Without a doubt, trade shows and conferences offer a wealth of knowledge, education and networking opportunities to industry professionals. You are faced with the tough choice each year on which conferences to attend. With the vast amount of security trade shows available worldwide, the seemingly simple task of researching different shows can be time-consuming. We've compiled a list of the most relevant security trade shows and conferences for 2019, with a focus on facility security.
1. ISC West · April 10-12, 2019 · Las Vegas
The largest security industry trade show in the United States, ISC West, is an event where over 30,000 security professionals gather to discuss the latest in technology innovations, such as drones and robotics.
Held in fabulous Las Vegas, NV, ISC West is a temporary home to over 1,000 exhibitors and brands, giving attendees ample opportunities to discover new products and technology solutions for their businesses and facilities. It's a great exhibit for physical and IT security specialists, such as installers, integrators, end-users and engineers.
ISC West also hosts some exciting special events that highlight the week. Some of the events include their Grand Opening Ceremony, awards ceremonies, and even a 5km run. On Friday, April 12, SIA hosted a Women's Breakfast, where women in security were able to celebrate their successes, and share how they overcame challenges.
(This year's ISC West has come and gone, so be sure to check out their page to see what you could be in store for next year. In addition to a Western show, ISC also hosts ISC East, held in New York City, NY later this year).
2. ASIS New York Security Conference and Expo · May 15-16, 2019 · New York
NYC, NY is home to the ASIS Security Conference and Expo, which presents an opportunity for attendees to learn about the critical security issues that organizations face. In addition to this, guests are also presented with the most recently discovered security solutions and chance to discover the latest trends in the security industry through educational sessions.
Opportunities to network with like-minded individuals and industry peers provides a valuable experience to guests. Educational credits are available, as attendees are given the chance to earn CPE credits at the show.
One of the highlights of the show is a luncheon with honored guest Chief Owen J Monaghan (Chief of Police/Chief Security Officer for the State of New York Metropolitan Transit Authority). With 34 years dedicated to law enforcement and involvement with ASIS International, Chief Monaghan is the ASIS International's Person of the Year.
3. ESX (Electronic Security Expo) · June 3-6, 2019 · Indianapolis
ESX, a security trade show with a focus on electronic security, is a smaller, more intimate event that allows for quality interactions and content. Over 2,500 professionals in the electronic security and life safety industry have attended this event in the past, which ensures the possibility of networking opportunities this coming June.
Topics such as leadership and innovation will be touched on at the keynote stage, as well discussions on future of the security industry. Hosting special events such as award ceremonies, cocktail receptions and a pub crawl allows attendees interact and network with peers and professionals on a more personal level. And with the event being hosted in Indianapolis, Indiana, it's only fitting ESX offers the Indy Experience - a unique and exciting opportunity for guests to ride around the track in an official pace car.
At a cost of $25, the Expo Only pass is incredibly affordable. Alternatively, attendees can choose the Premium pass, which gives them entrance to the expo floor, as well as access to the exclusive functions, including 30+ industry-leading, peer-focused education sessions.
4. Infosecurity Europe · June 4-6, 2019 · London
Infosecurity Europe, which is held in Olympia, London, brings together the cyber security community with a vast amount of information. Attendees include over 19,000 professionals ranging in industries from IT to telecommunications to medical. With over 400 suppliers at the event, Infosecurity Europe will provide insight and hands-on demonstrations of the latest technology solutions for your organization's security. There are considerable learning opportunities as well; in 2018, visitors were able to enjoy over 140 hours of complimentary education.
The keynote stage at Infosecurity Europe will host different speakers throughout the day; confirmed speakers include Ewa Pilat (Jaguar Land Rover), Bobby Ford (Unilever), and Tom Cignarell (Adobe). A variety of topics will be discussed, such as how to engage employees in more secure behavior, designing secure software, and how to balance the objectives of law enforcement and business. A full list of speakers and topics are available on their site.
Tickets are free until June 3, 2019, so if you happen to be in the area, it's a great opportunity to check out how your facility could benefit from an extra measure of security. Don't wait to grab a pass to this show - as mentioned earlier, attendance is expected to be in the thousands, many from individuals from all over the world.
5. IFSEC International · June 18-20, 2019 · London
Held at the ExCel center, London, IFSEC International is Europe's leading security event. With over 27,000 security professionals in attendance, IFSEC International gives attendees a glimpse at the latest in defense technology, as well as the opportunity to speak directly with suppliers. In addition to this, seminars and presentations at the event amount to over 35 hours of content, and topics like premier protection, video surveillance, and integrated and cyber security.
Some of the highlights of their programme include discussions on the benefits and controversies of drone technology, social media and security, and tackling cyber threats, to name a few.
A free ticket is definitely a highlight to this show. And with 1 to 1 meeting registrations, attendees are given the chance to meet exhibitors individually, without the hustle and bustle of the rest of the show around them. IFSEC also offers a neat feature called the IFSEC Park - a chance to get away from the busy showroom to take a moment to breathe, relax, each lunch or catch up on emails, all without leaving the show floor.
6. GSX · September 8-12, 2019 · Chicago
Global Security Exchange (GSX) - held in Chicago, IL - brings together security management professionals from all over the world. This event ties together the entire spectrum of the security industry. Whether it's cyber, operational or physical, GSX provides the most comprehensive security education and technology.
With over 550 exhibitors, and over 300 sessions, it's no wonder last year's attendance number was 20,000. Their 2018 education sessions featured CSOs from well-known companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Snapchat. Organizations and early adopters attend this conference in order to learn about the most complete and innovative technology available. Interactive displays and live demonstrations throughout the booths make for an engaging experience. One notable Keynote speaker will be General John F. Kelly, U.S. Marine Corps, speaking about how 9/11 forever changed the security industry.
Attending GSX would provide professionals with a holistic experience in both security and technology education, as well as networking with security experts and industry leaders. They are also kind enough to provide a Justification Letter should there be a need to plead your case to employers.
7. NSC Congress and Expo 2019 · September 9-11, 2019 · San Diego
Held in sunny San Diego, California, the NSC Congress and Expo is held by the National Safety Council, a non-profit organization that focuses on preventing deaths at work, home and in the community.
NSC provides ample opportunities to network with other attendees, show exhibitors, and safety professionals from all over the globe. Education is also key to this event; Professional Development Seminars and technical sessions are available to attendees who wish to further advance their career. Sessions, which range from introductory to advanced, include topics such as Safety Management Systems, Technology, and Research to Practice Risk Reduction and Management. These sessions have a record of being applicable in day-to-day job duties; according to NSC's website, “90% of attendees states the Technical Sessions were extremely valuable for practical application”.
This year's speakers at NSC include Leonard Jones (United States Air Force Risk Management Process Manager, United States Airforce), and Jack Jackson (Senior Safety Consultant at Safestart), who will touch on 3 key areas that organizations need to address to keep their employees safe.
NSC highly encourages attendees to make the most of their participation at the show with Passport to Prizes. By visiting booths and collecting stamps in their Passport throughout the day, guests are eligible to win a prize. NSC also offers attendees a breather with the Time Out Lounge: a space where guests can take a small break and enjoy some refreshments. The Time Out Lounge will also include televisions airing sports coverage throughout the day, which gives attendees the chance to take some time away from the busy show room energy.
8. Canasa Central · October 23-24, 2019 · Toronto
The biggest security show in Canada, Canasa is brought to you by the Canadian Security Association. Canasa Central is held in Toronto, ON; however, Security Canada shows are held all over Canada, including Ottawa, Alberta, Western and Atlantic Canada.
Since Canasa is a trade-only show, they welcome anyone involved in the security industry. Offering a national perspective unlike any other, the value of learning about technological advances in security software is priceless, with more than 2600 companies at the shows each year. And like most trade shows, networking with like-minded industry professionals offer an incredible value. Registration is free until October 16, 2019, but in the event that you missed this cut-off date, the fee is very affordable.
9. Secutech Thailand · October 28-31, 2019 · Bangkok
An overseas trade show, Secutech Thailand in Bangkok gives attendees the opportunity to connect with regional industry professionals. Don't let the location lead you to believe this trade show is solely for that side of the world - Secutech Thailand is a global event. Last year, they hosted 143 exhibitors and over 8000 visitors from 48 countries, including China, UAE, USA and Hong Kong. The event's success is apparent in their numbers; this year, Secutech will host more than 250 exhibitors.
Secutech focuses on security and safety solutions, including intelligent security, fire and safety, and information security. In 2018, it held 9 unique seminars regarding a wide range of subjects. As this trade show is later this year, their full program hasn't been published on their website, so stay tuned to their website for further details.
Trade shows are an incredibly valuable experience for a professional looking to advance in their career. Every trade show has its benefits, so narrowing down what you hope to achieve by attending will help you decide where to invest your time and money. A common theme across is to connect with experienced industry professional to learn from each other and find new ways to protect people and data.