I'm not going to physical shows this year. In my opinion ASIS is playing this smart. The ISC show may well fold again at the last minute with the resulting turmoil, but regardless I'm not interested in travelling. ASIS will have a solid plan for a virtual show that will go forward no matter what happens. I can register for GSX+ with a high level of confidence that they will deliver a decent program.
I'm thinking Reed is trying to figure out how to spin this in their favor "ISC West is, again, the first large security expo of the year! Come party in Vegas so you can meet everyone who doesn't have to travel to Atlanta now."
The FAQs that I have read, provide multiple options for exhibitors. The only time a full refund will be not be granted is if exhibitor cancelled before January 1st in which they will get their money back with exception of deposit. My opinion is that ASIS is doing the right thing by all.
Reed is really trying every option to just burn people on the idea of ISC West being a must-do show. I'm just waiting for them to change the 2021 dates to start the show on a Sunday to really kill it off.
Exhibitor bookings will transfer automatically to 2021 and we will be in contact with each and every customer and event partner to discuss this in person. Rest assured that prices will be frozen from 2020 and we will be reaching out to everyone by phone but if we can’t reach any individual for a few days, then by email.
IFSEC also commented on their recent digital initiatives:
We welcomed many thousands of industry colleagues during our Digital Week in May and we continue to develop our online platforms to offer additional ways of connecting with the wider industry. We will continue to work with our customers to help them connect with audiences online, using both our existing platforms and several new initiatives due to launch later this year.
That is a sharp attendance drop from the claimed many tens of thousands historically IFSEC says come to the physical show. However, having a few thousand people at an online show makes sense, even if IFSEC makes it free, as people have a lot more options online than a once a year physical event.
ASIS has always been the go to for the educational side of the event. ISC has seen the value in ASIS' offering education sessions and has tried to make this a draw for their own show. SIA even has added young professionals to their offerings. I don't think that ISC can survive as a virtual event and I also think that a live ISC event will fail miserably at attendance. ASIS is doing the right thing here and looks like they are planning it well. The cost to attend the GSX event has been prohibitive for many desiring to attend the educational sessions and this may very well keep attendance higher than many may be expecting.
The last couple of GSX events, I have not been able to walk the floor anyway due to presenting, attending educational sessions, and meetings with clients and potential clients. I hope that the virtual products displays and demos will be archived and available on-demand as this would allow me to actually see more products and demos than I have been able to in past years.