For a first-time effort, the Rapid Response Users Group and Expo (RRUG) was a success by many different measures. It impressed; it educated; it entertained; it offered opportunities. It will be repeated.

More than 430 attendees and about 40 vendors attended the four-day RRUG, which was held at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, N.Y., during late August/early September.

The theme of the conference and expo was “Visioning the Future,” and every event followed that theme – from exhibitors demonstrating new solutions to help dealers grow their revenue; to CEU-accredited educational sessions to guest speakers such as SDM’s publisher Mark McCourt who spoke about industry trends, and astronaut Richard Searfoss who spoke about how to achieve your vision; to an amazing tour of Rapid Response’s monitoring station and an overview from president Jeffrey Atkins about the technology, people and processes that go into ensuring reliability, speed and precision.

At a welcome breakfast, Atkins demonstrated Rapid Response’s capabilities with a video presentation as well as an overview of the monitoring center’s features. Rapid Response was established in 1992 and today has approximately 350 employees and close to 400,000 customers.

Each shift is well-structured with supervisors, specialists and mentors to assure a high level of service quality.

In addition, “We have a very deep support group – from networks to PCs to every security system manufactured,” Atkins stressed.

SDM spoke with Dave Perry, a partner at Triguard Security Systems, Avoca, Pa., who has had his subscriber accounts monitored by Rapid Response for nine years, who attended RRUG.

“The reason we stay with [Rapid Response] is because we don’t even know they are there. We don’t have to worry about them making mistakes – they just don’t make them,” Perry said.

Atkins shared two announcements:

Rapid Response is currently integrating Stages™ software into its alarm processing platform to offer its dealers the most robust, innovative alarm monitoring backbone, Atkins said. “With Stages, response times will be cut in half,” he related.

Rapid Response introduced its Life Safety Monitoring Services, a division created to meet the needs of customers in both the PERS and medical monitoring industry. This new service will feature monitoring provided by certified emergency call specialists.

The educational portion of RRUG consisted of more than 25 educational sessions, many CEU-accredited.

The RRUG brought together all of the pieces of the puzzle – through discussions and presentations, it exposed dealers to new opportunities. Seminars provided them with more depth on the subject and the vendor expo exposed them to the products and systems used in those markets. Atkins and the Rapid Response team explained how it could provide those specialized monitoring services.

A golf tournament and luncheon closed the event. “I would come back next year without any hesitation. It was worth the time!” said Perry.