This year’s CONNECT 2016 Conference gathered Honeywell authorized security dealers and integrators from all over the nation Nov. 10 – 13, 2016 at the Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Fla.

Focusing not only on the products and technology, Honeywell CONNECT made great strides once again in highlighting the voices and collaboration of dealers and integrators within their network. The theme of the conference was, “Your Voice. Your Network. Your Future.” — aiming to emphasize that Honeywell’s partnership is not just a one-way street.

“Every year we come up with a theme for Connect and, you know, what’s relevant? What matters? What are we trying to communicate? And the first part here is your voice. And I say your voice because your voice is critically important. We rely on the feedback we get from you to drive future development of the products, to drive future development of the program, and to enhance the overall customer experience,” Marek Robinson, president of Authorized Dealer Programs for Honeywell Security, said.

The attending dealers’ and integrators’ voices were prevalent in everything taking place from the products chosen to be shown, to the events selected to take place, and even the structure of the general sessions and breakout sessions.

In session one Robinson discussed Honeywell’s state of mind for the current market and how much that was affected by those who made it up.

The session examined industry issues and topics and was highlighted by a presentation on the Internet of Things by Todd Carson, district manager, Honeywell Fire & Security — most notably, the things, smarts and connections that make it up.

Following Carson’s presentation was the highly anticipated look into the new Honeywell Lyric Gateway led by Inder Reddy, general manager of Intrusion & Residential Solutions, Honeywell Security & Fire. While guests had the opportunity to see the Lyric up close the night before, the presentation covered its features and uses in more depth, including the technology (SiX Two-Way Wireless Sensors, LYRIC-3G Digital Cellular Communicator (AT&T), LYRIC-CDMA Communicator and Z-Wave) and installation, which Honeywell promoted with the “Honeywell Lyric Gateway Challenge,” a competition to see who could install the system fastest due to its ease of installation.

The second session kept the same cadence, but broke away to feature the first keynote speaker, Grant Cardone. Cardone is a New York Times best-selling author and speaker who specializes in social media and is considered a top sales training expert in his field. He spent his lecture detailing how dealers and integrators can increase their sales significantly by upping their social media game and teaching tactics to motivate their teams.

Rounding out the session was Alice Debiasio, general manager of Cloud Services, Honeywell, who discussed cloud services in residential platforms, as well as Brian Casey, general manager of Small to Medium Business Solutions, Honeywell, who detailed these solutions, specifically focusing on video alarm verification.

During the second session, Honeywell presented its Circle of Excellence Awards to 25 different dealers and integrators from across the country. 

The third and last session opened with something fun to start off everyone’s Saturday. All of the attendees in the audience participated in the wildly popular Mannequin Challenge, which Honeywell will be posting to its Twitter account.

Robinson then brought everything back together by discussing the theme once again, specifically “Your Voice.” He emphasized the point that Honeywell is there for its dealers and that none of this was possible without them. “We really make sure that we’re providing as much support as possible to the dealers. So, this area is a work in progress, but we recognize it as an area that we need to get better in and more targeted as to who in the company should get specific emails and what information you need to know,” Robinson said.

Robinson also made an announcement stating, “Starting in 2017, your Honeywell Fire purchases will count towards your target achievements. They will count towards your tiered status in the program and there will be additional upsides for all of you. So, this is a really big deal. It’s something that we’re excited about and in just talking to dealers about it, the dealers are very excited too.”

Samir Jain, general manager of Enterprise Solutions, discussed the varying levels of enterprise-sized business and how investing and acquisitions can benefit each one.

The keynote speaker for this session was Robert Rahm, an international motivational speaker, best-selling author and educational consultant. Rahm worked with everyone in the audience to identify not only the kind of person they were and what fuels them, but how to identify and get the most out of your relationships with the other three types.

Rahm’s message paired nicely with the entire theme of the conference in that, in order to properly connect with people, you need to be able to understand not only yourself, but use that to understand those around you. “The way you connect with people is not watching which way they’re leaning or crossing. It’s connecting with their pace; with their motor,” he said.

Breakout Sessions

The breakout sessions ended up being that star of the show. Robinson stated, “We went about our breakout sessions in a completely different fashion this year; we actually have 60 percent more dealer-led presentations in our breakout sessions than we did last year.”

Led by the dealers, for the dealers, most were excellent sessions on what products Honeywell offered, how to use them, and the best ways to sell and apply them to their customers, such as “AlarmNet 360 – Simplify your business with analytics” and “What’s the Buzz About Skybell?” Others included insights into the industry such as “The Changing Acquisition World” and “Business Insight from Cloud Hosted Services.”

All-in-all, Honeywell CONNECT not only brought its authorized dealers together, but it built a platform in which everyone can speak and be heard. “It’s always great to share a face-to-face conversation with a colleague in a social setting. Honeywell has created this amazing atmosphere full of positive energy that encourages personal and professional success,” attendee Crystal Newton, marketing coordinator at Bates Security, said.

Honeywell also created such a sense of community that it’s no wonder they’ve become such a respected name within the industry. “We are on a path unlike anything we’ve ever been on before — and not just from a product and technology standpoint — but I truly believe that we’ve got a great group of dealers involved who will hold us accountable that the changes we implement in the program are the ones that are most important to you,” Robinson said.

CONNECT 2017 will be held Nov. 9-12 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.