Associations Focus: NSCA Systems Integration Expo

Celebrating 25 years in style.
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Associations Focus:
NSCA Systems Integration Expo

May 1, 2005 12:00 PM

Celebrating 25 years in style.

Despite two evacuations, attendees, and exhibitors alike report a stellar show at the 25th anniversary celebration of NSCA Systems Integration Expo, held March 10-12 in Orlando on the North side of the Orange County Convention Center's new North/South complex.

“Turning 25 in 2005 was a great experience for us and we couldn't be happier with how things went,” says Chuck Wilson, NSCA executive director. “Exhibitors showed great products and the attendees came away with an invaluable experience.”

Day one of the expo ended 15 minutes early when a sprinkler head malfunctioned, resulting in thousands of gallons of water showering the Christie Digital booth and a few others. The excitement continued on day two when an errant page sent a few attendees out the exits around 3 p.m. The evacuation was meant for another hall after someone reported smoke in a trash container.

Despite these incidents, the 11,000 attendees and 600 exhibitors report compelling conversations and quality business interactions. Integrated systems technologies for the commercial marketplace were the highlight, with exhibits featuring today's newest products for commercial integration. After seeing a range of high-quality professionals, including systems integrators and consultants, exhibitors boasted about the productive conversations in their booths.

“Our demo room was so packed, we had to order more chairs for the second day of the show,” says Randy Siefert, trade show manager with Telex Communications/Electro-Voice. “Overall, the 2005 show was the best NSCA event I've experienced since starting with the company.”

Three technology pavilions proved to be the highlights of the event, showcasing network integration, digital signage, and security/life safety. The Digital Signage LIVE Showcase, co-sponsored by ActiveLight, was again a very popular addition to the NSCA Expo. Covering 7,000 square feet and set up as a sports arena, the pavilion featured computer software exhibits and other solution providers for the fast-growing digital signage market. Sponsorship for the pavilion was provided by Barco, Chief Manufacturing, InFocus, NEC, NEC/Mitsubishi, Samsung and Sony.

Also returning for year two was the Security/Life Safety Pavilion, a 15,000- square-foot space sponsored by the PSA Security Network. The pavilion featured more than 80 of the security industry's most recognizable names, including Bosch, GE, Honeywell, and Pelco.

Close to 3,000 systems professionals took advantage of what is considered the industry's premiere conference for integrated commercial systems. Four hundred-plus hours of education were conducted March 8-12 covering five tracks: audio, business, security/life safety, systems integration/convergence, and video. According to Tom Parker of Sound Equipment Corporation in Hawthorne, N.Y., this year's NSCA conference was “yet another incredibly exciting and beneficial conference.” He added, “I cannot adequately describe the impact on our business it has had. Suffice it to say … the impact is of seismic proportions.”

The debut of the Prove It campaign put systems certification front and center with expo attendees. NSCA rolled out the certified systems installer (C-SI) exam at the show, in addition to offering the certified electronic systems technician (C-EST) exam March 10 and 11. Awarded by NSCA, the C-SI and C-EST are the industry's first electronic systems-based certifications and a prerequisite to NSCA's more advanced certified status, the registered electronic systems integrator (R-ESI). Additional exams will be held in Indianapolis (C-SI May 12 and C-EST May 13) and Houston (C-SI June 7 and C-EST June 8). C-SI review courses are planned for one day ahead of each exam date and C-EST review courses are planned for two days ahead of each exam date.

The show ended with an opportunity for attendees to win prizes, including the event's anniversary giveaway of $25,000. Brian Ruhlman of AVWashington in Sterling, Va., was the lucky winner. “I plan on setting some aside for a honeymoon/vacation and a new vehicle,” he said. “And yes, the ring is already paid off! A huge thanks to AVWashington for sending me to the nice Orlando sun and NSCA for celebrating 25 years in the AV industry.”

Exhibit space is on sale now for the 2006 Systems Integration Expo in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Exhibit dates are March 16-18, 2006, and pre-Expo education opens March 14. More information may be found at www.nsca.org.

For more information about NSCA, visit www.nsca.org or call (800) 446-6722.

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