The tradeshow race is on

Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Editor, Security Systems News

I’ve enjoyed watching horse races over the years. In fact, there’s a racetrack in my hometown. It’s become a tradition of sort for my family to follow the Kentucky Derby beginning weeks prior to the event.

We are fixated on the race, watching to see which horse will become the favorite and who has dropped out at the last minute. Race day is no exception for us, since we often make it a point to gather around the television set together to watch a fast, yet exciting race that this year lasted for all of two minutes and one second.

To me, the security tradeshows are a race of sorts. For our publication, this fall we hit the Trifecta - three back-to-back issues of show coverage in our August, September and October issues - a first. The jackpot for us is knowing that we put together three great issues, featuring not only breaking news but coverage of seminars for both the ASIS International Show and National Summit on Security event.

As I write this editorial, we are but days away from heading to the ASIS Show in New Orleans. We’ve spent weeks preparing for this race, er … I mean event. Our training: planning what products we’d like to check out, setting up appointments to meet with exhibitors and integrators, and taking note of important press conferences that are scheduled during the show.

People have been jockeying for our time, and in turn, us for theirs. We’re finding that the field is crowded - our schedules are overflowing with appointments - a sign of a good race … I mean show. In the three days of the ASIS show our days will be packed, beginning with breakfast meetings, appointments on the show floor and then our business day will last into the night with dinners and cocktail receptions to attend. I can’t even begin to count how many people the Security Systems News team will meet during the event – hundreds does not seem outrageously far-fetched to me.

The NSS Show should be no exception. With its Washington venue and new convention center, we’ll likely have the pleasure of meeting more new people and seeing more new faces than in the past.

And then before we know it, these three-day tradeshow events - the race to meet with as many people as possible - will be over. During our victory lap we’ll be able to reflect on the work we accomplished - the new contacts we made, the news we heard and our continuing education on the security industry.

It will be a fast, yet exciting race. Now, after all this trotting around, all we’ll need to complete the event is a Mint Julep.