Show your wares: Here comes ASIS

Thursday, September 21, 2006

YARMOUTH, Maine-An informal poll of integrators large and small has revealed that ASIS may indeed be all it's cracked up to be. Integrators reported the show is their best opportunity for creating leads in a short amount of time, with nearly half of them expecting to generate business at the show.
"I think a lot of people, especially in mid-sized to smaller companies, have to be extremely selective as to what shows they do and don't do," said Noelle Britton, vice president of marketing at Siemens. "For us, ASIS is a great opportunity to put together a touch-point campaign, where we can do not only a booth, but also sponsorships, hosting seminars, hosting a customer event. It's the one time of year that I know of where all of the security professionals are in one place."
But it's about more than just marketing. "Shows are very expensive," Britton acknowledged. "So we can talk about the intangible things of building your brand awareness and contributing to the overall industry, but at the end of the day you have to show a return on investment and the way to do that is showing qualified leads." Siemens brings as many as 50 people to ASIS every year.
She equated ASIS with ISC West in terms of size, "but I think if you look at the ISC demographics," she said, "it's a lot of manufacturers marketing to dealers and integrators. ASIS is for the end users."
HSM president and chief operating officer Tim Whall agreed. "We're there to do business," he said. "It's the biggest show of the year for that." HSM tries to put a non-traditional booth on the floor, last year going with a movie-premiere theme. He wouldn't divulge this year's theme, but one thing he was certain of is that "we have no product in the booth. It's all about the services."
There's a certain element of keeping up with the Joneses, too. John Fenske, at Johnson Controls, said, "Security is an industry with rapidly changing technology. We need to stay on top of these trends in order to deliver effective solutions to our customers. ASIS is the perfect forum to research and understand trends in technology as well as begin to develop partnerships."
Doug Gervais, head of Doro Safety & Security in Ottawa, also looks "forward to looking at the new products and following the developments of the more-established product lines." But "I also enjoy several days off with my wife and friends in the security field. We always manage to meet new friends at these shows."
Again, however, it's really all about business creation. "As a small company," said Gervais, who is exhibiting for the fifth consecutive year, "I think the show is important as a part of Doro's growth as we increase our sales across Canada."