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George De Marco

SSN exclusive Q&A with ESX Chairman George De Marco

 - 
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

With ESX 2019 just a few weeks away, SSN caught up with ESX Chairman George De Marco to talk about the upcoming conference and expo in Indianapolis, June 3-6, his views on the industry and what he thinks are the greatest challenges and opportunities within security today.

SSN: As the Premier Media Sponsor for the ESX Conference again this year, Security Systems News is excited to support and participate in the conference and expo. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s ESX Conference?

De Marco: Every year, I look forward to reconnecting with security professionals from across North American to get insights on their business challenges and near-term opportunities. However, the Indy Experience is top of mind for me. I’m very excited to head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a tour and an opportunity to jump in a pace car for a quick trip around the track, especially just after the Indy 500 takes place at the Brickyard.

SSN: What do you think are the some of the key benefits of attending ESX? What do attendees have to look forward to this year?

De Marco: The key benefits for security professionals are education, networking opportunities, and quality conversations with exhibitors. For education, our peer-developed and peer-delivered content represents some of the best in the industry … it’s an opportunity for security professionals to gain knowledge about the trends, opportunities and challenges in the industry, including learning best practices from industry thought leaders. Our networking opportunities allow security professionals to spend time with their peers and colleagues in informal settings to talk shop and allow for deep conversations on how to solve everyday problems with real solutions. In addition, the exhibit hall is where dealers and integrators will have quality conversations on ways to grow revenues and improve profits.

SSN: You have some exciting keynote speakers this year. Can you talk a bit about each one and what they bring to a show like ESX?

De Marco: Every Main Stage session brings something special to ESX, whether its inspirational, business-focused, or addressing the changing competitive landscape. The OpenXchange begins the Main Stage journey with a drone company founder who has a unique perspective on security as well as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence from Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital firm that specializes in investing in incubation, early stage and growth companies.

The Opening Keynote, Dr. Rick Rigsby, will highlight a profound message about rediscovering what is really important and meaningful for organizations to consider. The General Session centers on a compelling message from Kevin Brown, called the Hero Effect, giving us insights on what it takes to reach beyond what is required and do something remarkable — personally and professionally. And our Closing Keynote focuses on taking security to the next level. A Secret Security agent and a Director of Safety from the motorsports racing company will illustrate a process to change our perspective on how we approach security, especially in the workplace and in schools. In addition, during the Closing Keynote, we will recognize recipients of ESA’s Scholarship and TMA’s Public Safety Award, including SIAC’s PDQ and Moody awards.

SSN What do you think are the top trends — technology and otherwise — impacting, shaping and affecting the industry today?

De Marco: I think the future of interaction with security systems and connected devices is beginning to take effect, from voice-recognition and voice-enabled technologies. As the interaction of voice evolves into a more natural experience for humans with their computer counterparts, the adoption of smart home devices and security-related products will grow within the home, at work, and on the road.

The definition of monitoring is being redefined beyond just dispatching police or fire services. As next-gen monitoring evolves, new services are being developed that provide consumers and businesses with personalized monitoring capabilities for their specific needs, like self-directed and on demand monitoring options and concierge-type services.

SSN: What are some of the most notable challenges — disruptive factors — for security pros today and how will ESX address these and help them to overcome them?

De Marco: I believe false alarms continue to impact the industry, highlighting the need to use technology to find a better method that significantly reduces false dispatches. With the help of video using AI and machine learning capabilities, metadata that brings context to data received from connected sensors and mobile devices and next-gen monitoring processing, the combined methodologies will greatly reduce false dispatches over time.

Labor shortage is causing some companies to tap down their growth initiatives. As dealers and integrators struggle to find a qualified workforce in traditional channels, I think progressive companies are looking outside these channels to attract new employees and are reevaluating their organization’s culture, purpose and training to be more aligned to attract next-gen workforce.

Industry disruptors are beginning to evolve their offerings to be more mainstream which is changing consumer buying behaviors for security and safety products and services for homes and apartment communities. This trend is having traditional dealers and integrators reassess the residential channel and consider pivoting to the commercial marketplace.

Lastly, the 3g sunset is looming on the horizon and is a major concern for industry professionals. The cost to upgrade communications protocols and rolling a truck are expensive. It also negatively affects customer retention as consumers seek alternative solutions for their security needs, causing attrition rates to spike.

Our educational tracks deliver ideas and real-world solutions that help mitigate the effects of disruptive technology, offer innovative go-to-market strategies, and survive the current challenging workforce environment.

SSN: What do you think is the overall state of the industry and the forecast moving forward?

De Marco: I believe the industry has some interesting challenges ahead, especially as the competitive landscape unfolds. Disruptive companies, like Amazon and SimpliSafe, as well as the 3g sunset, margin compression, creation multiples, and the cost of customer retention programs play a major factor into lenders and buyers’ valuation methodology, which are all beginning to contribute to downward pressure for acquiring RMR contracts. In recent years, there seems to be a pivot towards commercial security and fire systems by traditional dealers and alarm companies.

ESX Innovation Awards to recognize top products at Expo

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Each year, the ESX Innovation Awards program recognizes outstanding products and services that drive the electronic security and life safety industry forward. This year’s winners will receive their awards on the expo floor at ESX on June 4 and be featured in the Innovation Awards Showcase during expo hours, June 4-5 at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

To determine the best from each category, judges select winners from a pool of applications from manufacturers and service providers, serving the industry with innovative end-user offerings and tools that help dealers, integrators and monitoring professionals become more efficient and profitable.

“The nominees for ESX Innovation Awards were extremely impressive this year and nicely represent the electronic security and life safety industry,” George De Marco, ESX Chairman said in the announcement. “Solving everyday problems is the key to growth opportunities for dealers, integrators and monitoring companies to better compete in the marketplace.”

The winners selected are recognized as next-gen products and services that offer significant opportunities for growth. Judges from across the country are invited to provide their expert opinions. This year’s judges are: Rodger Reiswig, Johnson Controls (Florida); Grady Medcalf, Spectrum (Colorado); Michele Monheim, Amherst Alarm (Upstate New York); Steven E. Paley, Rapid Security Solutions (Florida) and Adam Thompson, Wired-Up Systems (Arizona).

Entrants to the Innovation Awards program are judged on: Features and functions, innovation, end-user experience, ability to solve a problem, revenue growth potential, impact on company efficiencies and compliance with regulations. These metrics provide a rubric that determines the most innovative and exceptional products and services in the industry.

Winners of the Innovation Awards will be featured in the ESX Innovation Awards Showcase in Booth 615 during live expo hours, June 4-5.

To determine the best in show, the ten most innovative category-winners will enter the TechVision Challenge – a “Shark Tank” style competition before a panel of judges at ESX. The winner of the TechVision Challenge will be announced live from the expo floor at ESX Central on June 4.

Registration is still open for ESX. For more information and to register, visit ESXweb.com.

ESX closing keynote panel to focus on school safety

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05/10/2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—ESX will focus its final Main Stage session on enhancing school security during the Closing Keynote Luncheon, starting at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, June 22. A mixed panel comprised of industry representatives will address the recurrence of violence in U.S. schools, and ways to make learning environments safer for children.

ESX 2018 registration is open

 - 
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

In mid-October, ESX opened registration for ESX 2018, to be held in Nashville, Tenn., June 19-22. “To open the event to even more industry professionals, ESX is launching registration with budgeting season in mind,” the announcement read.  

"It takes people to drive profits," ESX chairman George De Marco said in a prepared statement. "At a time when market competition has never been fiercer, it's important to invest in your people—to fuel their development. Launching registration early allows business owners and management to plan for ESX, while in budgeting mode. I urge you to think hard about professional development programming for you and your team — I'm confident there's no other event that can deliver the same impact to your business."

Additionally, ESX is currently offering its full-access Premium Pass at $199. The event will feature new technologies, perspectives ideas and best practices relevant to electronic security and life safety companies.

According to the announcement, “Educational programming will address such topics as: building sales teams, increasing leads, driving profits with doorbells, cameras and door locks, tracking top KPI's, customer care programs, creation cost analyses, organic vs. acquisition growth, disruptive technologies, cyberattacks, attracting and retaining operators, and more.”

What truly makes an event meaningful?

10th annual ESX solidifies a decade of success
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06/21/2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—It’s a wrap on the 10th annual Electronic Security Expo (ESX), which took place here June 13-16. Connections were made. Ideas were shared. And quality conversations were had.

ESX announces 2017 innovation award winners

Award recognizes products and services driving the industry forward
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05/24/2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Electronic Security Expo announced the winners (see list below) for its 2017 Innovation Awards, recognizing outstanding products and services that drive the electronic security and life safety industry forward.

ESX announces speaker for Public Safety Luncheon

Criminal defense attorney to look at role of digital forensics in the courtroom
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04/28/2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—ESX, which is at the Music City Center here June 13-16, announced the main stage speaker for its Public Safety Luncheon: Miles Brissette, a senior criminal trial attorney based in Fort Worth, Texas, who will look at how video surveillance evidence in the courtroom impacts criminal and civil cases.

ESX announces keynotes and exhibit space expansion

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

ESX has made several announcements recently regarding its 2017 conference, to be held at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn., from June 13-16.

“Every year, planning a show like ESX is both challenging and rewarding. For 2017, it is more challenging than most,” ESX chairman George De Marco told Security Systems News via email. “Being our 10th anniversary of ESX, we want to make the attendee experience commensurate with celebrating this milestone.”

ESX looks for feedback from its attendees, De Marco said. "From this feedback, we learn the most important reasons why ESX matters to them, and continue to tweak ESX to fine tune the attendee experience. For 2017, the education will emphasize the practical and proven methods that improve operational and financial results. Some of them are basic, but even professional athletes are coached on fundamentals every year," he said. 

Bestselling author Dr. Robert Kriegel will be the ESX 2017 keynote speaker. His presentation, “Innovate or Else,” will focus on various strategies for addressing change, challenge and competition in the industry.

Kriegel will deliver five strategies for developing new opportunities, ESX wrote in its announcement. He will also discuss the four most common obstacles to innovation and how to overcome them, outlining how to prepare for change and challenging the status quo.

“Innovative ideas often come from places you haven’t looked before,” Kriegel said in a prepared statement. “One of the best sources is to look outside of your industry.”

Kriegel’s clients include AT&T, BP Chemical, Boeing, Comcast, Exxon Mobile, Kraft General Foods, Nike, and the U.S. Navy as well as others.

The keynote for this year’s luncheon will be author, speaker and aviator Carey Lohrenz, She is a former Lieutenant in the United States Navy and was the first female aviator to fly an F-14 Tomcat.

“In a fast-paced environment, leading fearlessly is not easy, but it can be done,” Lohrenz said in a prepared statement. “The ability to work through fear kept me alive as I operated under dangerous conditions and in life-or-death situations on the flight deck.”

Lohrenz will speak from experience on the foundation for strong leadership, team motivation and how companies can elevate their business.

The ESX Keynote Luncheon is sponsored by Security America RRG. Security Systems News is the media sponsor of the luncheon.

In late March, ESX announced it added 30 new booths to the show floor. "Over 200 exhibiting and sponsoring companies will participate in ESX," ESX said.  

Qualcomm, ADT, August to talk trends at ESX

Panelists will assess the competitive landscape for the security industry
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05/04/2016

FORT WORTH, Texas—ESX on May 3 announced that speakers from Qualcomm, ADT and August will be the panelists for its OpenXchange Breakfast, which will take place here on June 8.

ESX 2016 announces Innovation Award winners

Ten finalists will compete in Texas for ‘best of show’ honors
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04/27/2016

FORT WORTH, Texas—The 25 Innovation Award winners (see full list below) were announced by ESX today, and 10 finalists will be chosen from that list to battle it out in the second annual ESX TechVision Challenge, an interactive competition held live at ESX 2016 in the Fort Worth Convention Center, Texas, on Tuesday, June 7.

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