ASIS day 1 impressions
The show is slow. There's really no two ways around that. But I was chatting with Siemens' Carey Boethel and he says, "So, the show's not as bad as I thought it was going to be." I guess everything comes down to expectations. When you go so far as to not even grab a booth and you're Siemens, I guess you think the show is basically going to implode. When the building remains standing, you're happy with the turnout. Personally, I thought scenes like the below were pretty commonplace. Notice how there's nobody in the aisles? That was pretty par for the course unless you were right in front of the doors. I think the Stanleys and Pelcos, situated with numbers that end in 01 were probably fairly happy with the turn-out, actually, but if you were in the back of hall you weren't talking to anybody but your neighbors. Perhaps that's just about always the case. My theory on the turnout is that the big corporations, those that can actually afford to have an internal security department and a professional heading it, were spooked in the first and second quarter and slashed all the budgets, especially the travel budgets. And I don't think I'm telling you anything you don't know when I say you don't get your travel budget back in the middle of the year. For ISC West, the integrators and installers maybe brought fewer people, but they had to show up. It's their business. For the end users, it's not their business. I'm sure shows focused on HR professionals or, God forbid, editorial talent where absolute ghost towns this year. But, as noted by a few people who are rocking Twitter at the show (follow me at www.twitter.com/sam_pfeifle, hint, hint), the amount of product releases and the activity by the manufacturers has been pretty strong. Sanyo's new HD camera line is pretty impressive. Ionit has a cool new partnership that brings very in-depth business intelligence to mass video surveillance. Genetec's new network appliance is easy and inexpensive. Pelco's Sarix stuff looks great. American Dynamics and Software House are streamlining operations. AMAG has new video offerings. Avigilon is playing nicely with others. Arecont has all kinds of new cameras, including a 10 megapixel number. Seriously, things are pretty busy and I don't think the lack of end user attendees is as bad as it will seem on Wednesday afternoon, when everybody's already gone home and the exhibitors are itching to pack up early. I'm slightly concerned my 2 p.m. panel discussion on Wednesday is going to be deserted. Hoping not. I'll have lots more press releases and such posted tonight, assuming the Stanley party isn't too intoxicating.