NFPA expo Day 1

The first day of the NFPA Expo was yesterday from 3:30 to 7:30, and all the usual suspects were there. Traffic appeared light compared to last year in Vegas, but as one person pointed out to me, the center aisle was huge. Even if it was packed, traffic would appear slow with that veritable freeway of an aisle. So I spoke to Lorraine Carli, NFPA director of communications about their Twitter experience, and she said, "the verdict is out." They're giving it a whirl she said, to see if it has value as a business tool. She runs a smart communications operation at NFPA that's focused on news, so it makes sense that they're trying it out--(and that she's skeptical.) She said they had 445 followers, and they use it to drive traffic back to their Web site where they have further information on events, studies, statistics. (We've done some experimenting with Twitter here at United Publications. Not me but Sam and Rhianna. I'd say the verdict is still out for us as well.) So it was mass notification a-go-go at NFPA yesterday--at all the Honeywell Fire Group, Seimens, GE Security, and Simplex Grinnell. Interestingly, SimplexGrinnell was launching a new VSD--video smoke detection, you know like axonX and DTec, in its booth. They're working with a Chinese company called WizMart and the product will be available in North America within 60 days, according to SG's David Brooks. UL and FM had booths on either end of the front row of the show, while ETL, a relative newcomer to the market, was a little further back. Both Fike and Bosch told me last month that they want to take their place among the top four fire providers in the industry within the next 4-5 years. The four dominant players now are: Tyco, Siemens, Honeywell & GE. Fike, which acquired axonX recently, had a big booth a couple rows back from the front, but Bosch had a big honkin' booth in the front row. I saw some familiar faces in a different place yesterday. Former Silent Knight guys, Jeff Hendrickson, Karl Eiden, Hugh Blair and Dave Kosciuk are now working for Potter. Bernie Lears has hired some pros. I have lots more info, but no time. Had hoped for a run along the lake --what a great place to run!--this morning, but work's getting in the way. Gotta check out of the hotel and get to the show for a couple hours before I head back to Maine.