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Earn Recognition for Your Pro AV Products: The NSCA EPI Awards

What are the EPI Awards? To find out more about why manufacturers should apply, we recently sat down with Tom LeBlanc of NSCA.

Staff Editor

The National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) is has announced that applications are open for the 8th annual Excellence in Product Innovation awards that are unveiled at their Business & Leadership Conference.

To find out more about why manufacturers should apply, we recently sat down with Tom LeBlanc,
Executive Director at NSCA.

M2I: Could you tell us a little bit more about NSCA and what you do there?

Tom LeBlanc: I’m the executive director of NSCA, the National Systems Contractors Association. So we’re a nonprofit trade association that supports integrators.

So what we do is, if you’re a commercial integrator that serves whatever vertical, you know, corporate health care, education, we help to support your company by providing resources and we have events. And basically, we just try to help companies become successful and be able to reach their customers successfully.

M2I: There’s like this notion, especially among those who read our sister site, Commercial Integrator, that NSCA is really all about reaching integrators and what services it provide integrators. But it’s not quite the case, you also do a lot of work with manufacturers. Can you tell me a little bit more about that? And what NSCA can do for them?

TL: We treat the manufacturers a bit differently, because manufacturers and NSCA want to see integrators be successful. When you’re a manufacturer that works with NSCA, I think you get to be part of the dialogue with the integrators a bit more. And I think that’s a big benefit.

Why submit to the NSCA EPI Awards?

M2I: We wanted to ask you today about EPI, the Excellence in Product Innovation Awards — can you tell us a little bit about what those are specifically? And then what updates you have to share about them right now?

TL: What we’re focused on is identifying products that will make an impact on integrators’ businesses now, this could be helping them to address a need that they’re seeing evolve among their customers with some kind of product innovation, it could be helping them to explore new business opportunity, maybe reach a new market, it could be helping them to have a better solution for earning recurring revenue.

But we really want to identify products that stand out and are unique. And the cool thing is, we unveil the winners, which are chosen by a panel of of integrators that NSCA selects who review the products and, you know, make the recommendations for the winning products, and we reveal them at the Business and Leadership Conference in February.

It’s kind of like going up and receiving an Emmy Award in front of your industry. We try to amplify the stories around the winning products through through media, but also through NSCA integrator members.

It’s difficult these days to get the word out about a product, there aren’t as many opportunities to stand out in a unique way. This is an opportunity to put a stamp on your product that the NSCA community has reviewed this product, and we think that there is significant opportunity for other integrators to explore it, and just see how it might impact their business. So it’s not it’s not a popularity contest. It’s about you know, recognizing, okay, well, here’s something that might get integrators to take their business in a different direction.

Learn more about the EPI Awards and how to submit at NSCA.org. An early bird deadline applies until Dec. 3rd, 2021.