Is the Web Replacing Security Magazines and Shows?

By: John Honovich, Published on Sep 27, 2009

While ASIS show attendance was down and disappointing for the second consecutive year, online traffic to security websites continues to rise significantly. Regular users of online security sites now likely outnumber trade show attendees. Though the recession is regularly cited as the cause for declining trade show attendance, the migration to on-line resources continues strongly.

[Update: ASIS confirms 2009 show traffic back down to 2004 levels.]

This raises questions about comparative value and worth of these different resources.

There are a number of factors driving the growth of on-line:

Breaking News

The web is the best way to find out about breaking news and important industry events. Rather than waiting weeks for the next magazine or going to a trade show, you can learn about news the same day online. Just in the last few months, the sale of GE Security, the Cisco/Pelco partnership and the HDcctv Alliance announcement are 3 good examples.

Critical Analysis

The web offers deeper debate and analysis than trade magazines or exhibitor's booths. For instance, comments offer rich and varied perspectives. Some of the best examples can be found on the debate about BRS Labs value, the accuracy of market statistics and GE Security's sale. The web allows more people to freely discuss and minimizes the power of money to control information.

Use of Video

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

The amount of security industry video produced on-line is growing rapidly. For instance, you can watch the ASIS Cisco/Pelco announcement, see demos for many cameras, or watch screencasts for any of our camera tests. Videos are clearly superior to trade magazines and begin to rival the richness of trade shows.

On-line Size Already Large

Because of these factors, the size of regular on-line readers in the security industry is already quite large. I estimate (conservatively) 50,000 - 100,000 people worldwide regularly use security industry websites. Even just for video surveillance, the number is at least 10,000 but probably more.

My estimate is far lower than statistics self-reported by many websites (which would indicate a total of 500,000 to 1 million people). A lot of people simply go to a site once in a while because of a search result or a link from a social media site. Those are not regular readers. Regular readers would be expected to visit sites frequently.

From my own statistics, approximately 5,000 people visited this site 3 or more times last month; 500 of those visited 10 or more times.  That's just 1 site that launched 18 months ago. With over a dozen major security sites worldwide, many over 5 years old, the number of regular readers is clearly in the tens of thousands - already equal or larger to show attendance which tends to be 10,000 to 20,000 per show.

Growing Quickly

In 2005, few people regularly used on-line security industry news sites. In the last 4 years, use has grown dramatically. A number of the established security sites grew 100% of more in the last year. 

Limitations Remain

However, a number of major barriers exist to the growth of on-line resources:

  • The security industry has a lot of late-adopters. Many will take years to change habits and some will only change by new people replacing retiring veterans.
  • The manufacturers still spend very heavily on trade shows and magazines. Until they change their spending habits, the tens of millions they collectively spend will bolster the traditional approaches.
  • Most of the websites are secondary properties of trade magazines and shows. They tend to be unprofitable on their own, dependent on funding from the traditional resources. If spending on magazines and shows continues to fall, this could constrain spending in developing websites.
  • Of course, shows offers personal interaction that provides richer communication for learning, deal making and building relationships. The web can marginalize the informational value of shows but the interpersonal ones.

Related Reports

IFSEC And The Security Event Both Postponed To September Due to Coronavirus on Mar 10, 2020
IFSEC, the UK's largest security show and held in London, has been delayed to September 8-10 due to the coronavirus. The show was originally...
ISC West March 2020 Cancelled, Postponed to July 2020 on Mar 06, 2020
ISC West March 2020, scheduled to start in just 10 days, has been cancelled and show organizers are planning to replace it with a to be determined...
Train Your Team With IPVM Courses From Experts on Mar 01, 2020
You trust and use IPVM for reporting and research and you can also have your team trained by our experts. One of the most common requests our...
IPVM Conference 2020 on Feb 13, 2020
IPVM is excited to announce our 2020 conference. This is the first and only industry event that will be 100% sponsor-free. Like IPVM online, the...
Freebie Face-Off: Rise of ~$30 Giveaways Examined on Dec 02, 2019
The freebies are growing. Verkada started this (see The Fastest Growing Video Surveillance Sales Organization Ever - Verkada) and now has given...
Knightscope Sells Just 1 Net New Robot In 6 Months on Oct 04, 2019
For the first half of 2019, US government records show that Knightscope has sold just 1 net new robots ('machines-in-network'), inching up from 52...
How Cobalt Robotics May Disrupt Security on Sep 13, 2019
While security robots have largely become a joke over the last few years, one organization, Cobalt Robotics, has raised $50+ million from top US...
How To Quickly Research An Unknown Company on Jul 23, 2019
There are hundreds of companies in the physical security markets, ranging from a flood of new startups to small companies that may or may not be...
ASIS Sells GSX 2019 Education Sessions on May 01, 2019
New for 2019, ASIS is selling GSX education sessions, an ethically problematic approach and something we have not seen before in this...
Securadyne CEO: IPVM 'Entertaining For An Ignorant Few' on Apr 16, 2019
Securadyne's CEO Carey Boethel is unhappy with IPVM's report - Failed Integrator Rollup, Securadyne Sells to Guard Giant Allied. Indeed, he...

Most Recent Industry Reports

USA ICI Elevated Skin Temperature Detectors Examined on Apr 06, 2020
Infrared Cameras, Inc. (ICI) is aiming to help slow the spread of COVID-19 with "pinpoint accurate skin temperature measurement" using their...
Trade Groups Request NDAA Blacklist Delay Citing Coronavirus on Apr 06, 2020
Two trade groups representing government contractors have asked Congress to delay implementation of the NDAA's 'blacklist' clause from this August...
Coronavirus Hits Manufacturers, Standing Now, Worse To Come on Apr 06, 2020
Coronavirus is hitting security manufacturers, though overall modestly for now, with worse expected to come, new IPVM survey results...
FLIR New Coronavirus Prioritized Temperature Screening Camera Examined on Apr 03, 2020
FLIR has announced a new series of thermal cameras "prioritized for entities working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 virus", the A400/A700...
ADI Branch Burglary on Apr 03, 2020
A security systems distributor branch is an odd target for burglary but that happened this week at ADI's Memphis location. Vehicle Smash &...
Hikvision And Dahua Now Blocked From Conforming ONVIF Products on Apr 03, 2020
Dahua and Hikvision, sanctioned for human rights abuses, are now blocked from submitting products for ONVIF conformance, a blow to the mega China...
YCombinator AI Startup Visual One Tested on Apr 02, 2020
Startup Visual One, backed by Silicon Valley's powerful Y Combinator, aims to be "Your 24/7 Watchman" with advanced analytics and object...
Free IPVM Memberships For The Unemployed on Apr 02, 2020
IPVM is giving 3-month free memberships (regular price $99) for the unemployed, no questions asked. To get it, just contact us, your request...
Dahua Faked Coronavirus Camera Marketing on Apr 01, 2020
Dahua has conducted a coronavirus camera global marketing campaign centered around a faked detection. Now, Dahua has expanded this to the USA,...
Video Surveillance Trends 101 on Apr 01, 2020
This report examines major industry factors and how they could impact video surveillance in the next 5 - 10 years. This is part of our Video...