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March 1, 2024

NSCA 2024 Agenda: An Open Letter to Members

This 2024 association agenda is shared and discussed at the Annual Member Meeting during NSCA’s 26th annual Business & Leadership Conference (BLC), Feb. 27-29, 2024, in Irving, TX.

As your trade association, it’s NSCA’s responsibility to make sure we’re focusing our efforts on activity that will benefit the integration industry. We take that very seriously.

Each year, in an effort to stay on point, we work with the NSCA Board of Directors and countless others in the NSCA community to identify top priorities.

Integrators continue to have lots of reasons for optimism. The solutions that NSCA members offer are coveted by customers across every market. So many organizations are in need of better communication, connectivity, security, and the general confidence that they’re providing their own employees and customers with efficient, safe, and healthy environments. The sky is the limit for integrators in 2024.

But NSCA’s role isn’t solely to validate optimism. While opportunities are great, profitability continues to be tenuous. The 2024 priorities below reflect a focus on helping NSCA members navigate opportunities cautiously, strategically, and profitably.

Our resources, events, consultation, and strategic planning are all designed to help integration companies thrive. NSCA—its staff, board members, volunteers, and trusted partners—stands ready to address the most pressing issues you face. We want to make you aware of the valuable work going on at NSCA and, more importantly, how it will impact your business.

In 2024, we’re committed to enhancing and developing the best business climate possible for your company. Our 2024 agenda focuses on these key areas.

Optimizing Intelligent Risk-Taking

NSCA members face many forks in the road. Is this a good project or is it a profit-killer? Is our demanding new customer worth the resources it requires? What is our role in the mergers and acquisitions market? Should our company be pursuing new customer opportunities? What investments are necessary to support them? Is a new hire worth it?

These are decisions that have a major impact on propelling companies forward vs. setting them back. NSCA aims to help member companies become better at logical decision-making and weighing risks and rewards.

Through the breakout sessions at the Business & Leadership Conference, and the using NSCA’s Financial Analysis of the Industry report, NSCA wants to help members better understand things like margins, backlog, and sales funnels, and use logical planning to avoid missteps while optimizing growth.

Continually Improving Leadership Skills

Running an integration company isn’t easy in any era, but it’s increasingly challenging as integration leaders contend with what amounts to chaos.

How can leaders budget for what they can’t anticipate? How can they deal with chaos related to continual staff training in a desperate effort to keep pace with fast-evolving technology? How can they maintain high company culture, pride, and accountability standards when so many employees are requiring remote or hybrid work solutions?

Each day brings turmoil, making it difficult to find clarity. NSCA aims to elevate its support for integration company leaders, starting with leadership-focused sessions at BLC and extending throughout 2024. A highlight will be a soon-to-be-launched leadership peer group and education program. After all, leadership focus is required to seize the great opportunities that this market presents for integrators.

Developing Next-Gen Talent & Leadership

Year in and year out, integrators recognize the need for new talent—both technical and back office—as well as the development of future company leaders. This doesn’t make our industry unique, but we are uniquely challenged with a wide generation gap between those who worked so hard to elevate integration companies and the next generation of leaders.

In 2024, NSCA is doubling down on developing next-generation talent. Our soon-to-launch Excellence in Business Operations (XBO) event leverages Next-Generation Academy principals to lead next-gen leadership discussions. This is unlike any other NSCA event: It’s a conference planned and led by the next generation for next-generation attendees.

Meanwhile, our Ignite career awareness and internship programs will be highly prioritized in 2024. These goals are twofold: They’re not just about breaking through the industry bubble and hiring new and diverse individuals, but also about NSCA supporting their track to company and industry leadership.

Inspiring Vigilance About Codes, Regulations, and Compliance

Your trade association is already seeing a steady stream of proposed laws and regulations that potentially limit an integrator’s right to provide limited-power solutions (Power over Ethernet) to customers in 2024.

NSCA won’t let up in leading members through these challenges and working with the Connected Technologies Industry Consortium to advocate on behalf of the industry. In addition to limited power regulations, NSCA tracks bills related to cybersecurity, school safety (in conjunction with the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools, or PASS K-12), sustainability to help integrators play a bigger role in creating healthy buildings, and more. Use NSCA’s portal to track legislation that may impact your business.

Providing Financial Leadership Support and Resources

In order for profitability to be achieved, integration companies’ financial leaders have never been more important. They need to take hard stances and set standards to make sure projects have a chance to be profitable. They need to de-risk proposals.

Many integrators entered 2024 with strong backlogs. That opportunity elevates the need for an integration company’s financial leadership to be empowered to make sure these opportunities are indeed opportunities and not double-edged, profit-killing swords. NSCA will continually provide guidance on this topic through BLC, skills training, roundtable discussions, and perhaps most importantly through our recently released updated Financial Analysis of the Industry that provides industry-specific metrics that will help create business rules and put valuable KPIs in place.

Staying in Step with the Pace of Change

As well-equipped as NSCA integrators are to evolve with customers’ evolving needs, it’s still daunting to deal with today’s meteoric pace of change. Needs are changing and escalating. AI relevance is emerging. On the business side, integrators face forks in the road when it comes to margin erosion, compliance issues, industry consolidation, interest rates, and much more.

Through training at BLC; monthly webinars and roundtables; our quarterly trade journal, Integrate; recently updated Guide to State Licensing; articles by our Emerging Technologies Committee; and new XBO event, NSCA continues to challenge members to position themselves to solve customers’ evolving business needs.

A Note of Thanks

We want to thank our valued members who regularly leverage us for business resources, advice, data, news, and workflow tools. We’re honored to help you manage issues that affect your organization and are proud to be your voice in matters that impact our industry. NSCA is privileged to be the association you rely on for direction and guidance. We are your voice, your business resource, and your trusted advisor.

None of the items in our NSCA 2024 agenda can happen without you. We look forward to helping you with your continued success.

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