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Associations Focus: Busy Season

Jul 1, 2006 12:00 PM

Organizations offer industry pros a swarm of conferences, certification courses, events, and resources to help achieve business goals.

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InfoComm International



NSCA provides members of the electronic systems industry with the research and training tools they need to grow their businesses all year long. Topping off the education program for 2006, the Fall Business Conference (FBC) will offer a multitude of learning opportunities for owners and managers. The event will take place Oct. 26-28 in Myrtle Beach, S.C., at the Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort at Grand Dunes.

New this year at the FBC is the opportunity to accumulate learning units toward a certificate of completion from NSCA University.

“There are two tracks of seminars, so each attendee can tailor their learning experience to align with specific business needs and priorities,” notes Lauralie DeWulf, NSCA manager of education programs and events. Additionally, general sessions address key issues facing the entire systems integration industry.

Right now, NSCA is seeking contractor companies with best-in-class business strategies as the association prepares for the third annual Excellence in Business Awards, to be presented at the kick-off dinner at the FBC. To read profiles of last year's winners or for additional information, visit

More than 62 percent of available conference seats are already reserved, so those interested in attending should visit before the event is sold out.


Not only did the Drunk Unkles benefit concert for the NSCA Education Foundation at Expo 2006 garner support for a great cause, but the event itself was a shining example of member involvement with the association. The musicians on stage were industry veterans, the event sponsors were reputable manufacturers, and audience members were enthusiastic supporters who knew a good show when they saw one.

Backstage, there was another exemplary effort made by On Stage Audio (OSA), the company providing audio and lighting support for the event. In a striking display of generosity, the firm provided its staging services and equipment free of charge to the Education Foundation.

A new NSCA member company, OSA has already given back to the industry with this gesture. Jim Risgin from OSA made the decision to donate his company's services for the worthy cause, saying his company certainly plans on benefiting from NSCA education programs. With locations in Detroit, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Orlando, Fla., OSA provides rental, installation, and integration services.


NSCA's new proprietary SystemsPlus insurance program provides member companies with customized solutions for protecting their people and assets. SystemsPlus P&C (Property and Casualty) and SystemsPlus Surety can be tailored to the individual needs of electronic systems businesses. Estimates on premiums are easily obtained by calling (888) 864-5455. A quote is guaranteed to be delivered within a 24- to 48-hour turnaround, and in some cases, an estimate can be made over the phone. Learn more about the program at


The successful launch of the NSCA University Certificate of Completion Program at Expo 2006 in March has triggered enrollment by a growing list of companies and individuals. In order to provide more avenues for accruing the learning units required to achieve a certificate of completion, NSCA is developing partnerships with manufacturers and other industry training providers. The renowned Syn-Aud-Con course is the first to receive Learning Unit Provider status, and other valuable educational offerings are expected to follow suit.

“The Certificate of Completion Program provides a way for individuals and companies to show that they're involved with continuing education and they are on the cutting edge of technology,” comments Chad Sowers, NSCA's senior manager of education programs. “Business owners, techs, and installers will all benefit from keeping up with the latest technologies and trends while they work toward obtaining certificates with any of the six colleges in the NSCA University.”


The third quarter Market Intelligence Briefing (Q3 MIB) released last month explores the design-build model. Findings in the report, titled “Design-Build Trends in the Commercial Electronic Systems Industry,” quantify the benefits and pitfalls of this business model. The impact it has had on the businesses of systems contractors and consultants is examined with an eye to both current and future conditions. Moreover, an industry definition of “design-build” is debuted in this influential report.

This latest NSCA research effort provides members with a thorough analysis of how the electronic systems business is changing. These and other insights are available to all corporate member companies as part of NSCA's ongoing efforts to aid the improvement of businesses in all aspects of the industry.

For a clear majority (80 percent) of the contractor/integrator firms surveyed for the Q3 MIB report, design-build accounted for a low of 20 percent to more than 65 percent of revenues. The majority of the systems contractors/integrators expect their involvement in design-build projects to increase over the next two years.

Nearly half (47.5 percent) of responding design consultants across all company size categories see the design-build model as impacting their businesses negatively. Only about one-fifth (19.2 percent) indicate that design-build is having a positive effect on their business, while almost one third (29 percent) indicate that the design-build trend has no significant impact on their business.

NSCA will soon initiate surveys for the Q4 MIB, and members are encouraged to respond. Those interested in participating in future surveys should contact NSCA at (800) 446-NSCA.

NSCA Calendar of Events

July 10
Project Management Registration Deadline, Kansas City, Mo.

July 17
C-SI One-Day Review, Kansas City

July 17-18
C-EST Two-Day Review, Kansas City

July 17-18
Project Management, Kansas City

July 18
C-SI Exam, Kansas City

July 19
C-EST Exam, Kansas City

August 11
C-EST Review Package Deadline, San Francisco

August 15
Excellence in Business Award Nominations Deadline

August 18
C-EST Online Review Begins for San Francisco Exam

August 31
Fall Business Conference Advance Registration Deadline

September 8
C-SI Review Package Deadline, San Francisco

September 15
C-SI Online Review Begins for San Francisco Exam

September 28
C-SI and C-EST Exam Registration Deadline, San Francisco

For more information about NSCA, visit or call (800) 446-6722.

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