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CANASA needs to learn the value of education

I received in the mail last week an 8x14 glossy Registration Brochure from CEDIA Expo for their well attended and publicized Expo and Education tradeshow that takes place in Indianapolis in September.


June 9, 2011
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It is very well presented and has an extremely slick feel to it — and right on the front cover one of the technologies mentioned is home security. And while the course content is not focused on home security there is a clear convergence looming. It clearly demonstrated to me that this is an organization that gets it and is committed to having a go-forward approach towards continuing education for their members.

As a long time member of CSAA and ESA (formerly NBFAA), I attend the ESX Show which combines resources from both of these organizations. There is  a trade show as well which is very well attended, but again the focus is more oriented on the education aspect, covering all tracks from business management to sales management to central station management. The quality of the presenters is extraordinarily high and the learning and application opportunities in any organization is very relevant.

I compare it to those opportunities that I see available here in Canada, and am no less than very dismayed. CANASA has a very long standing tradition of presenting quality trade shows across the country, but the education component appears to be lacking. It seems that CANASA has not been able to offer quality education opportunities to its members and that SCC (Security Canada Central) is a trade show where education is an afterthought. Faced with competition from road shows, dealer days, distributor education and manufacturer webinars, CANASA seems to be shying away from education as opposed to being a leader. This is a disturbing trend.

Years ago, CANASA developed some great education courses. Those courses were written and developed by three people — Dave Currie, Mark Fairley and Rick Snook — who crisscrossed the country to deliver them. Peter Garnham took on the responsibility to develop and write a sales course for CANASA. To my recollection, he and I delivered that course exactly one time in Toronto probably over 10 years ago.

And for years Peter would talk passionately about how we need to develop a strategic alliance with CEDIA. Unfortunately that has never come to pass. Why is a question I cannot answer.

I don’t know precisely where CANASA is in its “strategic plan.” But as a regular member, these days I can only tell you that I have no clue nor do I particularly care. What I do care about is running my business as well as I can with insights and tips and roadmaps that can be provided to me by the best sources possible in order to generate revenue and maintain and grow my client base. Unfortunately those best sources I am finding outside of CANASA.


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