ISC West: To Go Or Not To Go?

I was at ISC 2 years ago, and what a big show. I do not think I got around the whole floor.

We are a small integrator and growing. We do mostly surveillance and are trying to do more access control and intrusion alarms. If I go I would take my wife (who is not part of the company) and my daughter who runs marketing. I would probably have my daughter take some classes while I walked the show floor.

Are you going?


Why not?

ISC West is the biggest, by far, North American security show.

However, whether an individual should go depends on your situation. Are their deals you can close at the show by meeting people face to face? Are you looking to find new suppliers or strengthen relationships with existing ones? Yes, then you should go.

If your main need is learning about new products, then that's not as clear. There are less new products these days and, as an IPVM member and generally being online, you can read about most of them without going to a show.

Btw, as for the classes, that's the most questionable part. A single day of classes is $525 and all 3 days is $925 (current pricing). That's a lot of money for what is mostly vendor sales pitches wrapped as education. Your daughter can learn a lot just by going from booth to booth having discussions with vendors and sitting in on the presentations that many vendors offer at their booths.

I am going this year and I go every couple of years. The classes aren't worth the money or the time. You daughter should get on IPVM and take their classes.

I go to strengthen my relationships with our vendors and meet with potential vendors. You're able to get hands on experience with products at the show unlike at your office. Every time I have attended a show I have come back with a new product we start selling that makes us stronger. I also spend a lot of time looking at products we do not use and seeing if what were offering is the best fit for our company and clients. I have changed product lines in the past based on my takeaway from the shows. Try and setup a few dinners with vendors and attend some of the evening events with your vendors. Few things are more important in business than your professional relationships. If they get to know you they'll listen to your feedback more so than if you just call in once a month and complain about something.

On top of that, it's a nice "vacation" I don't drink or gamble (much) so most of Vegas isn't appealing to me in the traditional sense. But I love visiting the city and always have a good time. The weather is nice and the pools aren't bad. There's not a lot of time to do much other than work but you can take a couple hours in the afternoons to enjoy yourself.

JB, good points. To highlight:

attend some of the evening events with your vendors.

On top of that, it's a nice "vacation"

I definitely hear a number of integrators call those points out.

Vendor events are generally in decline from the heyday of the million dollar Pelco parties but some integrators love them. Unlimited food and drink... see Hikvision.

Speaking of vendor events: Dahua VIP Cocktail Event ISC West 2018 Registration. That's Wednesday. Is Hikvision Tuesday then or?

HIK promise to sent invite for you

next week

any problem talk to your contact:)

Marty will get you in any Hik events..

There are some other benefits in my mind; Networking with other dealers and integrators, getting a "hands on" understanding of where the shifts and trends in security technology are headed, researching companies to work with or work for, and there is almost always a technology or company that pops up that is very interesting\new. As the owner of a security tech company in a pretty saturated industry, you should always be looking ahead at possibilities to differentiate yourself and offer value to the market. ISC is a great way to spend time focusing on that and touching\feeling which you just can't get from reading articles. I also agree that classes are simply advertising events and not worth the time or money.

You could meet John Honovich.

If you have never been to ISC West or a similar show, it is worth going just to get an impression of the overall scope of the security industry. Some of us are so busy working on our own little projects in our own local community that we never really grasp the size and breadth of the security industry as a whole.

I go for the following reasons:

1. It's the closest an integrator such as I gets to having a forum to request changes from the manufacturers.

2. Frequently we are so involved in quoting, running projects, etc that we do not otherwise have time to look at new product.

3. New product launches

4. Finding specialty products that would otherwise not be known to us. IPVM covers a lot of key items but with a show so large they cannot cover it all.

5. I want to see the IPVM booth babes.

5. I want to see the IPVM booth babes.

Also, I forgot to mention this:

I stop by currently represented manufacturer's booths only briefly for product updates and to provide feedback. I use the remainder of the show to discover new items. It is likely the manufacturers would brief their dealers on new product after the show anyway. Frequently I know their new products before I arrive at the show as they start to do press releases before the show to generate foot traffic.

I like going every other year or every three years. Back in the day there was new products rolling out every year. With manufactures trying to out do each other. But not any more. I find that it's more about networking now.

If there are products or manufacture that you really want to look at, I would suggest reaching out to local sales reps, even if you haven't dealt with them before. Setup a time to meet at the booth. This approach will waste less of your time just waiting around for someone to ask questions. They usually really like it because they can tell their bosses that they are being proactive. Win-win.

On that same note I like to download a map ahead of time then circle the manufacture that I want to see, appointment or not, that way you can make sure to see them. And spend the rest of the time cruising around. I don't feel as rushed that way.

Setup a time to meet at the booth. This approach will waste less of your time just waiting around for someone to ask questions. They usually really like it because they can tell their bosses that they are being proactive. Win-win.

Ty, good feedback. I'd second that. Many manufacturers view pre-set meetings as a sign of salesperson productivity, some even have requirements for salespeople to arrange X number of meetings.

I go every year. I live in Sydney.

It's far easier to get to than IFSEC in London for me and it's way bigger than AU's SEC.

I find it gives me a great overview on current security trends and exposure to products that I might not necessarily see otherwise from manufacturers who I wouldn't normally do any business with or may not even be represented in Australia.

I may not have an immediate use for some things I see, but it may come in handy somewhere down the track.

We are leaning towards going to see new products and like others said, it is a company paid vacation.

Airfare is still pretty cheap, hotels are little more expensive but the wife is getting a family style room since it's the three of us. So that may be why it's a tad pricey.

I think it would be good to get away, see new products, etc.

We don't buy from ADI so there will be no ADI party for us...:(

We don't buy from ADI so there will be no ADI party for us...:(

I think ADI lets people line up for tickets. I don't go to any parties. I just remember long lines and I asked why and someone told me it was for their party. Maybe that's Anixter but, net/net, I am pretty sure you get to one of the distributor parties just by going to their booth. Can anyone add or correct this?

9/10 times you can get tickets to the big distributor parties just by walking up to the booth. If it is a smaller company or venue you may have to get your rep to try and pull some strings to get you in last minute.

As a manufacturer who has a booth in the show we go there for few reason:

1. It's a great face time with people we usually just talk on the phone or email, business is made with people not with products and it's a great opportunity to interact.

2. Hands on demonstration, we emphasis on bringing as many full working systems as we can to let people have that "touch and feel" experience that usually you don't get by browsing the internet.

3. Getting feedback from integrators and installers who used our products, we made a lot of changes and improvements just based on the comments of people i met during the show.

4. Of course the exposure and the chance to meet people who would not see us otherwise.

Hopefully we will see all of you at the show and have a good time!

P.S this year the hotels are 150% more expensive so hopefully that won't hurt the attendance.

Does anyone go to ASIS in New York? Is that a viable east coast show? How about ISC East? (I trust the moderators will move this to a new thread if I start an actual conversation.)

I think it's fine to keep it here.

Both of the NYC shows are much, much smaller than ISC West, like ~75% smaller. If you are close to NYC, it can make sense to go to ASIS NYC or ISC East.

But neither are in the same universe as ISC West when it comes to the sheer scale of manufacturers, the number of executives who go, etc.

So many bad after parties....