ISC West kicks off with booths up, attendance strong

Announcements include reshaping of ISC East
Thursday, March 25, 2010

LAS VEGAS—With 916 booths, slightly more than last year, and crowded aisles, ISC West is preliminarily being labeled a strong show this year by attendees and exhibitors. “It’s back up there, getting toward 1,000 booths again,” said Fredrik Nilsson, general manager, Americas, at Axis Communications.

“There’s a lot of people here,” said Rich Montalvo, president of Security 101. “The turnout is much better than ASIS and Anaheim. I’m not sure if that’s the location or just people feeling better about the economy.”

While audited attendance numbers won’t be released for a couple months, anecdotal indications were that attendance was strong. The state of the industry keynote address was filled to 600-seat capacity, with people standing along the walls; product introduction events put on by the likes of HID, Bosch, and DMP were standing room only; there were lines for the bathroom in the lunch-time hour.

Even the nascent Security 5k, put on by Security Systems News, Security Director News, and Reed Exhibitions, and to benefit Mission 500, is exceeding expectations. With 250 bibs printed for runners, registrations for the event eclipsed 275 runners as of mid-day on this first day of the exhibit floor opening.

Recurring themes were familiar for those who’ve been attending recent industry events. Commercial integrators were encouraged to focus more on services and build RMR; IP video continues to be embraced (Pelco debuted a new HD-only booth where every camera and monitor was 1080p); wireless options continue to grow (DMP released an all-wireless intrusion platform called the XTL; Bosch expanded its support for cellular communication); ease of installation continues to be emphasized by certain vendors (Axis had executives installing cameras on unicycle and blind-folded).

Further, the debate over whether integrators want end-to-end solutions from one vendor, or best-of-breed solutions from many vendors, continued to rage. While vendors like DVTel insist that the best performance can only be realized by VMS that’s designed to go hand-in-glove with the cameras connected to it, integrators like Eric Yunag, president of Dakota Security, and Sean Woods, director of IT at Valley Ag Software, said their end users are asking for flexible systems that can accommodate a number of different vendors, and they want the flexibility to supply best-of-breed solutions and not be pigeon-holed. Yunag, for one, was confident that the efforts of specification-creating bodies like ONVIF and PSIA will change the way integrators can deploy video surveillance.

“Maybe I’m one of the few of that opinion,” he joked, “but, yeah, I come from the IT world, and I’ve seen standards be developed and best-of-breed options be a reality.”

The big announcement coming from the camp of Reed Exhibitions, proprietors of ISC West, was that ISC East, traditionally held in the fall in New York City, will be renamed ISC Solutions, and reframed as an application-, and vertical-focused event. The first event, this fall, will focus on the healthcare, retail; education/campus, and government verticals.

“We reached out to a core group of manufacturers, and our core audience of installers and integrators, and targeted end users and really built an event form the ground up,” said Ed Nichols, VP at Reed Exhibitions. By focusing on solutions instead of products, ISC Solutions hopes to provide a new and different conference experience from what’s currently available.