It’s that time again, APCO 2019 - THE conference for public safety communications professionals! If you’re like most, you’ve probably planned out quite a bit of your trip to Baltimore. If it’s your first time, it has been a while or you’ve been before here are a few tips, tricks and survival hacks to making it a successful conference.
It is that time of the year where the 911 community makes their annual pilgrimage to the APCO conference. Some of you are going to take classes, others go for fun, but many of you go because you want to do some shopping in the exhibit hall. More specifically, we know some of you are looking for new dispatch furniture consoles.
The exhibit hall can feel like hours and hours of listening to Billy Mays's OxiClean pitch on every product. I have been on both sides of the booth. Being "that sales dude" and "being a prospect", I understand just trying to learn a product, what I like and what will work best for my needs. I've found that the best way you can be prepared to handle the semi-dreaded sales pitch and vendor hall, is to have a bit of background knowledge and some questions ready to go.
APCO 2018 is right around the corner and you may or may not have started thinking about what you want to get out of the long week spent in Las Vegas - besides hitting up the casinos, eating delicious food, and enjoying the nightlife! The conference offers a stacked agenda, which ranges from wellness programs, professional development sessions, networking events, comm center tours and an exhibit hall full of vendors that offer services catered to the Public Safety industry.
Tips from an expert
- It’s going to be a long day. No matter how you dice it. The days you are in Vegas are going to be looooong. Be prepared. Bring some waters and some snacks. No one likes a hangry person. Not to mention, usually the nearest place for food is a good ½ mile away.
- The expo hall is big! And it's going to be far away from your hotel room, even if you are staying at the host hotel, so bring comfy shoes, bring a couple pairs. Swap out your shoes. If you ever see me coming or going from a APCO, NENA or Navigator, I usually have on sneakers or flip-flops, that way I can easily change into my work shoes when I arrive. (If you’re from somewhere where there is snow, this is a common practice as an elementary aged child. You’d wear your snow boots to school and change into your sneakers for the day and then back into your boots for recess and going home. Same concept here.)
I usually like to do a review on all of the competitors and highlight what was new at APCO 2017. I was busy this year (busy is a good thing), so I didn’t really get to check everything out this year.
That being said, I still took notice of overall trends that will affect what your dispatch console furniture will look like in the next few years. Here’s my two cents on what to expect in the near future:
As a proud Colorado native, I thought about all of my friends, co-workers and customers who will be coming to APCO 2017 in August. As a ski patroller (during the winter months), I thought that I should make sure they’re prepared. With that being said, if you’re a public safety professional headed to the Mile High City of Denver for the APCO 2017 Conference, this blog has everything you must do!
Trade show floors can be intimidating and a bit overwhelming. After all, APCO 2016 is one of the largest, if not the largest, trade shows for public safety professionals all year. And, whether you’re a Supervisor, Director, Dispatcher, or Manager, odds are that you’ve got a pretty busy week planned for Orlando, FL. Hustling from one session to another, and obviously coming back to your agency with some key take-aways! Trust me, we know the drill.
So, let us help you by telling you why you shouldn’t come by Xybix’s booth at APCO:
Last year when I wrote my review of the APCO dispatch furniture vendors, I went into the color themes and what I thought I saw as upcoming trends. This year, I noticed that not much has changed in terms of the design and color there is still a lot of dark colors and some wood-looking work surfaces.
What I noticed this year was how many dispatch furniture makers still put electronic equipment, mostly computers, under the console. I saw far too many sales reps doing presentations by bending down and showing the techs how they would access the computers, cables, radio, and power.
APCO International’s 81st Annual Conference and Expo is right around the corner, and that means all of the newest and most innovative dispatch furniture will be on display for the world to see. Ha, ha, ha! Ok, not really! Similar to last year and every other year, you'll see almost all of the same vendors making a repeat cameo appearance!
So, same vendors, same sales pitch, pretty much the same product. With a variety vendors offering 911 furniture choices, it can be tricky arriving at an informed decision when it comes to who to make a purchase with for your next dispatch furniture project. This list of questions can be used to help narrow down which vendor has the product best suited for your needs:
Trade show floors can be intimidating and a bit overwhelming. After all, APCO 2015 is one of the largest, if not the largest, trade shows for public safety professionals all year. And, whether you’re a Supervisor, Director, Dispatcher, or Manager, odds are that you’ve got a pretty busy week planned for Washington, DC. Hustling from one session to another, and obviously coming back to your agency with some key take-aways! Trust me, we know the drill.
So, let us help you by giving you 3 great reasons why you shouldn’t come by Xybix’s booth at APCO: