It's hard to believe that the NSCA is 25 years old. From the beginning there were several early shows in combination with other electronic distributing events as we evolved. But many of us remember the first real show on our own-in Atlanta, GA, with approximately 25 exhibitors and maybe 500 attendees. For years, even as our Expo grew to be quite large, you could see everyone on the show floor with our "table top" booths. Now look at our Expo: over 600 exhibits, 250,000 square feet of exhibit space, larger booths and 11,000 attendees. Wow-we are all grown up.
It has been a great 25 years. We have accomplished so much as an evolving industry, as an association with a purpose and as the industry-respected Expo event. We intend to make the next 25 years, and particularly the next five, even more eventful than the last. That's why we assembled 50 of the industry's top thinkers in California this February for a leadership forum. You will be hearing much more on the outcome of this forum later.
We have organized the 2005 25th Anniversary Expo with three goals in mind: connecting you to knowledge, to new ideas and to people. My own business wouldn't be where it is today without the boost we get each year at the Systems Integration Expo. If this is your first time to attend, see for yourself what 11,000 industry pros already know. If you've been attending for years, bring your whole team in 2005.
Last year's highly popular Digital Signage Pavilion is back with a new twist! Step into the pavilion, and see today's most inventive digital marketing techniques and learn how commercial marketplace vendors are using digital signage to create a real buzz.
I am especially pleased with our Security/Life Safety Pavilion sponsored by the PSA Security Network. The annual PSA Security Conference joined the Systems Integration Expo for the first time last year, and returns representing more than 80 of the security industry's most recognizable brand names. Security is the fastest growing segment of the systems integration industry. You owe it to yourself and your company to spend part of this year's NSCA experience in the Security Pavilion.
Brand new this year is the Network Integration Center. Convergence and interoperability come alive through systems residing on the same TCP/IP network.
Also new for 2005, is the Live Sound Showcase & Workshop. Participants will see and learn proper test and measurement techniques and analyze loudspeaker performance. This major audio workshop and a special Syn-Aud-Con reunion showcase our heritage as the premier audio event of the year.
Every year, a personal Expo highlight for me is seeing the NSCA University present a truly superior education conference. With over 100 quality seminars, we have the education by which all others are measured. With leading experts offering their insight on new technologies, techniques and trends, your time in the classroom is an investment too valuable to pass up.
Back for its second year at the Systems Integration Expo is NSCA's C-EST certification program for systems integrators. New this year is the C-SI program created as a stepping-stone for systems installers. Both C-SI and C-EST offer review courses and exams on site as well as around the country throughout the year. Certification is a great way to demonstrate skill to both employers and customers and it helps raise the bar for our industry. Keep an eye on NSCA certification. It's going to take this industry to the next level.
Our silver anniversary really is your golden opportunity. Learn and grow with our exciting Electronics Systems Integration industry. And enjoy your 25th anniversary.