Live from Miami at the Americas' Fire and Security Expo 2006: Day 1

Although the first day's foot traffic has been very light at the Americas' Fire and Security Expo 2006, a.k.a., the NFPA show, most exhibitors are looking forward to a stronger day two based on past history. Joining me again this year is Susan Brady, editor-in -chief of Security Dealer magazine, who has 17 years reporting for the magazine.

First on our list of stops was to see Wayne Cook, the director of sales for Winsted, a manufacturer of technical furniture systems like security station consoles, equipment racks and a variety of multimedia desks.

According to Cook, one of the draws of the AFSE show is that it taps the Latin American market more so than any other U.S.-based show. "As an exhibitor, it's essential to have some sort of Spanish speaking Latin American sales representation to be successful," said Cook, who said the show has brought in some good leads. In terms of what's on display, Winsted is at ASE offering a new console that can display nine 42-inch flat panel monitors only. "With its ergonomically correct design and 40 degree viewing, which is where we all view, we've found that consoles are becoming used primarily for monitors," said Cook. "Equipment is stored elsewhere. DVRs are stored in racks that are housed in temperature controlled rooms away from the viewing."

Winsted has redesigned its product line to offer lower profile units that no longer house big, bulky products that take up space in terms of depth. "2007 will be a pivotal year for Winsted as we should finally see a need for the end user to house IP-related products and digital solutions."

UTC Fire & Security came to Miami for the first time, integrating and collocating six well-known brands under one umbrella. On hand from their security group were Lenel Systems and Verex. From the fire group were Kidde de Mexico, Chemetron, Badger and Detronics. Those in attendance to speak to the press were Heather Russell, international marketing manager for Lenel; Carrie Hammond, manager of product strategy for UTC Fire & Security; as well as Kimberly Reidy, manager of media relations.

Other familiar faces included Ligia Apparicio of HID, as well as Ron Rothman and Ralph Maniscalco of Honeywell. Rothman and Maniscalco reported that their New York office is being relocated from from Syosset to Melville, N.Y., two nearby Long Island communities. Tom Buckley, director of sales and marketing for Exacq Technologies was walking the show floor to introduce his new company, a video surveillance provider that merges IP and analog equipment ( Over at the Samsung 360 booth Frank Polidoro and his sales team were busy working their booth. And lastly Nick Martello and Steve Rossi of Honeywell Fire were busy attending to questions from dealers looking for fire systems.

Tomorrow we'll be back with more news from the Americas' Fire and Security Expo as we settle into the nuts-and-bolts of the expo. We'll also hear a report from Susan Brady's distribution roundtable discussion where she'll be analyzing the best performing product categories along with executives from ADI and Tri-Ed.