At ASIS, sponsors get top billing. Literally. The organization that makes $10+ million each year from manufacturer sponsors now readily admits this in its own publication:
ASIS emphasizes how manufacturers sponsoring keys, maps, head rests, pens, etc. "help make this week an enjoyable, affordable and memorable." Those who spend more get prioritized attention and recognition throughout the show.
Serious Sponsor Spending
ASIS gets huge amounts of money from sponsors. Their own Sponsor Opportunities Guide spells it out:
- Lanyards - $30,000 (thanks Tyco)
- Maps - $16,500
- Aisle Signs - $50,000
- Sun Block - $3,000
- Charging Stations - $10,000
These are just a sample of the dozens of 'opportunities' available. Of course, it does not include the millions spent by exhibitors for their booths.
Conflicts with ASIS's Mission
However, this conflicts with ASIS's supposed mission which is "dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and productivity of security professionals." Sponsorships detract, rather than help, serve this goal.
ASIS security technology training is quite rudimentary and the exhibits are more carnival than education. This is no accident as it helps serves the interest of sponors (almost all of whom are technology vendors) who want the freedom to sell, rather than the constraints of criticism and correction of what really works for security managers.
Imagine if ASIS really strived to make the exhibits dedicated to increasing security professional's effectiveness and productivity. They could easily do so much more to cut through the hype, provide real recommendations and assistance in what to focus on and what to avoid. Alas, ASIS members are left on their own to figure out this ever changing maze of technology. And yet ASIS is making big money and sponsors are getting top billing.
[Update: ASIS Financials Investigated.]
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