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GSX+ 2020 virtual event attracts thousands of global participants


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The virtual doors have closed on the inaugural Global Security Exchange Plus (GSX+), paving the way for a new generation of virtual and hybrid events moving forward. Presented by ASIS International, the world’s largest association for security management professionals, GSX+ offered five days filled with live and on-demand education and networking for the global security community. Attendance for the breakthrough event was strong – with more than 4,500 registrants from 82 countries, along with 88 exhibitors populating the virtual Marketplace.

“GSX+ was a bold, positive statement to the world that the professional security industry is committed to learning, sharing experiences and information and building strong interpersonal relationships across borders, time zones and distances,” said Godfried Hendriks, CPP, 2020 ASIS President. “I am delighted by the energy and enthusiasm of the ASIS membership and the security community at large and I am already looking forward to GSX 2021, planned to take place in Orlando, which will combine the best of this virtual experience and our traditional live event.”

The GSX+ learning line-up offered attendees more than 130 world-class security education sessions over the course of the week, across five subject areas:

  • National Security
  • Physical and Operational Security
  • Risk Management
  • Digital Transformation/Information Security
  • Leadership and Managing within Organisations

All-Access attendees earned up to 25 CPEs and can now access all session recordings on-demand through 31 December. This effectively allows attendees to view every session offered at their leisure, without any scheduling conflicts.

Other popular GSX+ activities included the virtual Marketplace, where attendees interacted with exhibiting companies to learn about their latest offerings. Visitors had the ability to schedule private meetings, chat with booth staff during open Marketplace hours and use GSX+ Matchmaking and Networking features to connect directly with speakers, vendors and fellow attendees.

GSX+ 2020 kicked off on Monday 21 September with a keynote address presented by Juan Manuel Santos, two-term President of Colombia and recipient of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. In his address, titled Leading with Hope, Not Fear: A Global Perspective, Mr. Santos reflected on what it takes to build bridges and create unity when the task seems insurmountable. With an eye toward the future, he also shared insights on the global economic outlook and what lies ahead for global security. In the afternoon, the Welcome Reception provided entertainment with an opportunity for peer networking and catching up with global connections with 1,000 registrants in attendance.

Tuesday opened with the ASIS Europe Community Social. That day’s keynote presentation was an insightful interview with Solvay’s CEO, Dr. Ilham Kadri and Group Security Director, Werner Cooreman, titled Embracing the Future: Strategies for Building Resilience and Innovation. In this lively discussion, they covered a range of preparation strategies and tools required to be nimble in times of constant change, the values needed to support and retain top talent in a remote environment and how security’s role has evolved to meet recent challenges and evolving threats. In the afternoon, the ASIS Women in Security and Young Professionals happy hour provided an excellent opportunity for building strong relationships within these important groups.

The third day of GSX+ began with the Latin America (LATAM) community social. General Stanley McChrystal, 4-star general and former commander of US and International forces in Afghanistan helped us celebrate Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on Wednesday 23 September. General McChrystal spoke about Leading in Turbulent Times, including such key leadership principles as transparency and inclusion, leveraging the power of teams through relationships, leading by influence, relentless mission focus and sharing a clear vision with everyone who must execute against it – all against the shifting backdrop of the ever-evolving remote workplace. The day closed out with a special Military and Law Enforcement virtual happy hour, a networking opportunity where security professionals with military or law enforcement backgrounds shared valuable advice on career transition, education and professional certifications with those looking to make a similar transition.

The final keynote presentation was given on 24 September by Keren Elazari, CISSP, Security Analyst, Researcher and Public Speaker – titled The Future of Cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is no longer about protecting secrets. It’s about our way of life: from transportation systems to medical devices, or the manipulation of global markets and political campaigns. This talk was a journey through the world of cybersecurity, from a hacker’s perspective. That afternoon, at the President’s Reception, Jon Taffer, business management expert and host of “Bar Rescue,” swapped business management stories with Marco Vega, CPP, ASIS member and Senior Regional Vice President for Region 7.

ASIS International closed the week with a celebration of exceptional performance in the security industry on Friday 25 September at its virtual Gallery of Stars – a 360-degree tour of Longview Gallery where attendees could learn more about the accomplishments of security leaders who went above and beyond in 2020. The Gallery of Stars, which is accessible until 25 October, also hosts the US Security Outstanding Performance Awards (OSPAs) and recognised INTRUSION Shield as the recipient of ASIS International’s 2020 Innovative Product Award. For more information about GSX+ 2020, or to learn more about GSX 2021, please visit www.GSX.org.

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