Living north of the Mason-Dixon line, I get a little tired of all the Blue State – Red State chatter and the way that the South gets looked down upon from the ivory towers on both coasts. I have never found it less than rewarding to visit any Southern state or city. The locals are always friendly, the food is always comforting, and the music is always invigorating.
The chance to visit the Electronic Security Expo in Nashville was no exception. I had a great time sampling barb-b-q, listening to honky tonk bands, and sighting Elvis (at last four times in an hour).
My sense of Nashville is that it exists for in-state politics and out-of-state tourists lured by the Grand Ole Opry and the chance to discover the next great country music star in one of the many juke joints along Broadway. Most of the manageable downtown consists of hotels, a few office buildings, the convention center, and a lot of tourism sites and supporting businesses. I didn’t see a lot of residences in town, so the city really seems like a business and arts center.
Nashville is doing a good job of converting long-gone spaces into new places. Former banks on opposite corners are now a gift store and a tattoo parlor respectively.
A visit to the Ernest Tubbs record store reminded me that vinyl lives. And that country and crossover music has a unique heritage all its own. Personal favorites like Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Patsy Cline, and Steve Earle were there in abundance.
By the time the ESX show opened, I was in a mellow CMT frame of mind. It was great to visit clients former (Linear), present (2GIG Technologies, Secure Wireless) and hopefully future (Security Partners). It was even better to help out with some onsite PR when 2GIG Technologies did the remarkable — winning the overall Maximum Impact Award two years running with a second incredible home security/automation panel, the Go! 2.0. It was a terrific way to wind up a fun visit to a fun Southern city. Makes me long for a road trip through Memphis, Charleston, Savannah, Atlanta, New Orleans. . .
Don't tread on me — somehow my Macbook Pro survived being run over with only upper display and case damage.
My trip to the ISC West Security Expo this week didn’t start out on a winning note when I went to straighten my car in a parking space at the airport car park. My laptop case flopped over at the worst possible moment and I managed to run over the edge of it. Despite a creased screen, my Macbook Pro and mental state survived a very bad hand. From there, I found myself having a fun, never less-than-entertaining time in Sin City. I’m not a gambler, so I can usually limit the damage on a Vegas trip to electronica.
Things off to a great start with the chance to catch up with old Newton friend, Don Shook, who now heads Merit Media Relations in Vegas, a PR firm specializing in the packaging industry. We worked together with Don years ago when he handled corporate relations in-house for Graphic Packaging, the folding carton giant, and then a unit of Coors. Don has been a great many things in his career, including law enforcement in CO, a news video editor at Philadelphia’s WPVI-TV when Larry Kane was anchoring there, and a world-class punster. All that and this photo of us in the lobby of the Venetian with a statuesque blonde should more than qualify Don to succeed Ricky Gervais as host of the Golden Globes.
The author and old friend Don Shook, the gold (leaf) standard in media relations.
The rest of my short stay was no less memorable. It consisted of a whirlwind Thursday calling on two Newton clients exhibiting at ISC West and walking a very packed Sands Expo Center.
The folks at 2GIG Technologies continue to lead the industry in security and home automation with panels that emphasize elegant ease-of-use design and do things no one is even thinking about. They use the Alarm.com platform, which was featured in a full page ad in the US Air magazine on my flight in.
The 2GIG booth was demo land at ISC because everyone wanted to get a preview of the new Go! 2.0 panel.
Powerhouse decided that "the force is with 2GIG" and used a Star Wars theme to promote the Go!Control Panel.
The Powerhouse Star Wars suit featured a fully armed Go!Control Panel from 2GIG Technologies
I got a demo of 2GIGs new Go! 2.0 panel and it is quite frankly mind-blowing what they are building in. No wonder their booth was packed from start of show till finish. Also why even their distributors like Power House can’t get enough of this product line — they took to the floor in Star Wars gear with the original Go! Control panel affixed to the front and back of the Imperial Stormtrooper uniform. That’s just terrific trade show buzz-generating fun.
Expertly piggybacking on this Z-Wave of home security functionality is Secure Wireless, another Newton client specializing in the industry’s top wireless transmitters and sensors (compatible with every major manufacturer’s line) plus OEM lines developed for these same makers. Secure Wireless has built a solid business by being even better than the equivalent units by the manufacturers.
Secure Wireless is the one of the leading developers of RF based transmitters and receivers in the world.
The rest of ISC was a blur of very different but always interesting exhibits and statements.
Probably not a good idea to use your products (CCTV cameras) as mini golf hazards in a trade show booth putting green.
Bosch decided to emphasize inventory. Hence an exhibit made entirely out of CCTV packaging.
Assa Abloy was a big presence at ISC West (including a booth big enough to house a tractor trailer).
Capping the day was a chance to catch up with a few old friends at the Nine Fine Irishmen pub at New York, New York. Great Celtic fare for those of us who missed Saint Patrick’s Day, as well as an awesome high-energy house band, Sin E Ri Ra.
And the most amazing groupie I have ever seen.
The Irish know how to have a good time. So do the folks who built and now maintain Las Vegas as one of the world’s great destination cities for business and pleasure.
It's hard to beat Vegas as the 24/7 fun time capital of the world.