Bold Users Conference Attracts Record Numbers With Focus on Education
The “eagles” won the House competition. Members of the winning team received $1,000 per person to be spent on training.
PHOTO COURTESY OF BOLD TECHNOLOGIES
For the past several years, Bold Technologies, Colorado Springs, Colo., focused on building its annual users event to provide more practical knowledge and valuable networking to its customers. This year, more than 200 attendees — up from 130 at least year’s event — convened at the Brown Palace hotel in Denver from Aug. 6 to 9 to participate in the event.
According to Rod Coles, Bold’s president and chief executive officer, the secret to the event’s growth is that it has gained a reputation as a good education event as well as an exciting social event. In the spirit of combining education and fun, the Bold team spiced up its program by adding some competition into the mix. Attendees were sorted into “houses,” or teams, and were able to win points for their house every time they attended a class or vendor presentation. Coles joked, “It’s a bit like the Harry Potter thing.” Instead of a boarding school for magic, Bold created an immersive week-long school for Manitou, its central station automation software. “We had a bit of fun through the whole conference with all the teams collecting points,” Coles said.
“Bold has improved the conference each year, and has now found the perfect format,” said Brett Springall, IT director at Security Central. Springall has been a Bold customer for more than 30 years.
Education sessions were split up into six tracks: IT, IT/operations, operations, trainer, product demonstrations and President’s Club. Part of the benefit of the event’s growth is that the Bold team is able to offer more specialized sessions “on the fringe,” such as a programming course on the company’s MediaGateway. “There were only about 20 people in it but we can now offer that because we have a very nice variety of people,” Coles said.
“I was impressed with how much Bold has grown and their ability to continue to staff quality personnel,” commented Ty Davis, vice president of monitoring services at Life Alert Emergency Response. Life Alert has a relationship with Bold spanning 20 years, Davis noted. “Classes were well thought out and had a variety that would accommodate a novice or expert user. I brought an employee from my IT department that had only been with the company for three months. He was able to get as much from the conference as I did although on two different levels,” he added.
The big buzz this year was around some of Bold’s new products: Bold SOS and the UniversalConnector. Bold SOS is a mobile safety device. Users can raise personal alarms, in case of an attack for example. But the device also connects into their car’s diagnostics. If an accident occurs, an alarm goes out to the central station. “What the [UniversalConnector] does is allow any device to be able to connect in and deliver a signal,” Coles explained. “So you might deliver it through an SMS message or an email, or you might drop a video onto an FTP site, or TCP. It’s a way to take any kind of signal and deliver it to Manitou.” The product won the ESX Mirror award this year.
Bold also presented an address verification product that allows customers to verify their addresses against central U.S. postal service database and launched its BoldNet app for technicians.
Ed Bonifas, vice president of Alarm Detection Systems, Aurora, Ill., and immediate past president of CSAA, was there to present an update on the ASAP to PSAP project. Alarm Detection Systems completed testing of Bold’s compatibility with the program and approved the company on that mechanism.
Attendees enjoyed a Taste of Denver bar and restaurant crawl and a comedy dinner show during that week.