Schedule At-A-Glance

All times are in Central Time Zone

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

2:00pm – 6:00pm

BLC Onsite Registration

3:30pm – 4:15pm

5:00pm – 6:00pm

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

7:00am – 8:00am


9:00am – 9:15am


10:45am – 11:00am


12:00pm – 1:15pm

Networking Lunch

2:45pm – 3:00pm


5:00pm – 6:00pm

Cocktail Hour

6:00pm – 9:00pm


Thursday, February 29, 2024

7:30am – 8:30am


10:30am – 10:45am


12:00pm – 1:15pm

Networking Lunch

2:30pm – 2:45pm


5:00pm – 6:00pm

Closing Night Reception


Closing Night Dinner

Detailed Schedule At-A-Glance

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

7:00am – 1:30pm

NSCA Education Foundation Industry Charity Golf Outing

Join the NSCA Education Foundation for its annual Industry Charity Golf Outing to kick off the conference. It takes place at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas golf course. The outing not only offers you the chance to meet new Business & Leadership Conference attendees and get reacquainted with those you’ve met in years past, but also gives you a way to support the NSCA Education Foundation as it raises money to advance industry initiatives.

Lunch will be provided; awards will be given during the Opening Night Dinner, which begins at 6pm.

View more details here.

2:00pm – 6:00pm

BLC Onsite Registration

3:30pm – 4:15pm

First-Time Attendee Orientation

If you haven’t attended NSCA’s Business & Leadership Conference (BLC) before, then this orientation is a great way to meet other new people and learn what to expect from the BLC experience. This informal orientation provides examples of how attendees from previous BLCs have applied concepts they learned to strengthen business operations and profitability.

5:00pm – 6:00pm

Opening Night Reception

Reconnect with friends and meet new attendees before the conference officially begins. Drinks and appetizers will be provided.

6:00pm – 8:00pm

Opening Night Dinner and Awards

Join us as we honor our Excellence in Business winners: integration firms that experience success in business performance, employee engagement, differentiating strategies, strategic transformation, customer experience, talent development, and more. We’ll also recognize winners from the Excellence in Product Innovation Awards, Randy Vaughan Founder’s Award.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

8:00am – 9:00am

Opening Session: Economic Outlook 2024 for Integrators

Presented by Dr. Chris Kuehl

NSCA Chief Economist Dr. Chris Kuehl always brings his unique combination of straight talk and dry sense of humor to his exploration of the economy and how it impacts your business. This time, he has lots to discuss with the NSCA community about inflation, supply chain and skilled worker shortages, and the decline in commercial office space. As always, Dr. Kuehl will look at economic issues through the lens of integration company leaders to help you prepare for what’s ahead. The session concludes with a performance summary of key indicators, including inflation, job creation, housing, and GDP, and what they mean for your business.

9:15am – 10:45am

Keynote: Thrive: Turning Uncertainty To Competitive Advantage

Presented by Meridith Elliott Powell

After learning what the economy has in store for integrators in 2024 and beyond, business and banking veteran Meridith Elliott Powell brings the perfect finance-focused, follow-up punch. Integrators will learn how to turn some of that economic uncertainty into a competitive advantage. Based on research from her new book of the same name, Powell will walk integrators through the steps needed to strategically move forward, proactively prepare for disruptions, standout from the competition, and dominate their marketplace. Attendees will leave this session with a personal strategy to stay razor-like focused, highly flexible and ready to turn uncertainty to a competitive advantage.

11:00am – 12:00pm

General Session: The Chaotic State of the Industry

Presented by Michael Bonner

Chaos is an all-too-familiar word for integration company leaders in 2024. So much is changing so rapidly—and so unpredictably. There is no choice but to adapt to the rate of change, but that’s easier said than done. How can integrators budget for this rate of change? How can they deal with chaos related to continual staff training in a desperate effort to keep pace with fast-evolving technology? In this session, Michael will discuss the difference between chaos and transformation, chaos due to wage inflation and staffing shortages, and chaos caused by poor choices (entering non-ideal projects with non-ideal customers, for example). You’ll also discover how to leverage the fact that the integrated solutions you provide can help customers navigate their own chaos.

1:15pm – 2:45pm

Concurrent Breakouts

Breakout #1: Business Growth Strategies to Implement Now

Presenter: Meridith Elliott Powell

Panelists: Dan Schmidtendoff, Communication Company; Kim Lehrman, CEC

Having listened to two finance-focused sessions in the AM, this interactive breakout session is about what to do next – ownership, engagement, results. Led by keynoter Meridith Elliott Powell, it’s an discussion about assembling the right team and talent to masterfully navigate change, exceed customer expectations, and leave the competition in the dust. Executive and finance leaders can explore their best paths to profitability and business growth. Powell discusses leadership development strategies for hiring top talent in the most challenging times, building culture in a virtual world, and fostering loyalty and longevity in a world where turnover is the norm.

Breakout #2: How to Lead Through Chaos

Presenter: Michael Bonner

Panelists: Christina DeBono, ClearTech; Dawna Payne, Texadia Systems; Trey Meador, Lone Star Communications

This session is focused on the chaotic nature of talent turnover. How can we create more stability, predictability, and get our promising professionals to view their jobs as more than a stop-over. An interactive follow-up to “The Chaotic State of the Industry” keynote dives directly into the actual forks in the road that integrators face. The No. 1 barrier to growth remains talent-related issues. As an integration company leader, how can you tackles the wage inflation that’s complicating workforce development and profitability? The discussion deals with staffing shortages, retention, recruitment, onboarding, DEI and more while recognizing the difference between chaos and strategic business transformation. Amid a chaotic market integration company leaders will walk away with a sense of clarity about next steps.

Breakout #3: Sales Workshop: Selling Value

Moderator: Tyler Ebnet, Revenueify

Panelists: Dale Bottcher, AVI-SPL; Tina Peters, SVT

This is part 1 of a deep dive into the intricacies of sales in our unique integration market. BLC attendees in sales or business development roles will discuss not just how to sell value but how to understand the value that their organizations offer to customers. They’ll delve into better grasping their portfolios of solutions and how to utilize the resources within their companies. Attendees will walk away with new ideas and clarity on how to create better, more consultative relationships with customers and action steps to help them drive new business.

Breakout #4: Adapting to the Pace of Change

Special Guest: Mark Fenner, RISE Performance Group

Panelists: Michael Boettcher, Edge; Jeff Davis, Avidex; Laurie MacKeigan, Backman Vidcom

The integration industry is dealing with a meteoric pace of change. Everything seems to be changing and all at once – mergers and acquisitions; interest rates; margin erosion; compliance issues; cybersecurity, AI and more. Meanwhile, how integrators are dealing with new competition from evolving industries such as robotics is shifting. There are drastically evolving expectations from customers that include demand for continuous monitoring and support for critical business solutions; so much more. This interactive session tackles the question: How can we keep up with running a company when two years from now we don’t even know what we’ll be selling or what our training needs to be to maintain relevance?

3:00pm – 4:30pm

The Executive Power Hour: Exploring the Power of AI for a Safe, Ethical Digital Revolution

Presented by Tanmay Bakshi

As excited as integration company leaders might be about the possibilities that come with artificial intelligence (AI), pragmatic integration company leaders are also concerned. It’s more important than ever to ensure digital trust so users feel confident that their data is safe, private, secure, reliable, and ethically handled. In this session, you’ll explore how organizations can harness the full potential of AI to drive a digital revolution that’s safe and ethical. Discover the key tools and best practices you need to build and launch AI solutions that users trust. Plus, you’ll get tips on how to structure your business to take advantage of data, leaving you with a fresh perspective on AI and machine learning.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

8:30am – 9:15am

Wake-Up Session: 2024 NSCA Legislative Agenda and Business Meeting

Presenters: Chuck Wilson & NSCA Board of Directors

NSCA is your voice, your business resource, and your trusted advisor. Our annual business meeting covers the state of our industry, the election of our leadership, and our 2024 legislative agenda. This interactive session is led by NSCA and industry leaders who have specific experience and knowledge about codes and compliance, emerging technologies, risk management, industry trends, growth strategies, and running successful integration companies. Make it a top priority to attend and learn what NSCA is doing to support your business, keep you informed, and help you take action.

9:15am – 10:30am

General Session: Culture Is as Leadership Does

Presented by Steve Thomas

As integration company leaders navigate unprecedented times and challenges, company culture becomes even more important. It’s no secret that great people make great organizations. The culture of any organization is what makes it effective—whether you’re a large company or a small family. Culture is defined by the individuals on your team: their personalities, values, and weirdness.  It impacts everything you do, everything you are, and everything you become, but it’s also the one thing that integrators often have the toughest time building and maintaining. In this entertaining session, you’ll find out how to create a culture in which people can come to work and be the best version of themselves, which, incidentally, is the goal of leadership.

10:45am – 12:00pm

Keynote: How Uncertainty in D.C & Around the World Impacts Integrators

Presented by Rick Lazio

There’s no question that today’s political climate and global tensions add to the chaos impacting the integration market. Entering a presidential election year, the political climate is as uncertain as ever with critical swing states and toss up elections predicted. This can affect an NSCA member company in many ways from funding for key programs to tax implications. Meanwhile, the new congress put in place will determine the future of the expiring 2025 tax package. Do key policy makers in Washington appreciate the great financial hardship smaller businesses are facing due to their failure to address the Section 174 amortization provision? This session covers geopolitical issues; immigration reform and population shift that will impact talent shortages; outsourcing of our workforce; the debt ceiling and what that means to interest rates; pro-business or pro-labor trends; regulations on AI; trade restrictions impacting supply chain; legal impact in surveillance and citizen video capture, and other tough topics. Former US Congressman, economic and legal advisor Rick Lazio joins NSCA CEO Chuck Wilson in a fireside chat to help prepare NSCA members for what lies ahead.  A full 30 minutes will be allocated for an interactive audience Q&A.

1:15pm – 2:30pm

Concurrent Breakouts

Breakout #5: Intelligent Risk Taking: Go/No-Go Decisions

Moderator: Joel Harris, Solutions360

Panelists: Andrew Pelletier, SIGNET; Eric Morris, Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers Inc.; Chris Reese, ASW

Building off the previous day’s finance-focused back-to-back keynotes, this interactive session walks integrators through logical decision making when it comes to weighing risk versus reward. Is the project worth it? Is the customer relationship worth it? Is the new employee venture worth this? Is the new market worth it? Is the new company investment worth it? Learn how to leverage NSCA’s recently released Financial Analysis of the Industry Report in decision making – understanding margins, backlog, sales funnel. Dive into NSCA’s Financial Leadership 101 document, which includes 24 key metrics for integrators to monitor. Understand how better strategic planning can avoid missteps. Bottom line: How do you determine if a decision is right for you at a particular time? This discussion will point you in the right direction.

Breakout #6: Sales Workshop: Managing a Forward-Focused Sales Organization

Moderator: Chris Peterson, Vector Firm

Panelists: Don Mastro, AVI Systems; Max Curry, Infinity Sound

This is part 2 of a deep dive into the intricacies of managing sales in our unique integration market. BLC attendees in sales or business development management roles will go beyond the fundamentals of sales management. Discuss how to manage an integration company sales team in 2024 and beyond, something that involves understanding the metrics that help guide you. Learn how to coach and ride along with your sellers; how to onboard a salesperson; how to run a sales academy; and much more. Integration customers’ needs are evolving rapidly. That means that how we manage our sales teams needs to adapt. This interactive sales management workshop will help.



Breakout #7: From Talking to Implementing: AI, Robotics, & Machine Learning

Special Guest: Kasia Hanson, Intel

Panelists: J.B. Fowler, Domotz; Eric Snider, CTS-D, CTI

A day after exploring the power of AI for a safe and ethical digital revolution with keynoter Tanmay Backshi, this interactive breakout session explores what that revolution actually looks like for integrators. Yes, there are exciting and seemingly boundless opportunities for integrators to use AI to improve efficiencies and customer solutions, but there are caveats. A panel of experts will engage the room in a discussion about navigating the ethical and legal impacts of AI. If you expect AI, robotics, and machine learning to have an impact on your business, don’t miss this session.

Breakout #8: A Culture for All Generations

Presenter: Dr. Jessica Kriegel

Panelists: Ingolf DeJong, GENCOMM; Tobi Tungl, CTI; Steve Thomas, NSCA Presenter

How do you create a company culture that can withstand a hybrid work environment? Many integration company leaders are running into company culture and accountability challenges related to team members’ post-pandemic expectations for flexibility. How do you overcome that? Does it mean rebuilding a culture in which your entire team is on premise and engaged? If so, can you still compete in the recruitment world? Does it mean creating a culture so strong that it can withstand a sprawling workforce? So often this discussion comes down to a perceived generation gap. In this interactive breakout, Kriegel shares a data-driven perspective on how multi-generational organizations can strip away stereotypes and biases to realize a common purpose and performance. She’ll lead a integration industry-specific discussion of how to overcome these challenges.

2:45pm – 3:45pm

Closing Keynote: Empower Your Teams with Positive Accountability

Presented by Dr. Jessica Kriegel

In 2024, integration leaders will face challenges related to tenuous profitability and the need to continually adapt to customers’ evolving needs. There’s little room for error and an escalated need for company-wide accountability. How can integrators elevate personal and professional accountability to drive growth? In this session, Dr. Jessica Kriegel explains how to motivate your team to step into accountability and activate your team to take ownership of not only of their actions, but also of the success of the organization. This creates purpose and meaning for your teams in their daily work. When all your teams are engaged and accountable, everyone gains a clear view of how they contribute to achieving business goals, and they take an active role in growing impact.

NSCA Does It Right at the Business & Leadership Conference

NSCA's Board of Directors and BLC Planning Committee are committed to planning the integration industry's most valuable business conference. They work tirelessly to identify integration companies' biggest business challenges -- then to find top thinkers and speakers that can help integration company leaders overcome these obstacles. In 2023, the business challenges are real -- and BLC aims to help NSCA members rise to the occasion.

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