Down at the co-locatedESI Forum and ESA Leadership Summit events being held at the Omni Mandalay at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas, we had our own “flash mob” experience at the Wednesday morning session. While previewing ESX, to be held June 25-29, 2012, George DeMarco announced the keynote speaker would be Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn (so perfect for a convention located in “Music City,” Nashville). While tapping our feet to a video of Boot Scootin’ Boogie, suddenly people from all over the ballroom started clapping and heading to the stage. On stage, they broke out line dancing with some pretty impressive unison. We also watched a video capturing the traditional Pub Crawl held at ESX every year.

“We were mingling. We were socializing. It’s a valuable social event, where everybody gets rid of the ties and we all get to know each other and have fun,” says Mari Browne, managing director, Liamuiga Security Company, Bassetere, St. Kitts, when describing last year’s Pub Crawl. If the Pub Crawl video and the line dancing on stage was an indication of the fun to be had in Nashville, I ready to pack my bags.

While it’s hard to beat the Boot Scootin’ Boogie, ESA Executive Director Merlin Guilbeau took on the challenge later in the lunch general session, presenting the results from the ESA’s annual study of its members, used to determine the major technology and business practice trends that are driving electronic security integration and monitoring companies. Hey, if you’re a statistics person, it was equally as exciting! The session, titled, “Electronic Security: MegaTrends,” confirmed much of the data SDM has seen in the research it conducts every year for the “SDM Industry Forecast.” Video is the leading potential revenue source, according to respondents, followed by access and then intrusion. Retail is the No. 1 vertical market expected to see the most growth, followed by office buildings and restaurants, respectively.   Another interesting stat? Respondents reported 3.3 percent growth in 2011, up from 1.7 percent in 2010.