"Stats Don't Lie" Says Deceptive IFSEC

By: John Honovich, Published on Jul 30, 2019

While IFSEC has declared #statsdontlie and trumpeted seemingly skyrocketing visitor numbers, they are decieving about their show's problems.

On July 29, 2019, IFSEC declared:

34,000+ is an impressive number, especially since it represents a 25% surge versus their 2018 reported attendance of 27,350.

New Statistics

As we reported earlier this month, IFSEC has changed their statistics.

In the past, they just counted people who registered specifically for IFSEC. This year, they counted people who registered for other shows that were co-located in the same center and days and who they tracked as having attended IFSEC as well. They explained to IPVM:

We have found through the customer insight work we’ve been doing this year that there is huge crossover between brands, with many people attending more than 1 of the shows due to an overlap in their interests. For example, FMs attending Facilities Show are increasingly finding that security installation and technology fall under their remit, hence they also attend IFSEC; going to seminars, speaking with Exhibitors etc.

This increased understanding, and better tracking capabilities, has allows us to quantify just how many of these crossover attendees there are and we welcome them with open arms as we attempt to make the event a more holistic experience allowing all four shows to merge creating a one stop shop for everything Security, Fire, Safety, Health and Facilities related.

Refuse To Release IFSEC Registrant Count

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Making things worse, the organizers refuse to release the specific IFSEC registrant count for 2019, the approach they have used for many years and still evidently do for other co-located shows that actually have increased visitor numbers, e.g.:

FIREX International saw an impressive 4% increase in year-on-year visitors...

Facilities Show also demonstrated a 3% increase in visitors...

Safety & Health Expo secure a 3% increase in visitors 

Attendance is Down

The decline in real IFSEC is obvious. For example, SourceSecurity, an IFSEC media partnerreported the headline of "A Shrinking IFSEC 2019 In London".

Moreover, IHS-Markit posted a report saying that IFSEC 2019 attendance had declined:

attendance at the 2019 exhibition held in London in June was small compared to previous years...

the noticeable decline in visitors and exhibitors

What is especially ironic about the IHS report is that their security group has (literally) been traded to Informa, which is the owner of IFSEC. So effectively, their own co-workers are reporting the obvious reality and contradicting IFSEC.

IFSEC Response

We previewed our concerns about "#statsdontlie" prior to publishing and IFSEC responded, reiterating their new approach:

The headline figure comes from all of those who enter the IFSEC halls and interact with exhibitors, or go into one of the seminar theatres. This number has seen increases due to a larger numbers of relevant visitors crossing over from the events IFSEC is co-located with, which we can now track more effectively than ever due to our exhibitors using our industry-leading data capture system and improved data and analytics capabilities internally. Exhibitors have told us that these crossover visitors are really valuable to them, as they have pressing needs for the security products and solutions that are being launched and demonstrated at IFSEC.

I am sorry you feel this is misleading but we stand by our figures as an accurate reflection of attendance at IFSEC this year.

Deceptive

IFSEC is obviously being deceptive and throwing it in the face of the industry by tagging it with 'statsdontlie'.

Sure, IFSEC can argue that this literally is not a lie, just corporate marketing sleight of hand, where they replace one statistic with another, call it essentially the same thing and hope people do not notice.

Maybe IFSEC exhibitors are dumb. Maybe people in the UK are gullible. Or maybe that is just IFSEC's bad bet.

However, we are in the security industry so we should strive not to deceive and wrap it a hashtag of 'statsdontlie'.

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