ISC West 2020 Cancelled Again, Rescheduled For October 2020

By John Honovich, Published Apr 09, 2020, 12:39pm EDT

ISC West March 2020 was canceled.

Now ISC West July 2020 has been canceled.

SIA and Reed hope to run it in October 2020.

This is a masterclass in how to destroy your brand. But the good news is they get to keep all the manufacturer's money ... this year.

The show is now just 2 weeks after GSX and Essen, a month before ISC East 2020 and just 5 months until ISC West 2021, not to mention just a month after IFSEC 2020 which has been postponed to September 2020.

Of course, it is still not clear how things will evolve over the next few months. What is clear is that their largest attendee segment is hurting significantly right now and even if things improve by the fall, what will happen with having 7 'major' shows in the period of 6 months?

Attendance will be far reduced, even if the health issues (hopefully) subside.

As I have said before, SIA and Reed are cowardly and greedy.

This only further serves to underscore that.

Frankly, the more trade shows make such disastrous mistakes, the better it is for IPVM, as the industry's leading online source. But it creates so many problems for so many in the industry, we would strongly prefer they use common sense and simply cancel entirely, regrouping for a better 2021.

Even before this second rescheduling, manufacturers had been discussing a class action lawsuit against ISC West. Whether that comes to pass remains to be seen but we expect the anger to become even stronger.

7 reports cite this report:

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ISC West 2020 Finally Cancelled on Jun 25, 2020
ISC West has now been cancelled for the third time, now for all of...
ISC West 2020 Moves To The Basement on May 29, 2020
The twice cancelled/postponed show will now not only be held in a different...
Genetec Goes Virtual, Drops Essen and GSX, Skeleton Crew to ISC West 2020 on May 05, 2020
Genetec is dropping Essen and GSX shows this year as well as planning to send...
Manufacturers Not Interested in October 2020 ISC West Show on Apr 13, 2020
Manufacturers overwhelmingly say they are not interested in going to the...
ISC West March 2020 Cancelled, Postponed to July 2020 on Mar 06, 2020
[Now the July 2020 show is cancelled with hopes to run it in October...
Directory of Companies Dropping ISC West 2020 on Mar 06, 2020
UPDATE March 2020: UPDATE April 2020: ISC West 2020 Cancelled Again,...

Comments (72)

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Btw, exhibitors, you have just 6 days to do something with your freight (i.e. pay to move it) or Freeman will pay for you to keep it there, per their new email:

As a friendly reminder, the deadline to remove any freight that you may still have in storage with Freeman before incurring additional charges is this coming Wednesday, April 15.

5 minutes after I got the email about the new new date for ISC West, I got a lame SIA email from Don Erickson trying to tell me this was a good thing and that SIA was working for me. Total joke. SIA/Reed continue to hit all time lows.

From the email:

SIA will continue to be agile in responding to your important needs, and as we look forward to fall/Q4 events and to the rest of 2020, we do so with an eye on recovery to a time of improved public health and a period where businesses like yours can be reenergized to rebuild the strong, stable industry we believe in and love.

As the security industry, we are stronger together and we make the world better – even when we are distanced. The security industry is a vibrant and constantly innovating industry. We are problem solvers. We are protectors. We are collaborators and partners. [emphasis added]

The party that 'needs' ISC West October 2020 the most is SIA. Most of the exhibitors would be far better off getting refunds for 2020.

Well at least October is better than July, heat is winding down a bit I guess. Right on the heals of HOTLANTA!

I think REED has the heads up that Vegas will not be up and running in July. Even the airlines that would take a potential 15K (at the most) to the show could not come together in the 2 weeks days before the show to get everyone in place.

Stock Illustration - Businessmen hugging and stabbing each other ...

Someone messaged me saying this was sticking it to ASIS GSX. I agree in the sense that this will clearly hurt ASIS GSX but likewise, it is going to hurt ISC West. It's like 2 people stabbing each other simultaneously, you can certainly argue who is hurt more but neither side is coming out of this without injuries.

On the plus side, GSX has larger financial reserves than SIA but ISC West is still the stronger overall show. However, an ISC West postponed 7 months later is going to have big problems itself. Surreal.

Someone pointed this out to me:

March 23rd - Security Industry Association and ASIS International Form New Partnership

16 days later, on April 9th, SIA sets its show 12 days after ASIS's show. So much for that partnership.

An especially difficult decision is now faced by the 100 or so companies that are scheduled to exhibit at both ASIS GSX and ISC West, now less than 2 weeks apart. In terms of money, disruption and value delivered, having the 2 biggest North American shows in the span of 3 weeks is a problem.

What I think is the third biggest North American show is a few weeks later - the Security Canada show in Toronto- October 23rd and 24th. And ISC East shortly after that.

Exhibitors will be exhausted and customers will definitely NOT show up for all these shows in such a short period of time.

I wonder if this will help regional shows more generally, that is, no flights, no hotels, smaller crowds, etc. Did I just convince myself that the ADI expos are the real winner here? lol, I am not sure but that's seems like that would help address concerns / risks.

Well, those regional shows have always been very successful for us. Low cost to exhibit and pretty good turnout (sometimes up to 500+ visitors in a single day show, requiring no more than 2 employees, lots of good leads).

I’m not convinced that attendance at the regional shows has anything to do with attendance at the national shows. The regional shows are consistently attended by the same local people year in and year out. I think the national (and even international) shows compete against each other more than they do against small regionals like ADI shows.

I think that ALL shows will have crappy attendance this year. With all the COVID-19 publicity, I don’t think many customers will want to rub shoulders and shake hands with me or anyone like me...

I’m not convinced that attendance at the regional shows has anything to do with attendance at the national shows.

I agree with you historically. My point is whether this will cause a shift going forward, i.e., a person who normally would go to ISC West in Las Vegas but lives in Toronto or Baltimore or LA, etc. decides to go somewhere local. It won't be as big or good but it's lower cost and lower risk. More broadly, would this be an opportunity for more local shows?

I know many people who would rather go to GSX instead of ISC West. So moving the show to October to many won't even matter as they will go to GSX regardless. Many of my customers are heavily involved in ASIS as they are security directors, officers and so on.

Btw, in light of all this, especial kudos go to PSA who yesterday cancelled PSA Tec 2020 Conference, Offering Refunds To Attendees And Exhibitors

Btw, in light of all, especial kudos go to PSA...

Sí, muy especial kudos :)

John- There are so many non-positive dynamics with the attempt to still run this show this year. Among them:

1) The existing shows you mentioned- Who knows if they will even still go on and if so, trying to rain on those parades, timeline wise, generates even more stress on the manufacturers and their teams.

2) Assuming we are "back to business" in the next 60-90 days, there will be more concern by traditional ISC attendees to resurrect business viability as so many retailers/end users may not be back wholly. Spending money on a trade show will likely not be a financial priority.

3) I've heard at least one Vegas hotel chain that would not refund rooming deposits from the first cancellation (akin to the airline practice of only cancellation but not refunding). Those who had to go through that would much rather use the deposit towards a traditional ISC dateline and not towards a makeup show I would think.

Wow. Just wow.

I walked G2E last year expecting something totally different. When I first attended years ago, there were many security vendors.

Last year? Maybe one if I recall. Lots of card games, machines and food though.

request that your artist change the graphic to a dumpster fire background


A football player with an "ISC West" jersey making a whiplash blindside tackle to another football player with an "exhibitor" jersey on

Pick em'

Video: Disgraceful Cheap Shot On The Quarterback In Toledo-NIU

Sucker punch in glory 42, it just happened | Page 7 | Sherdog ...

5 Most Common Injuries From A Rear-End Auto Accident | Louisiana

Ive never been so excited about an IPVM poll in my life!

SIA and Reed have united the industry.... against SIA and Reed.

In fairness, the respondents of the poll have already been negatively primed by the content of your article.

While I don't doubt that the results would still be negative if it weren't the case, it would probably not be 2% - 98%.

90 - 10?

I talk to lots of executives privately and the sentiment is overwhelmingly and strongly against a rescheduled show. And it’s not that they are against the show but that they realize the show turn out this year is going to be very poor.

Yeah, I'm really just nitpicking. I'm sure that you're right.

I can say from our end is that I told my team that we really dodged a bullet by choosing not to exhibit at ISC West.

What kind of attendee is going to want to attend GSX then turn around in 3 weeks and see the same vendors at ISC West?

What kind of attendee is going to want to attend GSX then turn around in 3 weeks and see the same vendors at ISC West?

The best-case scenario is that a lot of attendees only go to one or the other in the first place. I think this is generally true but there are 2 issues:

On the exhibitor side, a lot of the same people need to work both shows - now you are asking people to spend two full weeks in a 3-week span on the road (in whatever post coronavirus world that is at that time). Definitely going to see quite a number at least drop one of these 2 shows, if not both.

On the attendee side, there are certainly a few thousand who attend both, I think the vast majority will only attend one, if either.

It's a bit of a prisoner's dilemma. They are all acting in their own short term self-interest and they will all be harmed for it.

It's wishful thinking to think that a majority of integrators will attend any of the shows this year. Not many will be allowing discretionary spending for the rest of their fiscal years with the major slowdown in business unless there is an equally strong and quick rebound in the market. Turning on the economy will be much slower than turning it off, though.

While I don't doubt that the results would still be negative if it weren't the case, it would probably not be 2% - 98%.

have you voted yet?

if not, you personally could raise the "run in Oct." total by 50%.

So SIA has two IPVM memberships?

While the response has been overwhelmingly negative, the reads on this are dramatically lower than they were just a month ago when ISC West cancelled / rescheduled the first time (despite overall IPVM readership levels continuing to increase).

My theory is that people are far busier focused on keeping their own businesses running amidst all this than worrying about what ISC West will or will not do 6 months from now.

What can you say with news like this?

We won't exhibit at Oct 2020 and will cancel Spring 2021 (have not signed contract yet) until they refund the 2020 show. We will move to GSX.

Agreed. I'll see y'all in 2021.


Btw, ESX is still on for June 9th:

I emailed them last night and no response. Crazy, they are still going forward.

I'm sure that will get cancelled.

10 days ago, I suggested that to SIA CEO Don Erickson when he mentioned helping association members conserve their cash:

In retaliation, Don Erickson blocked me from following him on LinkedIn.

Today, after the second cancellation / postponement, I replied to Will Wise, who runs ISC West for Reed saying:

If or when he responds, I will update this.

Will Wise has deleted my comment. That was his response. They can't handle the criticism, even though they know that this is the sentiment of the overwhelming majority of exhibitors.

fail GIF

Not implying the below offer means Reed should get a gold star, but it certainly implies that someone put thought into the situation created with the proximity of the dates relative to GSX and the challenges companies doing both show would face.

Copied from the email we received:

  • Among the ISC West primary exhibitors base of 800 companies, approximately 14% are currently also slated to exhibit at the Global Security Exchange (GSX/ASIS Intl.) event, taking place September 21-23 in Atlanta. To help provide and invest in operational support and logistics for these customers, Reed Exhibitions will be providing complimentary caravan / freight transportation shipping services from Atlanta to Las Vegas, to help alleviate any additional planning and logistics stresses during this time.

It is a positive step but freight is a minor part of the cost and challenge of doing 2 shows in a 3 week time span, especially when the shows will be cannabilizing each other.

CEDIA (in Sept) and Security Canada Central (Oct) Expos plus the countless distributor expos and customer appreciation events scheduled around those times will also be vying for the attention of the same clientele

I don't know exactly how much freight would be from Atlanta to Las Vegas. But our charge for freight, round trip from Vegas to Chicago last year (we store our booth furniture and signage in Vegas) was less than 2% of our show expenditure. So, even if the cost of shipping from Atlanta is double that of Chicago, it's still not much financial compensation. It sounds nice, but it's not very substantive.

another point you didnt mention is the 2021 show.

if you hold the show in October, there is little sense to hold it again the following March or April.

the industry is not that fast changing that you need to see everyone again within a 6 month time span.

July is annoying, but still relevant for 2020, having it in october is useless

if you hold the show in October, there is little sense to hold it again the following March or April.

I agree. And even to the extent, there is (some) traffic / attendance in October, it will draw it away from the next one 5 months later. They have to know that. So you are going to have exhibitors go in October, with a massive attendance drop, and then expect them to do it all over again 5 months later? That's the plan?

Is there any logic of moving it to October at this point AND keeping ISC East scheduled?

It seems like ISC East has more of a regional draw while ISC West is both national and international. Unfortunately, I don't have access to statistics to prove or disprove my opinion. Whatever, between national and state shows, it's going to be a busy fall.

For sure, ISC East is more regional than ISC West. It's also smaller which reinforces it being a more regional show.

Btw, the Javits center where ISC East is held is right now a coronavirus field hospital:

Hopefully by November that will be long over but will NYC be a place where people go back to being in shoulder to shoulder crowds?

Clearly, they don't want to refund the exhibitors. How can they do a show that late in 2020 without impacting ISC East and 2021 ISC West?

How can they do a show that late in 2020 without impacting ISC East and 2021 ISC West?

I don't know their thought process but it's most certainly the money-making maximization play.


(A) Cancel ISC West 2020 + Run ISC East 2020 + Run ISC West 2021


(B) Run ISC West 2020 (October) + Run ISC East 2020 (November) + Run ISC West 2021 (March)

The plus side of B is that exhibitors will be happier and attendance will be modestly higher at East 2020 and West 2021.

The downside of B is that Reed / SIA combined will lose tens of millions if they cancel and have to refund, so on net, they make more by going with B, even if A might benefit them over the long term.

My love for the show being in NYC is no secret, I’ll admit I’m a little less than excited to go there or plan to go there now. I’m sure things will be fine by fall but it’s feels weird.
I think A is the best option

It’s obviously too much to ask to use the term postponed. The spin just makes me not read the article.

Either 'postpone' or 'cancel' carry some spin or connotation to them. Saying they simply postponed it obscures and minimizes the huge cost and complications of 'postponing' something now twice over a 7 month period that involves exhibitors sending trucks and thousands re-scheduling a week full of flights and hotels.

'Postponing' a phone call a few days is one thing, 'postponing' a physical event 7 months involving thousands of people flying is another.

The title fairly describes the situation - "ISC West 2020 Cancelled Again, Rescheduled For October 2020".



  1. cause or arrange for (something) to take place at a time later than that first scheduled



  1. 1. decide or announce that (a planned event) will not take place.

ISC West March 2020 is canceled. ISC West July 2020 is canceled.

It's like the 2020 Olympics. That's canceled. Are we supposed to say the 2020 Olympics are postponed to 2021? You certainly can but it gets increasingly questionable, at the least.

For example, if ISC West October 2020 is canceled too and the next ISC West is March 2021, do we still say ISC West is simply postponed?

I am not opposed to using the word postponed generally but this type of indefinite long-term 'postponement' stretches the use of the term.

postponed vs. canceled

two shows have been postponed (April + July), replaced by only one in (Oct).

therefore one must have been canceled :)

who are you, Socrates?

Socrates would have canceled early.

I’m not doubting your ability to create, just calling you out on it.

It’s obviously too much to ask to use the term postponed. The spin just makes me not read the article.

you didn't read the article because the title says "canceled and rescheduled" instead of "postponed"?

you must skip a lot of articles...

I'm one of the very few that voted to let it run in October. Although I am having second thoughts after wondering about the traffic. I'm a manufacturers rep, and ISC West is a big part of my business. It's THE show to meet customers and I had a busy event scheduled. I don't go to ISC East, and the last two years I quit going to GSX, so ISCWest is the show . It's important to meet with my manufacturers in person, support their booths and bring customers by and basically show why we are important to them as a company. Not to mention interview with new vendors.

Cancellation would be preferable so the vendors get their money back, but if they don't, all the manufacturers I represent that were scheduled originally will be there. They have a big portion of their marketing dollars tied up in the booth, freight, etc. So they are committed. But I wonder if they cancelled how many would get a booth at GSX? Probably not too many. So a smaller ISC West to me is better than the full GSX.

Is it really necessary go ISC west this year? As a manfacturer, we should pay the rent for products and others every month. Reed doesn't care this issue because the fee is charged by Freeman. How can we do? When can our money stop lossing?

The Week Of Oct 5th is Sukkot, A Major Jewish religious Holiday.

I don't know about the rest of the country but here in NY, there are many security business are closed or operating in a limited capacity that week!

I remember several years ago when they scheduled ISC East during a major Jewish holiday and it was very poor attendance.

Just sayin' !

An additional comment...several integrators have told me recently that basic, and possibly permanent, changes have occured in our industry due to the pandemic, and that they may have attended their last trade show.

I told them they are getting paid once regardless, if they hold our funds and keep it as scheduled for October, we will display reluctantly, but we for sure won't be there in 2021, 5 months later. It's a no brainer business decision to roll every one over to 2021, otherwise it just looks greedy on their part, and is not in the best interest for their exhibitors or attendees.

Attendance is going to be poor, and exhibitors will be tired with all the other shows going on. Will Vegas even be fully open by then? I think most integrators come October will not want to spend thousands to come to a tradeshow that will be on display 5 months later.

The well covered prediction is that COVID-19 will be making its return in the fall. It will be stronger, there obviously is no vaccination in sight, and it will be everywhere. The less talked about news is that summer has little or no effect on this bug. Witness Australia and Argentina, both closed, both summer.

The Javits Center is a hospital now, right? So, even if it is no longer needed in this role, and let's hope it is not, how long does it take to completely disinfect and re-repurpose a facility of that size?

The only sensible move is for ALL of these shows to cancel for 2020. The idea of packing them all into a short space of time is even more stupid than calling the virus a hoax, and who would do that? The idea that hoards of people are going to want to travel to a crowded conference hall this year is equally nuts, though the face mask sponsorship opportunity would be huge.

Why not combine all of the shows into one gigantic Zoom call? And wouldn't it be perfect if it were sponsored by Hikua?

This is an interesting take from someone who lives in Las Vegas:

Why Re-open the Las Vegas Strip? We should prepare for the possibility that the Las Vegas Strip may be closed up to 6 to 12 months – or longer.

I can't say I don't disagree with him.

One of the points that has not been covered is the educational sessions. Most of the speakers at those session are not paid to participate. How many of the speakers will not attend due to other commitments or "other" reasons?

the educational sessions

Statistically, a very small percentage of attendees sign up for the educational sessions - something in the range of ~3% of everyone who attendees ISC West pays for the 'conference' side.

It's a fair point to raise but, in the list of many problems the show has, it is lower in impact than many others.

John, I agree with your point, I just wanted to add that as an issue for those of us that speak at those events on our dime. No doubt our hope, when doing these events, is to gain visibility and potentially pick up a new clients... not unlike the exhibitors however the uncertainty of total attendance will be part of our decision to participate. The up side is our only expense in the show is time, and travel we don't pay for the opportunity to be there.

an issue for those of us that speak at those events on our dime.

Good point. Related, I've never agreed with SIA / Reed's approach here - They are getting paid for this so the people speaking at those events should get paid too. Not only is it the fair thing to do, but it will also motivate more speakers and more effort so that the speakers don't depend on doing this just "to gain visibility and potentially pick up a new clients".

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