Industry Rejuvenation, Not Products, on Display at NSCA’s Business & Leadership Conference

Published: 2016-02-29

There was a point late in NSCA’s 18th annual Business & Leadership Conference (BLC), which took place February 25-27 in Dallas, when everything was fair game.

The 380 attendees had been through nearly three days of inspirational presentations and thought-provoking, industry-specific panel discussions and open bars. Reluctance to share ideas and propensity to be overly polite had long since been checked at the door, as executives from AV, life safety and security integration firms seemed to collectively embrace their networking opportunities.

During the last session, titled “Beer and Bull Interactive,” one attendee challenged NSCA executive director Chuck Wilson on why a particular technology wasn’t discussed more during the BLC.

“We try not to discuss any technology at this event,” Wilson fired back.

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That may seem like an innocuous point, but anybody whose organization relies in part on support from advertisers or event sponsors, knows making that statement took guts. It also encapsulates why the event seems to resonate with and engage attendees.

NSCA members are in the technology business, and BLC is entirely focused on the less sexy business portion of that term. Attendees—and sponsors—appeared to be all in.

One panel discussion centered on how to sell your integration firm, a topic that is more encompassing than you might think. “The day you should start thinking about selling your business is the day you start your business,” said Barry Goldin, president of Unified AV Systems.

CI editor Tom LeBlanc discusses attendee engagement at NSCA’s 2016 edition of it Business & Leadership Conference:

That particular session featured NSCA outgoing president Michael Hester, who recently handed over the reins of his own business, Beacon Communications, and was preparing to embrace retirement.

Hester, an industry leader and veteran, sharing knowledge based on his experiences shopping and selling his company—investors loved that he had already stepped away from day-to-day business as president Brad Walsh took the lead, he explained—is an example of BLC culture.

Next generation leaders pick industry veterans’ brains. The older attendees, at least most of the time, listen and learn when younger attendees challenge industry conventions.

Posted in: Insights, News

Tagged with: BLC, Human Resources, NSCA

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