IFSEC International 2017: Borders & Infrastructure Expo makes triumphant debut at ExCeL

No less than 27,658 security professionals and 578 exhibiting suppliers joined forces at IFSEC International 2017. Taking place at ExCeL in London’s Docklands from 20-22 June, the only large-scale security event running in Europe this year offered three days of product launches, live demonstrations, networking, meetings and educational programmes for an audience emanating from no less than 116 different countries.

Perhaps the most significant new feature introduced for the 2017 edition of the ever-popular event was Borders & Infrastructure Expo. Sponsored by Genetec, this ‘show within a show’ featured The Drone Zone, live attack tests carried out by BRE Global/LPCB in the Attack Testing Zone, a VIP Meeting Service, the Home Office’s JSaRC and a dedicated seminar stream.

Focusing on solutions and learning for large-scale security threats, Borders & Infrastructure Expo provided a platform for exhibitors never before seen at IFSEC International to meet with a new audience of high-level security professionals from Government, the energy sector, the utilities and the transport world.

Following its debut last year, The Drone Zone was at home within the new Borders & Infrastructure Expo. Once again, The Drone Zone wowed the crowds with live airborne demonstrations of drone technology from (among other innovative developers and service providers) Yuneec and Aviat Drones.

2017 also witnessed a larger focus on anti-drone solutions, with a range of exhibitors such as DeDrone showing off its solutions designed to protect organisations against UAV technology, reminding visitors of the significant threat this developing technology can pose as well as the vast security opportunities now available.

In the dedicated Borders & Infrastructure Theatre, former International Air Transport Association leader John Hedley argued that: “We’re making life too easy for terrorists”. This set the tone for the rest of the three days, with a wide range of seminar sessions well-suited to a high-level audience and covering a range of topics including border control, counter-terrorism, major event security and cyber solutions for securing critical infrastructure.

Biggest-ever Keynote crowd

Across the boulevard in ExCeL’s North Hall, television physicist cum 1980s pop star Professor Brian Cox gave a thought-provoking lecture on the origins of the universe in front of a record audience at the Honeywell-sponsored Keynote Theatre.

Addressing a packed auditorium, Professor Cox said he had asked the organisers “if they needed me to talk about safety and security. They said ‘No. Just talk about the universe.’”

Other Keynotes included deliveries from double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes, rugby union referee Nigel Owens MBE and Falklands War veteran Simon Weston CBE, all of which provided a well-balanced contrast to the four security-specific seminar streams delivered within the main area of IFSEC International.

Products launched at discounted prices

As always, a huge number of the 578 exhibiting companies chose IFSEC International as the launchpad for their new products and cutting-edge innovations. Among the solutions unveiled at the show was Veracity’s end-to-end Command and Control system, Edesix’s new body-worn camera series, Calipsa’s Artificial Intelligence-powered video monitoring platform and Redvision’s “quietest and fastest-ever” PTZ and mould-breaking rugged camera enclosure. IDIS, meanwhile, introduced a new seven-year warranty – the longest in the industry.

This year, IFSEC’s organisers UBM had been able to formalise the vast range of discounts on offer from their exhibitors and launched the ‘IFSEC Discount Programme’ at the June event. The programme gave visitors a lot more clarity on the tangible and financial benefits they would receive from the three days away from the office, with a range of security’s brand new solutions available exclusively at discounted prices of up to 30% during the show.

Installer’s gather in new dedicated ‘World’

An area of the show dedicated to installers was another IFSEC ‘first’. Sponsored by RISCO, Installer World featured The Tool Zone where, courtesy of Anglia Tools, visitors could sample a wide range of tools and gadgets to aid them in their jobs and take advantage of exclusive discounts.

It also brought visitors face-to-face with exhibitors such as Hikvision and Panasonic, gave them the opportunity to fulfil their ‘shopping list’ (with trade distributor Oprema taking orders onsite), hosted the ever-popular Engineers of Tomorrow competition and housed the installer-specific Tavcom Training Theatre.

When the show wound down, visitors to Installer World were able to network with recruitment consultants in their new dedicated bar. Sponsors Videcon provided the drinks.

Seminar streams place further emphasis on education

The seminar theatres were particularly busy in a year when security-related issues have rarely been out of the national and international headlines. In the Security Management Theatre, for example, a packed audience heard how video analytics are perhaps being “oversold and underused” but remain key to preventing terror attacks.

The aforementioned Tavcom Training Theatre featured presentations on cyber security, preparing CCTV evidence for the criminal courts and how to optimise networks for surveillance.

As well as the Borders & Infrastructure Theatre, IFSEC 2017 also introduced the Smart Theatre focusing on the growing world of home automation, smart commercial buildings and integrated security and building management systems. Topics presented here included the risks and vulnerabilities posed by IoT systems, smart data and analytics and the vast array of opportunities smart technology now presents to both end users and installers.

IFSEC International 2017 in numbers

*27,658 visitors across three days

*35% of visitors emanated from overseas with 116 countries represented

*3,514 visitors had a security budget of over £1 million

*578 exhibiting companies from 39 countries

IFSEC International will return to London’s ExCeL next year from 19-21 June. Continue to access www.ifsec.co.uk for further information

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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