Is the Web Replacing Security Magazines and Shows?

Author: 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 Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

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

Health Care Insurance Integrator Benefits Statistics on Feb 20, 2018
How common and how much healthcare coverage is typically provided by security companies? 150+ integrators explained how their companies provide the...
16:9 vs 4:3 Video Aspect Ratio Statistics on Feb 16, 2018
What aspect ratio do security integrators prefer? The 'standard' 4:3 or the 'wide' 16:9 one? 100+ integrators told us what they preferred, with...
Top Problems For Integrator Project Management on Feb 13, 2018
Security projects routinely encounter issues that jeopardize deadlines, create confusion, and shrink profits. Unfortunately, there are common...
Favorite NVR / VMS Manufacturers 2018 on Feb 12, 2018
There is a new integrator favorite VMS. In 2016, 2 VMSes were effectively tied for top choice. One of those VMSes favorability was stable while...
Favorite Software For Remotely Supporting Video Surveillance Systems on Feb 07, 2018
Being able to remotely support video surveillance systems is important both to reduce costs (eliminating truck rolls) and for...
Project Management Software Used on Jan 30, 2018
What do integrators use to manage their projects? Nothing? Spreadsheet? MS Project? Online software? This continues IPVM's series on project...
Worst NVR / VMS Manufacturers 2018 on Jan 29, 2018
These are the manufacturers who integrators reported the most significant problems with. 220+ integrators answered: In the past year, what...
Project Plans for Security Integrators on Jan 26, 2018
How do security integrators typically plan projects? A detailed playbook with step by step execution? Just go out and do it? Somewhere in...
Top ISC West 2018 Booth Moves on Jan 23, 2018
ISC West spending frequently signals market expansion and trend shifts. In 2016, the surge of Chinese exhibitors underscored the race to the...
Resolution Usage Statistics 2018 - Moving Up From 1080p on Jan 22, 2018
In 2016, IPVM statistics showed the most common camera resolution used was 1080p, rising from 2014's 720p. Now, new IPVM statistics of 200+...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Directory of 30+ LPR / ANPR Providers on Feb 21, 2018
License Plate Recognition / Automatic Number Plate Recognition are a type of video analytics software that can identify and match license / number...
New Whole Foods Installs Hackable Access Control on Feb 21, 2018
Whole Foods has built a reputation for high quality. And their 2017 Amazon acquisition has increased that, plus added deep pockets for buying...
Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Feb 21, 2018
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2018, with more and more users relying on mobile apps as their main way of operating the system....
Visio For Video Surveillance Design on Feb 20, 2018
Many integrators have standardized on AutoCAD for camera layouts but new users may be overwhelmed by its learning curve. Microsoft's Visio...
Health Care Insurance Integrator Benefits Statistics on Feb 20, 2018
How common and how much healthcare coverage is typically provided by security companies? 150+ integrators explained how their companies provide the...
Hikvision Deletes Genetec Support on Feb 20, 2018
There will be no peace between Hikvision and Genetec. A year after Genetec expelled Hikvision (and Huawei, citing Chinese government control...
Change Orders - Sometimes Necessary, Sometimes Unethical on Feb 19, 2018
Change orders are a common element in project sales. Sometimes they are a necessity and appropriate ways to deal with arising issues, but sometimes...
Bosch Merges Video, Intrusion and Access Businesses on Feb 19, 2018
Bosch is merging their "video systems, intrusion detection, as well as its access control and management software business units to form a single...
Why 3VR Failed on Feb 16, 2018
3VR destroyed transformed ~$65 million in VC funding into a $6.9 million exit. The reason they failed is simple. They bet on analytics. They...
"Fear Mongering": Hikvision USA Cybersecurity Director Dismisses Chinese Government Ownership Concerns on Feb 16, 2018
The facts are: The Chinese government created Hikvision and is Hikvision's controlling shareholder. Hikvision's Chairman, a Communist Party...

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