The Alarm Association of Florida presented the 2013 Southeast Electronic Security Conference in Orlando, Fla., April 22nd through April 26th. More than 75 vendors occupied 85 booths and by all accounts the conference was a success. President John Toscano said, “All we heard from attendees and exhibitors was how well run the event was and that they would be back next year for the second annual Southeast Electronic Security Conference.” More than 25 percent of the exhibitors signed up for next year even before the event ended. The AAF expects more than 100 booths next year, a 20 percent increase over 2013.
The opening speaker was Steve Rubin of Davis Mergers and Acquisitions. Said Rubin, “One of the best run and most successful meetings we’ve attended…” Trainings included seminars on business topics such as RMR and exit strategies, and technical topics such as locks, hardware and alternative communication methods.
The design of the show experience gave vendors quality time to visit with each attendee, not just a select few. The AAF’s “Passport to Success” encouraged every attendee to visit each booth. Reaction at first was mixed, but by the end of the show everyone was excited about the program. One vendor stated he had 40 new leads he otherwise wouldn’t have had because he had the time to actually speak with each attendee one on one.
The False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA) co-located their annual meeting with the AAF, bringing more than 40 representatives from police and fire department s across the country to partake in the show. Members of FARA are responsible for developing, initiating, and enforcing alarm ordinances and are charged with the responsibility of reducing false alarms. President John Toscano and FARA executive director Brad Shipp worked for more than 13 months to bring the two organizations together for education, networking and understanding the function of each other’s group.
To foster further education and alliances between the alarm industry and public safety, the Alarm Industry Foundation of Florida (AIFF) presented three scholarships during the 43rd annual AAF awards banquet. In addition the AAF Convention Committee presented the AIFF with a donation of $15,000 from the proceeds of the auction held in memory of Bob Worthy, who passed away the night before the convention, as well as excess funds raised by the convention committee.
Toscano was awarded the MVP award for his leadership, vision and dedication to the AAF and for bringing the show to fruition.
Also recognized for his efforts as convention chairman, Roy Pollack was given the President’s Award by Toscano. Roy was also presented with the “Chief’s Award For Excellence”, also commonly called a “challenge coin” by Keynote Speaker Chief Julius Halas, director of the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office.
For more information about next year’s SESC and to see photos of the 2013 show, visit the AAF’s webpage at www.fla-alarms.org/convention.