Conference attendance depends on companies more than show

Concerning location, companies don't want to travel far
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

YARMOUTH, Maine—Before attending a conference, security executives pay more attention to their budget, timing and their current projects than what the show offers, according to responses in Security Systems News’ latest poll. But, when it comes to the show, respondents were almost evenly split between location, attendees/keynotes/speakers and “something different.”

Attending a conference depends on money, time and current company projects, according to 69 percent.

Thirty percent listed location as their top priority for attending a new conference. “I don't have time nor wish to expend the resources to travel far from my area,” said one respondent.

“More regional events would be great due to time and travel considerations,” said Jim Wade, president of Atlas Security Service.

Close to home with an emphasis on new leading edge technology,” is how John Wilkinson, GM for RFI Communications, described his preferred conference.

Thirty percent said they attend the same shows every year. “[A new show] would have to be something pretty new and different to get me to NOT attend ISC or ASIS and go something new instead,” said one reader.

Other companies vary which events they attend. “We generally go to a different conference each year, sometimes it depends on time constraints because we are operating with a smaller group than we'd like,” Tracy Hendrix, president and CEO of Femac Security Solutions, wrote in.

Thirty-nine percent look specifically for attendees, keynotes, and speakers at an industry event. “Continuing education and new product technology training is vital in our industry,” Terry Crandall, senior engineering technician for Wyandotte Alarm Company, said.

Thirty-one percent said they want something different. “A new event would have to bring something new to the table that's not already covered by ISC, ASIS, PSA, BICSI, ALOA, DHI, ESX and a host of other shows,” said one reader.

One respondent only attends if he or she is speaking.

Of the readers concerned about new shows, fifty-six percent integrate, install or monitor security devices. Twenty three percent are manufacturers and 21 percent are end users.

A couple of respondents said they’d like to see more end user-focused sessions at industry events. “Having interesting speakers for end users is key,” said Paul McGinley, senior manager, security at Cotiviti, a health firm.

Others would like to see more sales-focused discussions. “I'm always attracted by sessions on RMR and sales. Like new technology sessions as long as they are non-commercial and not product specific,” said one reader. “[A] sales focused conference would get me fired up!” said another.