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ISJ Exclusive: Interview with Andreas Rex, Show Director of Intersec


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An exclusive interview with Andreas Rex, Show Director of Intersec about how the event has developed over recent years.

Intersec is always one of the highlights of the security industry calendar. Not only is Dubai a spectacular setting for business to take place, the event itself brings together the leading manufacturers from all sectors of the market to set the agenda for the year ahead.

The 2020 edition of the show promises to be bigger and better than ever but it is taking place at a particularly interesting time. Expo 2020 is vying for some of the spotlight usually reserved for Intersec, with the world fair set to start in Dubai during October.

It is also somewhat of a transformation period for the event after it was recently confirmed that the show will be co-located with Light Middle East and Prolight+Sound Middle East from 2021 onwards.

International Security Journal sat down with Andreas Rex, Show Director of Intersec 2020 to find out how the event has evolved over recent years and what the co-location means for visitors and exhibitors moving forward.

2020 vision

Excitement is growing steadily for Intersec 2020 with the show taking place from 19-21 January. Rex believes that the event is going from strength to strength: “I think it’s a show where the entire security and safety community can meet in one place.

“Intersec does not just focus on access control, or physical security or fire protection, we cover the entire range. This ensures we cater to all vertical industries, such as government, hospitality, finance, construction, oil and gas as well as border security. Professionals from all of those verticals come to the show to find out what they can purchase or partner with to keep their assets safe and secure.”

As for the themes of January’s event, Rex states that the focus will be on the changing role of security within organisations: “The show has certainly developed from a place where security equipment is sold to more of an integrated event which shows what security actually means to a business.

“We will be showcasing what security can do in terms of customer behaviour analysis, product enhancements and even the benefits it has for an organisation’s marketing objectives.

“Another key focus will be the impact of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. We are now less than a year away from Expo 2020 so this is the last chance that companies will have to display the technology which will be implemented on a huge scale at the Expo itself.”

Enter the arena

Looking closer at the new developments that visitors will be seeing at Intersec 2020, the one that immediately catches the eye is the introduction of the Intersec Arena. The arena will offer insights into new technologies that address cross-sector industry specific challenges, while educating end users on the key considerations when purchasing specific product categories.

The three-day Intersec Arena will be split into three distinct tracks, with the first day covering digital technologies. Day two will explore security challenges and solutions in key industry verticals before the final day focuses on key requirements and considerations when making purchasing decisions for specific product categories. One of the highlights will surely be the launch of the new Security Professionals Association (SPA) by the Dubai Government’s Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA) on day one.

Rex explains the reason behind the new feature: “We could see a demand from exhibitors and visitors for more live content. It means we can move away from the traditional way of doing things, with exhibitors usually carrying out live activities on their own territory.

“This arena in the heart of the show has been given the sub-title, “The Centre of Excellence” and is the place where all the latest technologies and trends will be discussed and the best thing is, it is free to attend for all visitors.”

Andreas Rex

Getting bigger and better

The Intersec Arena is just the latest in a long line of developments that Rex has seen during his time working on the show.

He joined the Intersec team in 2008 and is immensely proud of the progress that has been made since then: “Since 2008, we have trebled the floor space required for the show as well as the exhibitor and visitor numbers.

“When I first came on board, I would say it was a more regional focused show but now, it is a truly international event. For the 2019 edition, we had almost 20,000 visitors who came from outside the UAE. The development over the last 11 years has been huge and the event has turned into something that should not be missed by anyone working in the security industry.”

Intersec receives staggering support from the global security community, as well as from the local government, with the show increasing its presence every year. There are almost 1,200 exhibitors already signed up for 2020 and Rex and his team believe they will welcome more than the 35,000 visitors that attended the 2019 edition, a figure which set a new record in the 21 year history of the event.

According to Rex, there are several reasons why the show has captured the imagination of the industry: “We are the only exhibition worldwide that caters for everyone, we have a truly holistic approach.

“Visitors to Intersec can see the latest fire protection systems and equipment, hear experts discuss the integration of electronic and physical security as well as learn what Smart Cities could achieve over the coming years. We do not just cover one type of technology or subject area and that is why anyone who manages a company and is responsible for the safety of its staff, security of its assets or IT should be attending the show.

“I think the other main reason why the event has proved so popular is the location. Dubai is one of the best places in the world to do business, the meeting point between East and West. The infrastructure here is fantastic and makes it very easy for people to come and do business in the morning before enjoying their time in the evening. Dubai and especially its government support has been a big part of the success of the show.”

Let there be light

You could be forgiven for thinking that the event organisers would be happy to stick with the status quo following the monumental success that the show has enjoyed in recent years but there are big changes on the way. It was recently announced that Intersec will be co-located with Light Middle East and Prolight+Sound Middle East from 2021 onwards.

The news raised quite a few eyebrows from industry insiders when it was released but Rex says the co-location will help to provide the complete package of solutions all in one place for security professionals.

“We could see that there was a huge overlap between Intersec and these two other shows. System integrators in the building automation sector will not just be in charge of the security systems, they will also be looking after the lighting, elevators, climate control etc. All of these disciplines are coming together extremely quickly.

“Once we realised that, it was a logical step for us to co-locate these shows and get all those professionals together in the same place at the same time. We are already putting plans in place for the special features that will be part of this newly-expanded event, for example we will have a pavilion focusing on event security as that is one area where all of these different disciplines will converge. I expect 2021 to be a huge show which will take Intersec to yet another level.”

But first, there is just the small case of Intersec 2020 to look forward to and Rex is certain that it will be the best yet: “Our PR and marketing team are working very hard to beat the 20% increase in visitors that we had in 2019. Although it is not mandatory, I would recommend that anybody who is planning on visiting the show pre-registers through our website. This will give them smooth access to the event and enables them to begin arranging meetings with our exhibitors.”

There is no doubt that Intersec is now one of the unmissable events in the security industry calendar. Although there are significant developments just around the corner with the upcoming co-location, Rex and his team will continue putting together an informative and topical event which will keep bringing people back to Dubai for many years to come.


This article was published in the December edition of International Security Journal. To receive your FREE digital copy of the magazine, please click here

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