life and property in residential, commercial and institutional settings.

And while like you, my plate is full with work obligations, I find being a judge a nice distraction from day-to-day business activities and a great way to network with others in the industry. I’ve met many wonderful contacts from all parts of the industry—from end users and consultants to security directors and systems integrators.

What I really enjoy about being part of the awards process is the camaraderie and also, the opportunity to get a firsthand look at new technologies and what might be coming from manufacturers in the industry. I enjoy the full day we spend looking at new products that have entered the program, and finding those that have a great fit with a new or consistent need in the industry. I see that the entrants have spent quite a bit of time in designing the presentations to showcase their research and development efforts. And while not everyone wins an award, there are many, many products that demonstrate the industry’s continued commitment to meeting the needs of the end-user and integrator communities and many different vertical markets.

As part of the SIA NPS Marketing Committee, which I am also a member, I have seen the awards change and morph with the times to include new and emerging categories. These are not by any means static awards—the categories are often revised and tweaked to reflect new trends in the industry as we try to gauge what is needed by the integrator audience, who, by the way, make up quite a few of the judges in the SIA NPS.

Currently, SIA is looking for additional judges for the 2013 awards, which are judged the day prior to the show floor’s opening at ISC West. We spend the entire day viewing demonstrations by manufacturers in a variety of categories (you can find all the categories and judging criteria at the link above). We then meet at the end of the day to discuss what we feel may be award-bound and the next morning, set off to get more information from the show floor from the companies that have entered products.

Judges can be end users, integrators, distributors or media. If you are interested in putting your hat in the ring, you can contact Runjit Chandra, SIA's Online Marketing Coordinator, at If you are selected, you certainly won’t be sorry and you will definitely find time to be part of this illustrious team.