The Electronic Security Expo (ESX) is quickly becoming the “UNevent,” redefining the traditional purpose of industry shows within the electronic security and life safety channel, the organization described in its ESX 2018 wrap-up. The event, held June 19-22 in Nashville, stated its mission was “to bring leaders together to learn more, share more and interact more.”

More than 2,000 professionals registered for the show this year, with nearly 40 percent being first-time registrants. Most attended for four days of networking, quality connections with peers and vendors, and some of the industry’s leading education. 

“I’ve been in the security industry for a little over 30 years now. I learned more in the past two days than I have since returning to the industry two years ago,” said attendee Jonathan Schweiger, CEO of SmartTek Systems. “This may have been my first ESX, but it will not be my last.”

The event — owned by industry trade associations the Electronic Security Association and The Monitoring Association — has invested significant resources in ensuring quality education is delivered at registration prices that allow integration and monitoring companies of all sizes to bring their leadership teams — elevating the industry as a whole.

“ESX proved to be the most valuable industry event for our company’s leadership team. The program, setting and networking activities were amazing,” said Pat Sparrow, director of business development, Telsco Security.

Nearly 75 percent of professionals positively rated this year’s education sessions as “very good” or “excellent.” With sessions being offered that tackled today’s trends, some of the highest attended sessions included:

  • How to Get More Service Calls Completed From Your Technicians
  • Metrics That Matter: Choosing and Using the Right Industry-Specific KPIs
  • Top 5 Disruptive Go-To-Market Strategies Affecting the Residential Market 
  • Creation Costs — Defined, Dissected & Diminished
  • The Monitoring Center of the Future Is Here Now! – Technology You Must Leverage to Thrive

More than 25 products were presented with ESX’s 2018 Innovation Awards, with DMP taking the overall Best in Show designation for a second year, as a result of their TechVision Challenge shark-tank-style pitch of the DMP Virtual Keypad Access platform.

The networking events encourage lasting connections, and the expo is designed to give adequate time for in-depth discussions. Without the hustle and bustle of the bigger shows, exhibitors and attendees alike took the time to get into real, meaningful conversations that will impact their businesses — and may even turn into lasting friendships.

This year’s programming included discussions with sought-after speakers on the future of the industry, marketing in the Age of Disruption and motivating teams to achieve more. Attendees were engaged and inspired by the relevant content in these thought-provoking sessions.

Technology experts Michael Soucie, senior product marketing manager of Google; Michael Simmons, CEO of Driveway and Jeremy Warren, CTO of Vivint Smart Home discussed emerging technologies and services during the OpenXchange Breakfast, sponsored by Qolsys.

The panel addressed the threats and opportunities these disruptors bring to the electronic security and life safety industry, and advised attendees on how to remain relevant and competitive in the evolving marketplace.

Scott Stratten, best-selling author and President of UnMarketing, shared how attendees could create brand stories, satisfy customers and differentiate their company in his session titled “The Age of Disruption: Everything Has Changed and Nothing Is Different,” sponsored by Security Dealer Network.

Don Yaeger, 11-time best-selling author and longtime associate editor of Sports Illustrated, told stories from interviews with many famously effective teams and leaders, then shared their secrets for connecting with a greater sense of purpose in his session titled “Great Teams Understand Why,” endorsed by SDM Magazine.

This year, electronic security and life safety professionals turned their attention to the issue of school safety by participating in the ESX #PassionateSecurity in Schools Initiative, sponsored by CSR Professional Services. This timely response to the important issue facing the country today encouraged attendees to take an active role in championing solutions to increase security and safety in our nation’s schools. 

As part of this initiative, the Closing Keynote Luncheon centered on practical and innovative ways for the industry to provide solutions for school security. The panel featured moderator H. “Butch” Browning, Louisiana State Fire Marshal, panelist Guy Grace, director of security and emergency planning of Littleton Public Schools, and panelist Ryan Petty, a Parkland, Fla., native with years of industry experience who was personally affected by the plague of violence in schools when his daughter was killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSDH) in February.

During the expo, professionals contributed to a three-part mural, being donated next week to MSDH. The inspirational artwork, meant to create an environment of compassion and creativity, included quotes, like that from Anne Frank: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

The initiative was a rallying force for attendees and a reminder to everyone that the industry is working to make the school environment safer. 

ESX will bring #PassionateSecurity to Indianapolis June 2-6, 2019. Registration for the event will open in January.

ESX is grateful to all the attendees, exhibitors and sponsors that made this year’s event and these lasting connections possible. For a full listing of this year’s sponsors, visit