Manufacturers Unhappy With Weak ASIS GSX 2019 And 2020 Shift

By John Honovich, Published Sep 16, 2019, 09:29am EDT (Info+)

Manufacturers were generally unhappy with ASIS GSX, both for weak 2019 booth traffic and a scheduling shift for the 2020 show, according to a new IPVM survey of 90+ manufacturers.

Manufacturers Upset With Weak ASIS GSX 2019_2

Inside this note, we examine:

  • The main manufacturer complaint - weak booth traffic
  • Secondary manufacturer complaint - regional traffic
  • Those manufacturers happy with the show
  • Satisfaction declining over the last 3 years
  • Why exhibitors money is so crucial to ASIS
  • Manufacturers respond to shift saying make it 2 days only and voicing concerns about traveling impact
  • ASIS response on exhibition shift
  • Analysis of attendance impact in 2020

Stats ********

************* **** ******* ******** ***** *** performance ** *** ****, ** *** chart ***** *****:

Manufacturer Views on ASIS GSX 2019 v3

Unhappy **** ***** *******

*** **** ****** ************ ********* *** simply *** ****** *******:

  • "** *** *** ** *** ******* 'big' ***** *’** **** **** **."
  • "***********. ** ****** **** * **** with ** ********* *********, *** **** few ***********. **********, ** **** ***** up ******* **** ******** *** ********** some ********** *********. ***** ****** ***** have **** **** **** *** *** time *** ******** ********** ** ***** to ***. ******** ***'* **** **** next ****."
  • "*** **********"
  • "************ **** ***** ***, *** *** never ***** ** **********. **’* *** only ***** **** **** ** ** able ** **."
  • "*** * *** ** ******* ***** 1st ***"
  • "**** *** *** ********* *** ** many ******** **** ******** ********* *** limited ***********. * ***** **** **** many ***** ********** ** ****."
  • "**, *** * *** ** ***** traffic ***** *** *** ***"
  • "*** ********** *** ********. ** **** as * **** *******, *** ** expensive ***** ** **** * ***** show. *** ****** ******** * **** like *********."
  • "*** **** *********, **** *** ******* compared ** **** ****. *.* ******* 10 ****** *** *** ***!"
  • "*** *********.... **** ****** *** **** traffic"
  • "* ******* *** **** ***** *** very ***** ****** ***** ** *** 1, ***** **** ** *** * and ****** ** ********** *** *"
  • "**** *******, **** *********, **** ********"
  • "*** **** ******* ***** **** *** opening *** ******* *** ***** *** disappointing."
  • "********** ******* ** ******** ** ** an *****."
  • "******* *** **** **** **** ********. Three ***** ** *** **** *** is ********* * *****."

**** **** '***********' **** *** **** as **** ****. *******, ** *** the **** ***** ** ********** - a **** ****** ***** *** ******* with ************* ****** *** ****** *******.

'*****'****

* ****** ** ************* ****** *** the ***** / ******** ***** ** attracting **** **** *** **** **** (Chicago) *** *************** ****** **** *********:

  • "*** **** *** ****** **** *** more ** * "*****" **** *** the ******* **** **** *** *****. The ******* **** **** **** *** no *********."
  • "*** ** ***** ******** *** ******** was ***** *** *** * *** of ******** ********* *** *** ******** goals ** * ************."
  • "** *** * **** ******* ** a *****. * ** **** ** well, ******* ** ****** ********* **** the **** ** ** *** ** our ******."
  • "******** ** ********* ****** ** ** more ******** *****, **, *******, ***** Lakes ******. *** ******* *** *** very **** ** *** ** **** cars. * ****** ** **** ****** in *** *** *** *** ******* back **** **** *****."

Happy **** *** ****

* ******** **** ***** **** *** show, **** *** **** ***** ***** the ******* ** ********:

  • "**** *********. ****** *********** **** *** clients. ********* ********* **** **** ** the *****."
  • "*** ***** **** ******** **** ** a ****** ****** *** **** **** with *********"
  • "***** ** *** **** *** *****, I ***'* *** ** *** ******, but ******** ** ************ **** ******* and ******* ** *******"
  • "**** ******* **** *** **** *** better **** ********** *************."
  • "*** ***** ******* *** ****** *** us ** **** * & *. Yes *** **** ** ******* **** it **** ** **, *** ** was *****."
  • "**** ********* **** *** ******* ** people"
  • "** *** **** **** ******* ** partner *** ***-**** ************* ** *** booth; *******, ** **** *** **** quantity ** ******** ** ***** *****"
  • "*** *** **** ****** **** ** had ***********. # ***** *** ******** however ******* *** *********"

Declining ************

**** *** **** * ***** (**** - ******, **** - *** *****, 2019 - *******), ************ ************ ******** in *** ******* *** ********, ** the ******* ***** *****:

manufacturer-views-2017-2018-2019

Exhibitor ***** ******** ** ****

**** ** *** ****** ** ***** for *** **********, ** ** ** existential ***** *** ****. ***** *** organization ** * ***-******, ********** *** security *************, ** ** ************** ****** by *************. **** *****'* *******, ****** by ************ ********* **** *** ************, subsidize *** **** ** *** ************ as *** ******** ******* ********* ********* ****** ***** **** financial ****** (***)*****:

Where ASIS Makes and Loses Money (2017)

** ****, **** ******** ** *********** the ********** ** *** ** *** overall ************.

Shift ********

******** **** ** ****** ** ** exhibition *** **** **** ******** **** Monday *** **** **** *:** ** 6:30pm, ** *** ***** ***** ****:

ASIS GSX Schedule Change

*** **** **** ******** ********** *** changes.

2 **** ****

**** *** ****, ************* ********* ** our ****-***** ******** ***** **** ***** suggesting **** *** **** ** *** to * **** ******* ** ******** the *** *** ******:

  • "**** ** * * *** ****."
  • "**'* **** *** * * *** show. **'* ****** * * *** show."
  • "***, * **** **** ***** ** more **** ******..."
  • "*** ****, **** ** * *** day ****, ***** *** ** *** needed."
  • "**** ****** **** **** *** *** day ********** *** ****** *********-**** ******, where ********* ***** **** **** ** visit *** *******."
  • "* **** ***** ** **** *** this ****."
  • "** ***** ** * **** *** be ******* ****. *** **-* ** a ****** *** ****** ***** ** a *****. *** ****** ***** **** is *** ****** ****."
  • "**** ** **** ** ** *** have *** *** *** **** ****!"
  • "* ***** **** ******** *** *** add ******. **** **** ***’* ****** support *** **** *** ***** *-*/*."
  • "******** ** *******. *********** **** ***** days ***** **** *****."
  • "**** ********. ** ******. **** ***** enough *** *** ****."
  • "**** **** ***** ** ** *** days ** ****. ****** *** * waste ** * ***, *** ******** was ********** ****."
  • "*** **** **** (*******/*********) ** ********** - ** ***** *** ** **** concerned **** *** ********** ** ****/***** to ******* ***** ***** **** ****** than ********** *** ***** *** ************ and ******* ** *** ******* **** floor."
  • "*** **** **** ***** ** *******. Any **** ** * ***** ** time."
  • "*** **** ** ********** *** *** exhibition."

Travel **********

* ******* ****** ****** * ******* about *** ******** ** ****** ** setup ***** ****** *******, ********** ***** (overtime) *** ********** ** *********:

  • "*****, *** ** **** ** ****** on *******."
  • "***, ********* ******* *** ******* ** set ** *** ******."
  • "***. **** **** *** ******** ******* for ***** **** **** ** * busy **** ** **** *** *******. Weekend ****** ***. * ***’* **** it."
  • "**** ***** ** * *** ****. Monday ** ********* * ****** ***. Moving ** ** * *** ***** require ******* ******."
  • "* ***** ** ** * ******** idea. *** ** **** ** ********** different *** * **** ****. ** will ******* ****** ** **** ** a *** ******* ** *** *******, and ******* ** *** ****** ***** at * ******* ****."
  • "****** ** * ***** *** *** needs ** ** *** ***."
  • "*** ***** ** ** *** *** displaying *** **** ** ****** *** booth *****, **’* *** ****** *** these ****** ****** ** *** ******** weekend ****."
  • "*** ****** ** **** ***** ** Monday ****** ** ********* * *** earlier ** ** **** ** **** a *********** ***** *** *** ******. It **** ******** *** ********* ** be **** **** ***** ******** **** the *******, *** **** *** ********."
  • "**** ******** ** *****."
  • "**** **** ********** **** ** ** finished ******* ** *** ******?"
  • "******'* ****** ***** **** ******* ************* from *** ***** **** *** ****** over-time **** *** ***** ********."
  • "*** ***** ***** ****. ** *** is ***** ** ******* ** ** burn ** ***** *** ** ******** two ******* ****. *'* ********* ********** of ******* *** ********, *** ***'* keep ** *** ** ********'* ******** time."
  • "***. **** **** **** ** ** to ****** *** ***** **** *** weekend."

**** ********** ********* **** ** ***** themes ******** **** **** ****** ********* being *** **** *****:

**** *** ** *** ***** ***** show **** ****. ** ********* *** expense ** ********** (**** ***** ***** to ** **** ** *** ******* which ***** **** ******** ***.) ** also ***** **** ********** **** ** come ** * *** *******. *** reality ** **** **** ****** **** do *** **** - **** *** Wed.

******, * *** ***** ***, **** eliminated ****** ** ** ********** ***. The ****** ******* ***** *********** ** weak *****-*** ******* *** **** ****** for *** ************* ****** ** *** up **** *** *******.

ASIS ********

*******, **** ***** ****** ********* & Business *********** ******* *** ********* [**** no ****** *********] ******** ** **** that **** ***** *** '*********** *******' and **** ***** ** **********:

[**** ** ****** *********]

* *** **** **** *** **** this ****** *** ****universally ******* ** ********** and attendees alike. We hosted in-person town halls this week for our members/attendees and our exhibitors where we walked through this plan for 2020 (and beyond) in detail and the new schedule is being praised across the board. We **** *** ***** * ****** *******. [emphasis added]

**** ******** ** ********* *** ** touch *** ************. **** ** ** organization **** ********* ******* ** ** enemies, ** *** *** *********, ** their ********* ********* ***********.

Better *** *********, *** ****

*******, ** ** ***** *** ****** afternoon ********** ** **** *** *********. For *** ******** ** ********* *** are ********* **** ******* ** ******* North *******, **** *** *** ** Monday ***-*******, *** ***** *** *** exhibition's ***** ** *:** **, **** 3 ***** ** ***** **** ** Monday, ***** **** *** *****, ** for * **** *** ** ******* and *** **** ******* *****. **** will ** * ******** ****** *** attendees, ** ** ****** **** ***** (1 ******* ** * ***** ******) and **** ********** (* ******* ** 3 ****).

Wednesday ********** ** * ****

** *** ***** ****, *********'* ********** could ****** **** (**** ****** **** this ****). ********* *** ******* *** 3 **** ** ******* ******* **** (3:30 **). ** *** ****** **** attendees **** ********* ** ****** *********, this ***** **** ********* ** **** like ******** *** **** ****.

** ********* ******* **** **** *******, this **** ******* ***** ************* *** will ****** **** *** **** ** now ****** **** * * *** 1/3 *** ****, ****** **** *** 3 **** ********.

***** ********** **** **** ******* ** be ****, *** ***** ** ***** - * ****** ***** **** ******** the ***** *** ****** ** *************.

Outlook *********

********** ******** ****** **** ** ******** to **** **** **** **** *******. While **** ** ***** **** ****** among ******** ******** *********, *** ***** struggles ** ******* *** ***** ** IT, ********** *** ********** ******** **** its ***** **** ****. ***** *** if **** *** ***** ****, ** ongoing ******* ** ********** ** ******.

Comments (41)

They didn't hear a single concern as there was nobody there to give one.

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I was wondering who they asked - now I know.

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something tells me those two in the last row are only there because of tired feet.

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nobody there to give one

#1, was that the wrap-up session on Thursday?

EXIF data for the photo says that was the time taken:

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Yes.

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Has anybody ever studied how show location affects attendance, or is that just still based on guesswork?

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It's a good question and I think ASIS would know or at least have data to better identify its impact.

I would think Chicago would depress traffic as its farther from the largest US population centers on the coasts but ASIS says 'registrants' were the same year over year (as Las Vegas).

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As a note, Tuesday and Wednesday for this year and also for 2017 and 2018 (maybe even farther back) went until 5:30pm, not 5:00pm as indicated in this article.

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You are right. Good catch. The graphic is fixed.

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Years ago, I was told that Las Vegas adds 15% attendance compared to other venues. Orlando is another top attendee location. If ASIS/GSX is becoming a "local" show as indicated in the article, then maybe they have to keep moving it around but lower expectations?

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lower expectations

Looking at how ASIS markets itself, I don't think they are keen to 'lower expectations':

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Was this show the same time as Cedia? Last week? Has it been the same week in the past?

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same time as Cedia

Yes, same time as Cedia. No, normally, GSX and Cedia are not the same.

ASIS says attendance was the same year over year, so if that is correct, going from Vegas and being the same week as Cedia did not net hurt the show.

Most security managers do not overlap with the home automation market. That said, some integrators and definitely a number of the manufacturers do have overlap.

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I booked travel to GSX, but since I was definitely attending CEDIA later that week, I decided to just skip GSX for the first time in my career. I could find only a handful of integrators that were even going from my territory, and the manufacturers I wanted to see were not attending. Glad I skipped it! CEDIA is a very hi-energy show by the way

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As a exhibitor, I responded to IPVM's survey and GSX survey so they did hear some feedback that aligns with the survey results of IPVM

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It is inconsiderate and unnecessary to have it open on Monday. Chicago is an expensive and congested city to travel and stay in.

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I don't understands how a Monday afternoon is better for attendees. Is someone only wants to be at the show for 1 1/2 days, couldn't they fly in Tuesday morning, go to the show Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday, and leave Wednesday night? If the attendees aren't smart enough to figure this out, they probably wont' be smart enough to realize they aren't being forced to attend the whole show for its entirety regardless of the days scheduled

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couldn't they fly in Tuesday morning, go to the show Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday, and leave Wednesday night?

That's a fair counter though, for most, Monday/Tuesday is better overall. Most importantly going to the last day of the show (now Wednesday) increases the risk that there are fewer people overall to talk to and less senior people. It's very common for senior people to leave at the end of day 2 and let local or junior staff handle the end. Also, Wednesday (the last day) ends at just 3:30pm. Some people like it as it means few booths are busy...

That gets to many manufacturers point, 2 solid full days is likely sufficient for a show of this.

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But a 2 day show, Tuesday & Wednesday, both full days, would counter all those arguments.

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Yes, #2, a 2-day trade show might be best.

There is likely one major problem. Is ASIS going to cut exhibitor and sponsor prices? Going to 2 days likely means reducing prices which could significantly cut into ASIS money-making.

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Find it hard to believe Chicago's actual attendance was the same as Vegas, which questions the dubious pre-registration reports.

With all the tech on the show floor near the main entrance, you'd think an AI company could leverage that with people counting or turn on those bloody turnstiles on the first day and get a real number of entries. Be easy to track as most manufacturers are on the floor before the show opens anyway. I think location does matter. Does anyone really want to go back to Atlanta again for another trade show and more VIP customer events at the aquarium? Have heard ISC West is the only stable show NOT declining globally! Which begs the bigger question is how relevant trade shows are becoming? I don't see a lot of new people, ie millennials, attending. That would make a good survey.

If ASIS wanted to be really bold, they could determine how many of their members also attend ISC West, and if the numbers are a higher percentage, just park GSX in Vegas. Manufacturers will not care for Vegas two times in a row, but I'd rather do that than Chicago, Philly, or Atlanta, and could see them long term stopping some of the bleeding as I believe their success is fighting for market share of the same declining pie.

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Which begs the bigger question is how relevant trade shows are becoming? I don't see a lot of new people, ie millennials, attending. That would make a good survey.

Funny you say that. One of my impressions from the show was "Wait, is the industry getting older?" But you might be right. Maybe it's the trade show attendance is getting older. I don't know how we could survey that accurately, though.

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Yea, I think they're getting older and nobody new is coming on board, or maybe more millennials are going to ISC West in Vegas because it's America's play land. I see them in after hours meetings all night long, just not on the show floor.

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I don't see a lot of new people, ie millennials, attending.

I was thinking the same thing the other day, and I think this is a big part of the challenge for the GSX show.

ISC West is the de facto show. If you can only exhibit at, or attend, one show in the US, few people would argue with ISC West being perceived as "the" show for security.

Part of the problem is that you get a LOT of the same attendees in general. As you note, the security industry does not attract a steady flow of younger professionals, or even older professionals switching careers. Anecdotally, I have seen this over the years as an exhibitor and looking at total scanned leads and filtering out net-new leads. In many cases I could almost predict the same couple hundred people that we would scan in the booth.

Besides not having an influx of new people to the industry, we have had a relatively low influx of new companies or technologies in the last 5 or 7 years. 10 years ago, we were seeing IP cameras start to emerge, and related products, and I think that helped draw some people out of the shadows and back to trade shows to see these new products. 6 or so years ago we saw Hikua really start to gain some market awareness for their low pricing, and again draw some folks from the shadows that may not have been to a show in a while.

Now, I think in the last few years there has not been a lot of hype, technology, etc. to make people really WANT to attend these shows (other than maybe for the social aspect and business junket aspects).

The regionality of the ASIS/GSX show likely helped for the people who didn't have the travel or time budget to go to ISC West, they could see "mini ISC West" when it happened to be somewhat nearby. But now, when even ISC West doesn't have a whole lot of "you have to see THIS" hype coming off of it, GSX suffers from a general lack of enthusiasm for shows.

One angle I think GSX could try is being the spot for startups. Create a really attractive package for first-time exhibitors (like really first time, you can't have done ISC West or any large show yet) and smaller companies that are still launching products. Offer a significant discount if you launch a major product (eg: net-new thing, not a version level increase or V2 hardware) at GSX. Promote this heavily, give these companies some marketing push before the show, at the show, and after. This would require GSX "investing" in these companies somewhat by foregoing short-term revenue for hopefully long-term exhibitors and also to attract more people to the show for a network effect. However I get the impression they are not really open to things like this.

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: Should ASIS GSX Try To Be The Spot For Startups?

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Brian, I agree, and am curious your opinion on why ISC West has become the de facto show?

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: Why Has ISC West Become The De Facto Show? (In North America)

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My company last attended in 2017 (Dallas) and prior to that probably exhibited at every show going back to 2003 or 2004 (assuming there were conferences back then). I was actually the one that convinced them that three shows in 12 months in Vegas was overkill and that we should skip the 2018 ASIS show. We noticed that not exhibiting at the show made no difference in sales and I think we are probably done exhibiting at ASIS for good. As a BDM, I see value in attending and spending time with my customers (the rare few that now attend), but I don't need a large booth to entertain them. If they aren't already aware of product and industry updates, I should probably update my resume. Grabbing dinner or lunch with them while at the show is more than sufficient. Also, cities like Chicago, Atlanta, Philly, Anaheim and Dallas just aren't draws. Probably better off in places like New Orleans or Nashville.

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I wonder, especially with it being in Chicago this year, if people pick to go to ISC East over GSX as I doubt many end users attend both shows.

If you are going to factor in the time and cost for a show that's not ISC West, what makes you pick one over the other if they are similar locations? I don't know if the trainings factor in more than location but I'm curious on how people decide which event to attend.

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We always have a substantially larger crowd at GSX and ISC (East and West). I really hated having it in Chicago - hotel, transit, parking and the general mood of that town was a definitive detractor. They’re really not equipped to handle shows of this nature. Nashville, Vegas, Orlando - anywhere but there and now we have to deal with Atlanta - with even worse accommodations, flights and services. All I can say is - Joy.

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As an end user (now getting up in years) I have decided there are only two places I will be traveling to for conferences or training, Orlando or Vegas. That is it.

I am not a huge Vegas fan, but it is easy to get to and to get around in. Most often I can just walk to everywhere I need to go. Orlando is easy to get to and all the other attractions make it nice to stay for a few extra days and get a mini-vacation out of it. If I was forced to I would do Nashville or maybe San Diego, but I would not be happy about it.

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I'm a manufacturer - so we have to exhibit wherever the show is, but personally I agree with you. I would add Anaheim to the list, but my vote would be for ASIS/GSX to just flip-flop between Orlando and Anaheim. Easy to get in and out - lots of places to stay - good places to meet - fun things to do - just an all around good choice. Stop trying to go to every nook and cranny - what's next GSX in Cheyenne Wyoming?

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I mean you say that as if Chicago is some small hick town. It is the third largest metro in the USA. I could see the appeal from ASIS or what ever, make it easier for us Northerners to attend.

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No one is suggesting Chicago is small. It is just inconvenient in so many facets. It is just not a town set up for conventions. You can only go to so many rooftop bar parties, The Field Museum and the Shedd for big parties.....

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Good call on Anaheim! I now say Anaheim or Orlando because that removes Vegas from my list!

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Considering the overall "all-in" cost of $300, $400 or more per square foot, manufacturers must consider the ROI for shows like this. It is unfortunate that manufacturers become suspect by their absence in major industry shows but, it gets to a point where shows like GSX and ISC East are as previously stated, more of a regional show and may not be worth the investment.

Las Vegas last year was a horrible choice because everyone had already been in Las Vegas for ISC West. Chicago was definitely weak in attendance and with far fewer booths than prior years.

Admittedly, we did have success with the few end-user prospects we met and I would have to say they were very high quality. Other than strengthening relationships with a few Integrator Partners, most booth traffic was end-users and not Integrators.

So again, it is a matter of measuring the ROI if any?

It would be interesting for IPVM to conduct a survey and determine the average "all-in" cost of having a booth at GSX and if there is a measurable ROI to be had from attending?

Last comment: Many manufactures had significant problems/conflicts with McCormick Center union labor when setting up their booth. (as we did) Seems you are required to hire electricians to plug-in Cat-5/6 cables and mount/display surveillance cameras or they will kick you out of the show! What a great PR for a return to Chicago! No Thanks...

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Regarding Unions controlling everything you might do, it's not just Chicago. Philly comes to mind from 2013.

Cheap hotels? Chicago isn't cheap, ever.

ASIS can try whatever they want, but the reality is there is really only time for people to attend one show per year, and that is ISC West. It's not the cost of the show itself, it's also the lost productivity while away. Rarely do the products change enough between ISC and ASIS to justify two trips. Waste of time for everyone involved, but if you are fearful of losing a client because you didn't exhibit at ASIS, you likely didn't have the solid relationship you should have.

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Union Control - Our experience was rudeness and threats of being kicked out and off of the show floor. On another exhibitor, they cut the power to their booth for failure to comply with Union demands and then charged them a hefty fee to restore it, many hours later.

We haven had this problem ever in other venues. Seems crazy that a low voltage manufacturer cannot get up and install their own cameras, or is that just me?

Our opinion, we won't be back to Chicago!

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I get why that would be annoying for you, but try and think of it from the workers perspective. Yes they should still be nice about, no need to be an asshole, but they worked long and hard and fought for those agreements. Unions are constantly under attack, so some people go a bit to the extreme to combat it, cutting power, being dicks. It's not right, but I get it. If they let one person get away with it, then more people will try.

The venue should be making ASIS adamantly aware of the Union requirements, and ASIS should be passing that onto the exhibitors. I don't know the whole story, but this really seems like ASIS dropped the ball. I get it's more time and more cost, but it can't be that hard to comply with local rules/requirements.

So either ASIS dropped the ball and didn't properly inform exhibitors about the union rules, or a bunch of people just figured "Those rules don't apply to me". I can't feel sorry for those people.

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I see a simple solution... Don't use unions.

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Not at all the simple solution. And apparently not possible in Chicago.

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Everyone is aware of the requirements of working in each large city, but it's still pathetic. I'd rather meet with my clients one on one in their home city than waste time at ASIS. The show is dying a slow death, they just won't admit it.

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Another consideration is that our workloads have changed, and evolved to beyond traditional work hours. I rarely can book a lunch meeting one on one with a customer these days (they claim they don't have time for an extended lunch), and everyone is emailing until the wee hours. Today I received an email from a customer time stamped 12:15 AM. With this in mind, perhaps we all think we cannot spare the time to attend too many shows, and must pick just the most beneficial event, which in my mind is ISC West.

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