Like a virgin at ASIS 2010

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10/13/2010

Tess Nacelewicz, the new associate editor at Security Systems News here. We'll swap out my photo and bio for Martha's next week when we're all back in Maine, but right now, we're here in Dallas at the ASIS show.

Understand that I’m just three weeks into my new job as associate editor for Security Systems News, and so brand new to the security industry I feel proud when I can use the term “RMR” in a sentence. It’s the first industry acronym I learned, and about the only one I can throw around with any confidence.

And suddenly, my editor puts me on a plane and sends me to ASIS. Its proper name is ASIS International 56th Annual Seminar and Exhibits. But to me, it’s My Very First Trade Show.

Early Tuesday morning, I walked in the door of this giant, giant, Texas-sized room at the Dallas Convention Center. It had an entrance but it didn’t seem to have any back door…no matter how far you walked it seemed there were just more and more booths.

It was noisy, and there were lots of signs and video displays and music and logos. There also were crowds and crowds of people, many of them wearing matching color-coordinated shirts.

But one thing that stood out after spending a day talking to many of them was that they’re some of the most enthusiastic people I’ve ever met in my life. It seems that people in the security business are very passionate about their products. And one of them told me why. He said it’s a good feeling to sell products that save property and lives.

Among other things that stood out were the distinctive booths some companies had. Stanley Convergent Security Solutions went with an “oasis’ theme to convey how safe customers feel when in the company’s hands. They had a grass-thatched hut, surf music playing and a handsome young man wearing shorts and carrying a surfboard standing in front of the booth. He graciously posed with me while my editor took a photo.

Stanley president Tony Byerly said the company has been doing themed exhibits for five years and that they really draw in the customers. This year’s was the most popular yet, he said, with about 1,000 visitors by midday.

Another unique experience was attending a reception at the G4S Secure Solutions booth. Lined up sternly still in front of the booth were what looked like about 10 state troopers in khaki-colored uniforms with wide-brimmed hats. But then I learned that one of the services G4S offers is guarding and those “police” were some of the company’s employees.  With our perimeter well protected, we talked shop, drank beer and ate snacks.

I also learned Tuesday about how Honeywell Security & Communications wants to help homeowners be able to manage the energy needs of their households via their security panels, and saw Protection One’s new logo and heard about that company’s new initiatives for speedy service. I learned that getting into the fire alarm business has proved a good growth strategy for Diebold, and later saw a demonstration on the latest in fire alarm systems at SimplexGrinnell.

And I heard someone use the term “pull-through.” Now, if I can only figure out to use it in a sentence…

Comments

Tess,
It was great to meet you - and laughed at how your head must be spinning. You nailed when you said we are a very passionate industry. You will soon find, once you're in, it's very hard to leave because of the people and how we believe in what we do. Good luck to you!