The Good and the Bad of 2020 — Why Membership Matters

The Good and the Bad of 2020 — Why Membership Matters
Merlin Guilbeau — December 21, 2020

We can all agree that 2020 has been an unusual year. And while we might look back on it as the year of masks, lockdowns and Zoom call faux pas — for better or for worse, it’s invigorated many to lean on the power of the ESA Community.

This year, we welcomed nearly 400 new member companies to the Association. Members new and old turned to ESA this year for advice on how to handle lockdowns; tools and resources to gain critical worker designations; support on legislative issues; education; and camaraderie.

I watched as an industry that has seen an influx of fierce competition, band together and lift each other up. We saw spikes of virtual engagement with our resource centers, our Leadership Summit event in September, and our webinars and roundtables.

I think it is important to note – maybe even more so than our quantitative gains in engagement and investment through membership – that we have witnessed an exceptional display in our members’ ability to thrive … not just survive.

I have heard from business owners who are barely keeping their doors open. Some even told me that they cannot confidently say they will be in operation by 2022. While such an outlook may appear grim on the surface, business owners who are finding themselves in such a position are refusing to give up and are actively seeking the means to improve their chance of survivability.

Even as these companies struggle with losses in profit, workforce or number of accounts, they are placing their confidence and value of investment in ESA Membership. And the weight of this trust and responsibility will not be lost on us as we continue to fight for our members and drive value through service and community.



In contrast, we have seen a surge in first-time business owners entering the electronic security space who hail from outside the industry. One new member told us about how he was laid off from his job as a pharmaceutical representative this year due to the pandemic, yet he saw this an opportunity to seek financial security and independence by becoming a small-business owner in the industry.

Many of our new members in 2020 sought training through our National Training School to not only meet licensing requirements, but increasingly for the purpose of professional development and market expansion. In speaking with these members, we’ve seen a trend in management teams shifting their focus – and budgets – to invest more in “human capital” to become more competitive.

From one end of the spectrum to the other, these “boots on the ground” stories from our members not only speak to the growing diversity of our community, but the qualitative and measurable difference that hope, in and of itself, makes for a better today and a better tomorrow. Movement, constant forward momentum, is the driving force of innovation and success for our members as we move into 2021.


Did You Know? About Membership…

ESA has always focused on the economic as well as the intrinsic value for our members. In doing so, we have created an exclusive environment to increase member capital through a multitude of cost-savings programs and enhance member marketability through workforce development programs and resources, technology and industry reporting, and government advocacy and legislative reporting – just to name a few.

The “hard number” savings is often seen as enough of a return-on-investment to justify one’s ESA Membership by taking advantage of just one such particular benefit like a Security America discounted insurance policy or a National Training School discount.

But, while a member’s annual dues amount is easily recouped through only one of our programs, an investment into ESA continues to work for members far beyond a “one-shot” savings.

Click here to apply to become an ESA member.