Show review: Looking back on The Security Event and International Security Expo


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International Security Journal reflects on the key innovations and themes that were on show at The Security Event and International Security Expo.

After what seemed like forever, The Security Event and International Security Expo returned. And, whilst there still remained a little awkwardness surrounding handshakes, one thing was for sure – the events did not disappoint.

For many, the chance to demonstrate new products in person and chat with friends and clients again was surreal. At both shows there was a buzz of reconnection and networking in the air as the doors opened and the show floor filled.

At the heart of the crowds were the lively Nineteen Events team, chatting away with each and every exhibitor, visitor and speaker, ensuring everything went as smoothly as possible. With the first of the two events, The Security Event, co-located with The Fire Safety Event, The Emergency Services Show, The Health and Safety Show, The Facilities Event and The National Cyber Security Show at the NEC Birmingham, there was an opportunity for attendees working across a variety of industries, as well as security, to interact with live product demonstrations and have face-to-face discussions once again.

Equally, whilst ISE at London’s Olympia was housed in a more intimate and compact exhibition space compared to the NEC, the close environment helped ignite in-depth discussion and provided visitors with the chance to move from conference to conference to catch the latest insights from keynote speakers. With an audience made up of attendees from 36 countries, the event certainly took the word international to heart and reconnected the global security industry in style.

The Security Event

With the first of the two September events promising industry reconnection on a massive scale, exhibition stands at The Security Event were ever-present with the latest technologies and innovations. Not only were surveillance cameras, access control products, perimeter protection solutions and security screening technologies ready and waiting to be demoed as the doors opened to eager visitors, but key associations and group organisations such as ASIS UK, The Security Institute and Secured by Design took the opportunity to explain their work in the industry.

Tristan Norman, Group Director – The Safety & Security Series, Nineteen Events, provided comment on the show’s success and what he expects for the 2022 event. Norman remarked: “The Security Event 2021 was a long time in the making following three postponements during the pandemic but it was well worth the wait. Being the first security trade show to emerge from the pandemic and also one of the very first trade shows in the UK to take place, both the security sector and the exhibition world were watching.

“Did we deliver? Absolutely! We welcomed over 175+ manufacturers and suppliers and circa 7,500 attendees over the three days at the NEC Birmingham. The 2021 show was 2.5x larger than our launch show back in 2019; to gain this level of support during a pandemic and so quickly in the lifecycle of a trade show demonstrates the exceptional value our sector places on The Security Event.

“We as a team have all been in this market for a long time and we were absolutely delighted to be the ones to bring the industry back together again after such a long wait! It is safe to say the buzz was well and truly back in Birmingham.” 

He continued: “Furthermore we continue to receive mind-blowing feedback every day from both exhibitors and visitors. This gives us huge satisfaction and motivation to continually develop and grow The Security Event to maintain our leading position as the go-to show in the UK whilst starting to be recognised on an international stage. 

“Looking ahead to 2022, our show plan is already 80% occupied and we have had lots of really positive conversations with many new companies about joining us next year – so, watch this space.  We have big plans and a very comprehensive strategy in place that include projects with system integrators, security consultants and European partners. It’s an exciting period for The Security Event and we are hugely grateful for the continued support.”

From an innovation perspective, much of the attention at the event was on Cloudview, whose cloud-based solution is undoubtedly a game-changer within the Video Surveillance as a Service market. Keith Cornell, CEO of Cloudview, commented on the event and explained how the company is playing its part in the technological advancement of the industry: “The Security Event was an overwhelming success for us at Cloudview. Having the opportunity to connect with existing partners and introduce ourselves to potential new ones after so long was fantastic and meant we could fully showcase our platform’s capabilities on a larger scale.

“It was evident throughout the event that the technology advancements taking place within the security industry show no signs of slowing down and we are excited to play a prominent role in that. We look forward to returning in April 2022.”

John Coleman, Head of Sales UK and Ireland at CSL explained how much the company enjoyed being able to meet face-to-face with customers once again. “It was great to be back meeting our customers, partners and industry colleagues after such a long time! The Security Event at the NEC presented us with an ideal platform to spend time with installers, discuss the latest challenges they face and explain how our latest innovations can help them to future-proof their businesses.

“Our MiniAir 2 and DigiAir Pro 2 solutions proved to be a great hit with all the installers we met, who have now started to utilise these as they upgrade older, PSTN-dependent alarm signalling systems as part of the UK’s All IP project. The Security Event gave us a great platform to kick off some of these new projects.”

Alan Riegler, Managing Director of ISM Ltd added: “The Security Event was our planned first venture into the public domain since the rebranding of the ISM business and the first opportunity to meet since the pandemic hit. Being able to engage with people face-to-face again reminds us how important that interaction is. Talking with customers and having the opportunity to educate our audience, showcase our evolved solutions and capture feedback on a more personal level is where we needed to be. 

“The event will grow and develop under the stewardship of Tristan Norman and we look forward to being part of that and have committed to the 2022 event in April.”

International Security Expo

Boasting the International Security Conference, Global Counter Terror & Serious Organised Crime Summit, Disaster and Resilience Conference, Global Cyber Summit and the Product Innovation Theatre, as well as covering a variety of topics relating to product innovation, government and the threat of hostile actors, ISE enabled senior buyers from around the globe to come together and do business, regardless of travel restrictions.

Rachael Shattock, Group Event Director at Nineteen Group, commented on the show’s success: “The overwhelmingly positive feedback from visitors and exhibitors alike is testament to the reputation of the show, and the value it gives to all those who attend. We were delighted to see so many visitors and exhibitors excited to be back at the show, reuniting with their peers.

“The energy in the hall spoke for itself and the breadth of product launches demonstrates how the industry has continued to focus on research and development, constantly innovating to improve our safety and security. We are already looking forward to a bigger and better event in 2022 and welcoming back many of our international exhibitions and visitors who were unable to attend due to the pandemic.”

Jim Hardy, Operations and Service Manager from ADANI Limited, said: “After a long sojourn following the COVID-19 pandemic, we returned to the exhibition scene with a mix of excitement and trepidation; after all, we were finally going to meet other industry professionals which is always a good experience, competitors or customers alike. There were a lot of nerves involved prior to exhibiting as the organisation, logistics and human interaction had to almost be relearnt.

“Moreover, as premier partners we experienced the additional pressure of being out front! Thankfully, the organisers of all three events were on top of their game and without their assistance it would have proven a far greater challenge.”

Rebecca Hughes, Country Marketing Manager (UK) at Heras, also commented: “As Europe’s leading end-to-end supplier of permanent and mobile perimeter protection solutions, Heras was delighted to be at International Security Expo and support an event where the UK security industry could come together, showcase the latest innovations in physical and cybersecurity and discuss key issues where effective security can be beneficial for UK plc.

“We are delighted that our new innovations – such as our next generation of perimeter intrusion detection systems (PIDSs) and Connect, our breakthrough cloud-based portal that offers real time insights into the status of an entrance control system – were so well received at the show and generated strong interest. We expect this to translate into a strong order book.”

A specialist Government Zone at the event was significantly supported by UK Government and associated agencies and provided a central meeting point for visitors to network and discover the latest projects and plans for the future. With the likes of British Transport Police, The Civil Aviation Authority and Police Crime Prevention Initiatives presenting their plans and innovations to visitors, several officials took to the stage to present sessions across the two days including Mark Goldsack, Angela Essel and Shaun Hipgrave.

Jason Wakefield, Sales Director at Todd Research, added: “Since COVID-19 and the countrywide lockdown, finding new business for us has been a challenge. During the last 18 months it has given us time to think about our technologies and how they can be improved. The next challenge for us was getting these enhanced detection technologies out into the relevant audiences; using International Security Expo has been invaluable at showcasing our world class equipment.

“The exhibition itself outperformed all of our expectations, with two full days of quality demonstrations, with visitors from both Government and high profile organisations.”

With much to look forward to as the shows prepare for their respective returns in 2022, it is evident that the success of The Security Event and International Security Expo reflects the industry’s rapid growth, innovation and need for face-to-face interaction.

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This article was originally published in the November 2021 edition of International Security Journal. Pick up your FREE digital edition here

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