Buoyed by a 15%-plus growth in paid registrations, ASIS International hosted its 64th Annual Conference from 23-27 September in Las Vegas in partnership with InfraGard, ISSA and the Cyber Security Summit. Cutting-edge technology, over 350 immersive and experiential education sessions, thousands of innovative security products and services and “countless” quality networking opportunities attracted 20,000 registered attendees and 550 exhibitors from more than 113 countries under one roof to the newly-rebranded Global Security Exchange (GSX).
“ASIS International really took this year’s show up a notch,” said Janet Fenner, chief marketing officer at Intelligent Security Systems. “The quality of the networking alone that happened the very first night of GSX set the stage for some solid leads that brought great follow-up and product demonstrations on the show floor. We’ve met end user after end user at this show and have been doing nothing but following up on all of the leads we’ve brought in. Our team will be extremely busy working to secure business for months to come.”
GSX delivered on ASIS International’s promise of investing in and rebuilding a stronger and more expansive holistic security conference, bringing proven security Best Practice and education to the show and fostering much needed collaboration between operational and cyber security professionals. Education sessions featuring CSOs from Amazon, Snapchat, Facebook and MillerCoors realised standing room only and covered critical topics including soft target protection, developing smart cities, preventing workplace violence, school security Best Practice, threats to critical infrastructure and the future of Artificial Intelligence and cyber security.
“The excitement, innovation and exceptional events that have been realised this week are just the beginning,” enthused Richard Chase CPP PCI PSP, president of ASIS International in 2018. “The Global Security Exchange, much like our industry, will continually evolve. In fact, GSX is not just an event that will reconvene 12 months from now in Chicago. GSX is a brand that will continue to engage ASIS members, attendees and vendor partners as a security community all year long.”
The re-imagined expo hall built upon the traditional trade show experience, featuring immersive learning opportunities on three new X-Learning stages and experiential demos in the D3: Drones, Droids and Defence Theatre. Scott Smith, hardware engineering programme manager at Fortem Technologies, stated: “The organisers of GSX worked with us to create an exhibition and demonstration area where we could successfully highlight airspace safety, security and the relevant threats. The consequent discussions, exploration and debates on the topic have been very advantageous to Fortem Technologies, and we were able to be directly in front of our target buyers. We’ve found GSX to be tremendously valuable and look forward to continuing our relationship with ASIS.”
Forging business relationships
Given the massive buying power of the GSX audience and the thousands of innovative products and services highlighted on the expo floor, exhibitors and attendees engaged in substantive discussions about opportunities to purchase products and services, forge business relationships and establish partnerships. In fact, 86.4% of 2018’s GSX attendees are involved in their organisation’s direct purchase of security technology, products and/or services, while 40.5% have budgets in excess of $1 million.
“Across the many years that our company has partnered with ASIS International, this year’s event has been by far the best one to-date,” said Steve Jones, CEO at Allied Universal. “From the quality of the customer and prospect engagement around our exhibition space to the terrific education in which our team participated and on to the excellent networking receptions, the return on our investment far exceeded our already high expectations. We’re already looking forward to another outstanding event in Chicago next year.”
Event feedback has been extremely positive, with the security industry embracing the new show format. Michael D’Angelo CPP CSC CHPA, security consultant at Secure Direction Consulting LLC, noted: “Unlike many other security conferences, GSX brings together industry experts as well as end users, technology providers and even the clients we serve. It’s great to see so many old colleagues and be introduced to several more. I’m heading back to work with increased knowledge and feeling genuinely at the top of my game.”
GSX heads to Chicago next year. Peter O’Neil FASAE CAE, CEO at ASIS International, observed: “In 2019, attendees will see even more experiential learning on our X-Learning stages, expanded partnerships and education programming and an expo floor that provides an unparalleled experience for attendees and vendor partners alike.”