Deceptive ASIS Attendance

Author: John Honovich, Published on Oct 06, 2017

ASIS is being deceptive with its conference reporting, effectively inflating the event's real actual attendance.

What they try, but struggle to do, is report 'registrants' but, as our examples below show, they clearly are misrepresenting it as actual attendees.

Registrants Vs Attendees

Actual attendance is historically ~17% less than registrants reported, thousands of attendees less, so the difference is material.

Here is the claim from their post-2017 event press release:

Whatever 'attracting' they claim, it was far less than 22,000 that were 'attracted' to Dallas during that week.

Registrants represent anyone who registers online, often for free, whereas attendees are only the people who actually physically showed up at the event, e.g., this year in Dallas. For the companies spending $10+ million on this event, what they care about is real physical attendees.

Deceptive Examples

Start with ASIS' CEO, who last week during the event, on camera, claimed that their conference 'pulls about 22,000 people every year':

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

They clearly did not 'pull' 22,000 'people' to the event. Unfortunately, even ASIS CEO gets caught up in the deception between attendees and registrants.

He is not alone. Here is an ASIS board of director member saying explictly 22,000 attendees:

And here is from ASIS own event website that, yet again, says 22,000 professionals at the event.

This is unfortunately not new at ASIS, as we reported earlier in the year, examples including:

And:

Deviation From Standards and Their Own History

For whatever reason, ASIS has decided to deceive and retreat from both event standards and their own historical approach.

For example, for the 2015 show, ASIS reported actual physical attendance:

Registration for ASIS 2015 totaled more than 21,000. Verified preliminary attendance was 17,484 which was below expectations

And ASIS main competitor, ISC West, consistently reports actual attendees.

Do Better

ASIS is doing better on some fronts. Reaction was positive for having former President Bush, Mark Cuban and the reception at the Cowboy's AT&T stadium; even exhibitor satisfaction, though still not great, improved in 2017.

It is unfair and below the standards of security professionals to deceive about attendance. ASIS can certainly do better here.

Comments (15)

Only IPVM PRO Members may comment. Login or Join.

I can't report the violations because I am no longer an ASIS member :)

ASIS CPP code of conduct... "Observe the precepts of truthfulness, honesty, and integrity."

ASIS Membership code of ethics... "A member shall observe the precepts of truthfulness, honesty, and integrity."

"A member who knows, or has reasonable grounds to believe, that another member has failed to conform to Code of Ethics of ASIS should inform the Ethical Standards Council in accordance with Article VIII of the Bylaws."

I strongly agree that the true attendance should be stated. Do keep in mind that many of us attend the conference for the classes they offer, which are very relevant, so the amount of attendees on the Expo floor may be minimal. This is a very expensive event for dealers and manufacturers so maybe it is time to look at scaling back and making it a purely educational event in a smaller venue. Just a thought.

This is a very expensive event for dealers and manufacturers so maybe it is time to look at scaling back and making it a purely educational event in a smaller venue.

John, good feedback, interesting thought. I think a purely education event for ASIS would be more appropriate.

However, from a money perspective, the revenue ASIS generates from booth sales, advertising and sponsorships from manufacturers subsidizes most everything else ASIS does. If they lost a significant amount of that, ASIS would have to significantly change other parts of their operation.

For reference, here is ASIS 2015 financial report. ASIS revenue is just under $29 million of which nearly $16 million is from the seminar and ~$2.5 million from publishing, the large majority of that revenue comes from booths, sponsorships, advertising, etc.

Yea, that would be tough to make up. I didn't realize this, it is their lifeblood.

With so much out there and so many ways to get education , it is really tough to keep up the same venue and expect better returns.

The wow effect keeps getting harder and harder to achieve.

The expectation level of people in general has achieved an all time high for the amount of investment required.

Time is the element

Pleasure is the passion

and persuit is the Dream

We keep getting the same levels of display ,

some getting more advanced , and some using the same old platforms to try to achieve a better outcome.

I think its time to rethink the show s and restructure to meet the challenges of the industry , not show and tell time.

Set higher goals for R&D , Less on purchasing old ways of thinking.

and then its coordinating around current events and seasons for successful participation .

Interesting observation shared on LinkedIn:

ASIS member unhappy with IPVM's coverage:

We are not attacking the 'organization', we are criticizing a specific action with numerous pieces of evidence to support our analysis. If anyone has counters to our evidence or analysis, feel free to share here or email us at info@ipvm.com We are quite confident in our analysis and evidence as we we have reviewed this issue with ASIS multiple times this year.

If ASIS is a strong organization, they will simply discontinue the 'registrant' tactic, report actual attendance and move on.

If anyone has counters to our evidence... We are quite confident in our analysis and evidence as we we have reviewed this issue with ASIS multiple times this year.

I can only offer this as (somewhat feeble) counter:

Except for the statement where they say "online registrants", all the other examples, the ones claiming "attendees", are forward looking statements made in anticipation of the event and so are optimistic.

If you have a wedding and 100 guests say they're coming, you better have a meal for 100 people, even though typically only 80 will come. And you wouldn't be criticized for saying you're having 100 guests, before the wedding, nor for saying you invited 100, after the wedding.

Like I said, somewhat feeble...

If they wanted to make it forward looking, they could have qualified it as 'expected', ASIS remarks are declarative, e.g.:

Also, ASIS CEO comment about "pulls about 22,000 people every year" was made during the ASIS 2017 show.

  • The ASIS 2015 show certainly did not pull 22,000 people.
  • The ASIS 2016 show certainly did not pull 22,000 people.
  • And it is hard to believe the CEO did not know during the event that the 2017 show did not 'pull' 22,000.

Just as a counter, as a vendor, we didn't have a clue if there is 22,000 attendees or 15,000 attendees. What we saw was a lot more qualified people come by our booth and like what they saw.

That was the goal we were looking for to attend to the show and we walked away with good quality leads to follow up on. From that measurement, ASIS produced a good show.

Before the show we were hesitant to return because we anticipated there would be a light turnout, but because of the strong showing of the qualified prospects, we renewed and will be returning next year.

Just wanted to point that out as a different point of view.

George, good feedback. Thanks.

I do agree that ultimately the number of leads obtained is more important than pure people.

However, the total number of people who attend is an important factor in lead generation. For example, manufacturers consistently say they get more leads from ISC West and part of that is the sheer greater number of people who attend that show.

Also, the fact that ASIS has taken such pains to report registrants as attendees implies that they too know the attendance number is an important point to market their show.

ASIS can certainly market / claim about the quality of its attendees without having to resort with inflating a clear quantitative metric.

The Hikvision blog endorses the obviously deceptive 22,000 number:

Well played Hikvision!

Its about time that ASIS stopped being a glorified book store, and started helping the industry it claims to represent. Surely ASIS efforts would be far greater to the industry (both interrogator's and end user's) if it worked to get a nationally recognized vocational school and/or apprenticeship program started.

Our industry biggest weakness is the lack of skilled technicians and service personnel. Both end user and integrator would be better off with more people coming into our industry at the entry level with some basics relevant to our industry.

It would stop the inflationary practice of poaching technicians, and give interrogators a talent pool to to hire from leaving more future members for ASIS to sell books to!!

Its about time that ASIS stopped being a glorified book store, and started helping the industry it claims to represent... Our industry biggest weakness is the lack of skilled technicians and service personnel

I think ASIS views itself more as an organization for security directors, managers and guards vs security technical people, so I would not expect them to consider that.

SIA is working on this but not sure how successful they will be. There #1 step is to give SIA memberships to students...

I think the choice of venues for next year may also kill them as many in the industry are already moaning about going to Las Vegas twice next year (ISC West in April and ASIS 2018 in September)!

Related Reports

Panasonic Unified Surveillance Strategy Analyzed on Nov 17, 2017
Panasonic is now a "Unified Surveillance" offering, as their ASIS 2017 booth proclaimed: Looking to make a comeback in the security industry,...
Dahua Forbes 'Next Web Crisis' Vulnerability Dispute on Nov 16, 2017
The buffer overflow vulnerability in Dahua products is not in dispute, in fact we covered it when it was first published. What is in dispute is...
Hikvision China Criticizes The WSJ on Nov 15, 2017
Hikvision, through the Chinese government's authoritative news service, has criticized the WSJ investigation into Hikvision. In this...
WSJ Investigates Hikvision on Nov 13, 2017
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has released a detailed investigation into Hikvision's government ownership and cybersecurity problems, hitting the...
Ingram Micro: The Blind Lead The Blind on Nov 02, 2017
Ingram Micro, as a huge as they are overall, with $40+ billion in annual sales, has never been a force in physical security, despite, or perhaps...
CPSE 2017 Highlights on Nov 01, 2017
CPSE 2017, the largest security-oriented exhibition, held in China, has wrapped up. Inside we cover some top trends from the show,...
ASIS 2017 Stronger, Says Manufacturers on Sep 29, 2017
ASIS has reversed a trend of declining satisfaction from manufacturers, based on results of our survey of 80 manufacturers. However, exhibitors...
ASIS Show 2017 Final Report on Sep 27, 2017
ASIS is in Dallas for 2017 and this is our final show report (compare to our 2016 ASIS show report). When walking in, one is greeted with Dahua's...
'Clowns' Allege Ubiquiti 'Completely Fraudulent' on Sep 20, 2017
A short seller has alleged Ubiquiti is 'completely fraudulent'. Ubiquiti's CEO has responded calling them 'clowns'. Here is the short...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Amazon Key In-Home Package Delivery Examined on Nov 21, 2017
Interesting idea or invitation for criminals to rob you? Amazon's recent announcement of Key, a service that will help manage visitors, welcoming...
Top Maglock Provider Warns Against Using Maglocks on Nov 21, 2017
Do not buy my company's product. It sounds strange indeed, but a senior Allegion consultant stated that maglocks should not be used in common...
CBR vs VBR vs MBR - Surveillance Streaming on Nov 21, 2017
How you stream video has a major impact on quality and bandwidth. And it is not simply CODEC choice (e.g., H.264 vs H.265). Regardless of the...
Dahua Hard-Coded Credentials Vulnerability on Nov 20, 2017
A newly discovered Dahua backdoor is described by the researcher discovering it as: not the result of an accidental logic error or poor...
Panasonic Unified Surveillance Strategy Analyzed on Nov 17, 2017
Panasonic is now a "Unified Surveillance" offering, as their ASIS 2017 booth proclaimed: Looking to make a comeback in the security industry,...
Amazon Cloud Cam Is Poor (Tested) on Nov 17, 2017
Retail behemoth Amazon has entered the surveillance market with the Amazon Cloud Cam, the eyes of its just-announced Amazon Key delivery...
Nest Secure Alarm System Tested on Nov 16, 2017
Google's expansion continues, this time into home security with their Nest subsidiary's move into alarm systems. They paid more than a...
Dahua Forbes 'Next Web Crisis' Vulnerability Dispute on Nov 16, 2017
The buffer overflow vulnerability in Dahua products is not in dispute, in fact we covered it when it was first published. What is in dispute is...
Isonas Cofounders Split, Launch Partner/Competitor on Nov 16, 2017
Breaking up is hard to do, especially when door access security is at stake. But that is exactly what has happened at Isonas. Senior employees...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact