Live from New York: It's ISC East! Wednesday A.M. Update

We're here in New York with a large number of the East Coast dealers and integrators at the opening of ISC East 2005, and ready to give you the news as it happens.

First things, first: The show opened at 8 a.m. in the basement of the Javits Center with a breakfast presentation of the keynote and opening invocations. Richard Cantor of The New York Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NYBFAA) opened the "festivities" with prayer and our pledge to the nation. Joining Cantor was the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs here in New York, as he implored dealers and the industry to consider hiring our returning veterans as they rotate out of the sand box. He stressed the high-level training that these men and women already have and announced that a database has been built to help connect these returning GIs and prospective employers. Get in touch with the NY Dept of Veterans affairs if you want to assist and find some new staff.

Following the commish was Dean Russo or Reed Expositions, who's headed up the ISC East show and was instrumental in bringing back "East" to the Big Apple. Russo was all smiles as he announced that the show had over 15,000 pre-registrants, a number already 1,000 over last year's well-attended show. It's always a wait-and-see to gauge the turn-out for the show, but we've been coming the show floor, and judging by the number of times we're bumping elbows (and judging especially by the lines for early morning coffee at the kiosks), ISC East is having no shortage of interested dealers. As Russo puts it, "It's clear evidence that this region has embraced ISC East's return to New York City."

Merlin Guilbeau, executive director for the NBFAA and Peter Harlick (publisher of Security Dealer) joined in presenting a scholarship to David Eichler as part of the NBFAA/Security Dealer youth scholarship program that's designed to create good relations between our industry and the responders. Eichler is a junior volunteer firefighter; his dad's a volunteer as well, and when the audience heard the list of accomplishments this young man has done in his first 18 years, I think they all knew why the scholarship for $6,500 went to David. Check out more details of this scholarship on our homepage, where you can find David's essay that helped land him this scholarship.

SIA, as a sponsor of ISC East made a brief presentation of their efforts, but quickly turned the stage over to the folks at "It Takes a Thief." John Douglas Rainey (the thief) and Matt Johnston (his show host and accomplice in crime) and Assa Abloy's Frank Santamorena presented an entertaining look at why the security industry and all of you dealers stay in business as they kicked in doors, stole jewels and walked away with family treasures. Matt stressed that we have to encourage behavioural changes in the consumer: "Your products and services are only as good as the person who enters the code." The audience laughed its way through these staged break-ins. If you've ever wondered why you sell security, tune in on Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. EST as the fall season kicks off.

At 10 a.m. on the dot, as the keynote wrapped up, attendees packed the Javits Center and waited for the official opening of the show. We headed off into the world of handshakes and new products, swinging by a number of booths to check out some cool new products that you're going to love to sell, install and use. Aside from some notable absences of some major industry players, ISC East seems to be breathing well as its

As part of the process, we made our way by the Tri-Ed booth, where they're poising for growth as the new independent player on the distribution side of security and home automation. But more on that later; right now we're just enjoying their gracious Internet access and ready to run to see what's happening elsewhere. Look for updates later in the day as the checks in and gives you the latest news in our best "up east" accent.

That's over and out... I'm your ISC East host, Geoff Kohl from SIW. Check back soon for more updates.

See the Thursday morning update from ISC East: click here.