ESX 2012 Education and Networking Opportunities a Success
July 10, 2012 — The Electronic Security Expo (ESX) wrapped up a week of education, special events, networking opportunities, and in-depth show floor conversations during its 2012 event, June 25-29. The event, held at the Nashville Convention Center in Nashville, TN, continued its tradition as the highest-quality education and networking event for security integration and monitoring companies.
ESX began on Monday, June 25, with association meetings from CSAA and ESA, as well as the ESA Professional Groups Kickoff Reception, sponsored by YSP, at the Whiskey Bent Saloon. Tuesday's activities started with the ESA Eye-Opener Breakfast, sponsored by ESA’s Young Security Professionals, where Security Systems News Editor, Martha Entwistle, introduced this year's group of 20 Under 40 professionals and moderated a panel featuring group members and their mentors.
The ESX Industry IceBreaker Luncheon featured Marianna Perry, M.S., CPP, the former director of the National Crime Prevention Institute at the University of Louisville and general manager of one of the region's largest private security companies, who discussed the importance of public-private safety cooperation. During the luncheon, SIAC presented the PDQ Award to HS Technology and the Moody Awards to ADS Security CEO Mel Mahler and Maria Malice, vice president of special projects at C.O.P.S. Monitoring.
This year's IceBreaker Luncheon also introduced the CSAA Marketing MARVEL Award, which was presented to Redwire, and the ESA Youth Scholarship Award, given to Emma Soneson of Higganum, CT.
The ESX conference and education program, which featured more than 75 of the industry's top presenters, kicked off on Tuesday afternoon and included the brand new NexTech Mini-Track, which focused on generating recurring monthly revenue (RMR) from technologies, such as IT, home and building automation and distributed audio/video. The conference and education program also introduced the Central Station Technology Mini-Track, with two seminars focused on the impact of new tech on the central station. This year's program featured 31% higher attendance, a huge jump for the education sessions.
"The classes are excellent. I haven't been to a conference in a long time that has been as good as this one. The questions that I had when I came were answered," says Mike Gibson, principal of General Alarm. "We're in a technology change in this industry — there are a lot of advancements that have been made in technology. The classes that I took here all centered on how the changes could work in our business — very valuable information."
Tuesday evening, All-Star Host Company ADS Security hosted a Backstage Central Station Tour of its facility, with attendees getting a behind-the-scenes look at the only UL-listed, CSAA Five Diamond Central Station monitoring operation in Middle Tennessee.
Tuesday concluded with the ESA Weinstock and Jackson Awards Celebration, where Dan Budinoff of Security Specialists was named the Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year and Bob McVeigh of Security Solutions was given the Sara E. Jackson Memorial Award.
CSAA began on Wednesday with its Central Station Excellence Awards Breakfast, which recognize the most innovative, highest performing central stations and outstanding managers, operators and support people. This year's winners are:
Vivint: CSAA Central Station of the Year
Amy Becht, Vivint: CSAA Central Station Manager of the Year
Gale Gordon, The Protection Bureau: CSAA Central Station Operator of the Year
David Palacios, United Central Control: CSAA Central Station Support Person of the Year
The ESX Keynote Luncheon featured Kix Brooks of the legendary duo Brooks and Dunn, who shared stories of his success and played three of his classic songs, including "Red Dirt Road." On behalf of this year’s Keynote sponsor, Security America RRG, Kix Brooks awarded Koorsen Security Technology with a cruise and Policyholder winner Shenandoah Valley Security with a $500 cash prize. At the conclusion, the packed house gave Brooks a standing ovation.
After the Keynote, the Show Floor opened, with 189 exhibitors and sponsors spread out over 65,000 gross square feet ready for quality conversations with attendees. On the Show Floor, the winners of the Maximum Impact Awards were announced, with 2GIG Technologies' Go! 2.0 winning the Best Overall Award. Click here to view all of the winners.
"With everybody that's coming through – there are no real tourists. Most people know what they want and what they're looking for and they want to figure out how to get it," says Sean Freeman, systems integration specialist at Wynit, an ESX Exhibiting Company. "On our end, it's been great finding out what's happening in the industry and what actual installers are experiencing. It's been a great opportunity for us to be here."
On Wednesday afternoon, the brand new ESX Happy Hour provided live music, drinks and food on the Show Floor, with attendees and exhibitors getting the chance to share a drink, have a bite, and make quality connections.
"One of the really neat features here is the networking. I thought the Happy Hour, and even the Pub Crawl, were really important," says Amanda Polizzi, account executive at ABF Security.
Wednesday ended with the annual ESX Crawl, with attendees making their way through Nashville's Lower Broadway, including stops at Rippy's Smokin' Bar and Grill, Tootsie's World Famous Orchid Lounge, The Stage on Broadway and Tequila Cowboy Bar & Grill. From bull riding to karaoke, the bars buzzed with conversations and glimmered with the glow of light up pins, bracelets and necklaces. During the crawl, a guitar signed by Kix Brooks was auctioned off, with the new ESA president John Knox handing it off to Jason Butler of Goldleaf Data.
The auction amounted to $3,700 in proceeds all benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project and TNESA's Benevolence Fund.
Thursday morning began with the ESX Rise and Shine Breakfast - Trends in Mergers, Acquisitions and Valuation. A panel of industry experts, including George De Marco, ESX Chair; Joe Nuccio, president and CEO of ASG Security; Mel Mahler, president of ADS Security; Bill Polk, managing director of security, defense and technology for Capital One and Amy Kothari, president and CEO of Alarm Capital Alliance discussed emerging RMR streams and how attendees can create a well-defined and highly profitable acquisition plan.
ESA's Industry Luncheon and Annual Meeting on Thursday afternoon featured presenter Kristen Simmons, former vice president of marketing at Mazda North America and leader of the "Zoom-Zoom" campaign, who discussed the importance of the customer experience when dealing with security companies. At the luncheon, ESA also provided updates on the association's activities, programs and plans, and installed the new leadership, including President John Knox of Knox Integrated Solutions.
Thursday ended with the SDM 100 Gala, featuring a 1940’s theme and entertainment provided by Gwen Hughes and the Continental Orchestra. The top 100 companies in the industry were honored at this seventh annual event.
"I find this to be a very concise, well-packaged show with a very high quality of attendees," says Mike Donegan, vice president of the RMR Capital Group. "I think that's what sets it apart from some of the other shows. We've had significant conversations with the people we came to the show specifically to see. We had an agenda when we came to the show, and it's more than met our expectations. We are delighted."
ESX, the only show owned and sponsored by the industry's largest associations, the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) and the Electronic Security Association (ESA), attracted high-quality security integration and monitoring companies from across the country, including California, Florida, Louisiana, Texas and more.
"ESX 2012 proved that the electronic security industry is focused on growth, especially innovative technologies and interactive services that generate higher recurring monthly revenue per customer," says ESX Chair George De Marco.
"From the conference and education program to the show floor to the special events, the knowledge shared and the business relationships gained at ESX greatly exceeded expectations."
Recordings of select seminars in the conference and education program will be available for viewing over the coming weeks at ESX's premium content section, ESXperience.
ESX 2012 featured 2,629 registrants, including 611 conference attendees (a 31% increase vs. 2011), meeting with 189 exhibitors in 65,000 gross square feet of space.
Sponsors of ESX 2012 included:
Platinum Sponsors: ESC Central, Honeywell Security Group, Tri-Ed/Northern Video Distribution, and The CentraLarm Group of Companies
Gold Sponsors: DMP-Digital Monitoring Products, DSC-Digital Security Controls, Interlogix, Security America RRG and The Systems Depot
Silver Sponsors: Bosch, Digimerge, Paxton Access, SunWize Technologies, Telguard and Universal Power Group
Premier Media Sponsor: Security Systems News
Additional Media Sponsors: Business Solutions Magazine, SDM, SDI, Security Products, Security Sales & Integration and SecurityInfoWatch.com
Special Event Sponsors: ADT Authorized Dealer Program, Alarm.com, Alarm Capital Alliance, Axis Communications, DMP-Digital Monitoring Products, ESA's Young Security Professionals, Goldleaf Data, Honeywell Security Group, Interlogix, Lutron, Micro Key Solutions, Milestone Systems, Napco Security Technologies, Optex, Paxton Access, SDM, Security America RRG, Security Sales & Integration, SedonaOffice and The Systems Depot.
Conference Track Sponsors: Alarm Financial Services, Bold Technologies, Diebold, Napco Security Technologies, Netsertive, SurGard, SD&I, SecurityInfoWatch.com and SDM