Exploring New Dimensions at First Alert Convention
From new products to new trends, the 2011 First Alert Professional Dealer Convention held in Scottsdale, Ariz., contained plenty of “new,” apt for its theme of “Exploring New Dimensions.” Some 800 alarm dealers, integrators, central station companies, distributors, vendors and speakers from the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America attended the event.
The event opened with the Products & Services Showcase, highlighting new technologies like the Tuxedo Touch™, the LYNX ReadyGuard 5100 with WiFi and 3G/4G radio communicator; the recently upgraded TotalConnect 2.0, the MaxPro® Web, a 100 percent Webenabled hybrid NVR, and new sensors.
While showcasing its new offerings, Honeywell Security and Communications, Melville, N.Y., emphasized that “new” does not mean “hard.” The company has been working overtime to make new technologies more accessible to dealers. Scott Harkins, now president of Honeywell Security Products, said Honeywell is focused on “bringing simple back,” with an emphasis on systems that are easy to sell, design, install and service, including IP surveillance. Harkins also emphasized the opportunities that are available in the small-to mid-sized markets.
Ron Rothman, president of Honeywell Security Group, continued the event’s emphasis of new opportunities though new technologies. Rothman compared the technology he was talking about at First Alert conventions a few years ago to “two tin cans and string” compared to today’s technologies.
“The amount of transition and change we’ve seen in the industry is amazing. The technology is here, the tools are here, the products are here. It’s the best time — the sky’s the limit,” Rothman said.
In the middle of all the technologies, there was still an emphasis on relationships, people and support.
Dan Clark, keynote speaker at the event, is a motivational speaker who overcame a paralyzing football injury. He emphasized that even though the show featured technology, the “primary focus was still about people.”
Nothing highlights the industry’s focus on people and saving lives like the Community Service Awards that Honeywell gave out to nearly two dozen FAP dealers. Tad Agoglia, founder of First Response Team of America, was awarded a special Community Service Award. He has been supported by Select Security, Lancaster, Pa., which provides 20,000 square feet of storage space for First Response Team’s equipment. In the spirit of simply “doing what needs to be done,” when Tucson, Arizona fire fighter and Captain Fred Bair was awarded the Life Safety Award, in his acceptance speech he said he was “just doing his job” when he went into a smoke-engulfed and burning home to save a woman and her daughters.
In another palpable moment at the general session, following a report from the Security Industry Alarm Coalition’s (SIAC) Stan Martin about current non-response projects across the country and the non-profit’s lack of funds, Mike Miller, vice president of Moon Security Systems and past president of the Electronic Security Association, stood up and pledged $1,000 to the organization. Other companies including Loud Security Systems, Matson Alarm, Act Now Alarm, and Electronic Systems pledged money as well. [To send your own donation, visit http://www.siacinc.org.]
During the convention’s closing awards banquet, First Alert Professional also honored dealers for their hard work throughout the year. Jim Callahan, chief operating officer, Ackerman Security Systems, Atlanta, accepted the highest award of the night, the Medal of Honor award for commitment to the advancement of security technology and promotion of the First Alert/Honeywell® dealer network. Visit www.sdmmag.com for a complete list of all the winners in every category.
In addition to all the awards, the First Alert convention included multiple educational sessions for attendees to benefit from and explored the opportunities provided by the Dealer Development Group (DDG). Using the DDG and all the education and support an event like the First Alert Convention provides was emphasized throughout the event. “You know your business. You know your customers. You know how to represent the First Alert Program. Use all the program offers you,” Honeywell encouraged attendees. “Find one new dimension to take home to your business and satisfy customers and grow your business.”