Manufacturers Unhappy With ASIS 2014

By John Honovich, Published Oct 08, 2014, 12:00am EDT (Info+)

An IPVM survey of 50+ manufacturers reveals that most were not happy with the ASIS 2014 Atlanta show, with a number of them quite upset, highlighted by one notable industry veteran affirming:

"The industry does not really need more than one big trade show a year, which is ISC West. We keep on financing ASIS which is mainly a result of ego fight between ISC and ASIS management. It may be time to stop the madness. It will improve the ability to support local events, seminars and roadshows."

In this note, we reveal their responses, issues and look at the underlying causes:

The ****

* ******** ******** *** ************** ******** things ** ***:

  • "** *** *** ** *** **** shows...very ***** ***** *******."
  • "**** *********. ********* **** *** ***** days."
  • "** **** **** ***** **** *** show - ** **** ** *** a ****** ***** *** **** ****." (startup)
  • "**** ********* *** *** ******* ** a *****."
  • "******* ******* ****** ***** *** ** actually *** **** ***** ******* **** from *** ******** ****."

The **

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

  • "********** *** ********* ***, *** ******* of *** ******** **** ****"
  • "*** ***** **** * ****** ****, but **** **** **** *******."
  • "********* **** **. ***** ******* *** down ****, *** **** ******* *** acceptable."
  • "***** ********** *** ******* ****, *** quality ** **** *********** *** *** users *** **** ****."
  • "**** ***** *****, **** ***** ** order *** *** **** ** ** a *******, ***** ***** **** ** have * ****** ******* ****." [***]

The ***

*******, **** ****** ** *******:

  • "**** *****. *** *** ******* *** investment"
  • "**** ***...*** ** *** ***** *****"
  • "*** ********* ** *** **** ******* turn ***. *** **** * ***** have **** ****"
  • "***** **** *** **** ** ********. Not ********* *******. *** * **** show. **** ******* **** ***** *****."
  • "**** **** ** *** ****** ***."
  • "*** **** * ***** ** ****,** would **** ** ******* ** *** leads *** **** ****, ** *** less **** ***"
  • "** **** *** ** ********** ***** next ****."

Specific **** **********

*** * *** *** ******** ********** of *** ******* **** ******:

  • "**** ******, ********** ****** ****** ***** it **** *** ******* *** ** the ***** ******** *******."
  • "** ****** **** **** ******* ****** depended ** ***** *** **** ** the *****. *'* ** ** *** booth *** ** *** ********, **** I'd **** ** ***** *** ** was *******."
  • "*** ******* ***** *** * *** (a ***) ****"
  • "**** ** ****** ******, **** ** booths **** *** *** **** **** busy."

Stop ****** *** **** ****

*** ********** ****** *** *** ***** of ****** ** **** **** ** city (**** ******** ************ ** ******* to *******):

  • "* *** * ****** ** *********** conversations ** ** ******* *** **** strategy ** ***-********* *** **** *** country ** * **** ****. ******* of ** ***** ***** ** **'* time ** **** *** ***** ***** and **** ***** *** * *****."
  • "** ***** **** ****** * ***** to **** ** *** ****** **** it ********** ******* *** ***** *** Orlando."

******, **** *** ** *** ******** trade ******** ******* *** ******** ***** the **** *** *** *****, ******* it "***** *******", ***** *** * ***** ******** is **** ** ******* ** ********.

Manufacturers ** *****

** *** ***** ****, ************* **** to **** **** ** *** *****. Generally *** ************, *** ****** ** new *********** *** ******** **** ***** low *** *************.

*********** *** ****** ***** ********, ******* its ******** ** * ******* **** IPVM, ** ********** ** * ***** show **** ****.

**** **** ******** *** *****. **** depend ** *** ************ ** ***** interest **** ***** *** **** *** breakthroughs.

*** ******** ****** ********* ****** **** **** **** *** look ****** / **** **********.

Comments (10)

Its important to remember the ASIS and ISCWest shows are quite different in focus and, to a lesser degree, demographics of attendee. The exhibits function at ASIS is secondary to education and professional networking. That's compounded by a division of exhibits interest for attendees between technology advancements/vendors, annual contract negotiations with the attendee's providers and the search for new or alternative service providers. A lot of that takes place OFF the exhibits floor.

Smaller booths & staffs might improve the return on expense.

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"even one of the security trade magazine editors was negative about the show" ASIS must not have paid for enough vacation trips this year.

Yes, I vote for Orlando! (Save us the travel expenses.)

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Like everything it comes down to cost vs. benefit. For a 20x20 booth, the all-in cost of doing a show runs around 70K assuming you already have a booth to use. So, the question becomes, is there a better way to use that money to generate business? If not then ASIS makes sense.

Here's a fun (and very simple) rough calc, if a manufacturer with a 20x20 booth operates at 50% margins, Sales expense at 25% of expenses and they turn a 10% profit, then they would have to generate roughly 620K in sales with no additional costs to break even in comparison to their day to day sales.

How many manufacturers with 20x20's on the show floor do you think generated that amount of brand new, never heard before sales from the show? Now add up that 620K across all the manufacturers present...

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ASIS has far more end users, ISC is for the integrators

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ASIS is all about training for end users. They discourage any form of selling at all levels (Chapter on up) so, allowing vendors to participate in a show whether it be this national show or any of the local shows isn't because ASIS is supporting vendors sales efforts, its because they want vendors to pay for the privelege of meeting end users who may or may not visit thier booths and, may or may not become a customer. The key as a vendor is - don't expect this to be an opportunity to "sell". Redesign booths for a more educational presentation and staff it with knowledgable product managers or trainers versus sales people. The attendee's at ASIS don't want to be "sold" to at these events. They want to learn. Smaller booths with more focused training staff might help cut the cost and I think the attendee's would be more receptive to "learning" your technology than being sold on it. I also don't think you can really make a direct comparison between the cost of being in the show with the number of sales generated as a result for the same reason. It's a marketing & training thing not a sales gig. You get the brand recognition, meet with existing customers for some face time and gather market intel and, occationally you get a new customer from it. It may not be worth $70k but for most I think it has value. All that said - if ISC & ASIS joined forces and put on one big show it would probably be very well attended, bring the overall cost to vendors down and meet everyones needs for both training and sales. I vote for Vegas only because its closest to me but for sure I think they need to pick a venue or 2 and stay with them year after year.

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I think that's a pretty good and well thought out perspective. I've never looked at ASIS from an end user standpoint- how do end users usally find out about ASIS, and how do they perceive the purpose of it being according to marketing material. As an integrator, I don't know if they send me stuff marketed towards me in that capacity, but I don't get too much "end user experiance" from the marketing material.

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If you invest money in Engineering, you would expect new or improved products as a result. If you invest in sales & Marketing, it's not unreasonable to expect increased sales as a result. In either case if the results aren't commensurate with the investment, you find a different way to get a better result, that's just good business.

My experience in our booth (multiple companies) and visiting others is that no one is selling hard, they're there to expose you to their products and communicate the value. As a manufacturer we integrate with many others on the floor, so I spend my time talking to other manufacturers at the show to learn what they have and discuss how we might work together, and my experience is almost universally positive, people will take the time to talk to you, explain their products and answer any questions I might have, even if they know I'm not a potential sale.

My point was simply can something better be done with the investment? At that level of investment you have the base salary for another RSM, would adding another salesperson increase sales more than the long term benefit of exhibiting at ASIS? Could I do oneline or print advertising (70K = 2 almost full page adds a month)

Nevertheless, I agree with the comments that this industry only really needs one big show a year. ISC West has always been a more expensive show to do, but absolutely worthwhile in all respects, and to the comments on the lack of new product, we target our development efforts to having new product for ISC West, it's very difficult to have a major new release more than once a year.

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ASIS does alot of outreach through the Chapters. They're always engaged in membership drives. Also, its hard to be in the security industry in any capacity and NOT know about ASIS. So that's how they find out about it. As far as marketing materials being an end user experience, I'm not sure what you mean by that. Most vendors send the same materials out whether you're an end user or an integrator i.e. brochures, spec/data sheets, AE specs etc. My point is that vendors need to do a mind shift on thier expectations of ASIS, ASIS shows & ASIS members. If you approach these things knowing you're not going to sell anything but instead strive to bring something of educational value, the ASIS members will be more receptive to you and a relationship can begin. It's the value of that relationship building that ASIS membership offers. I've been an active member in my local Chapter since 1998, serving time on the Board, chairing a committee etc. It probably took a good 5 years of that before I actually developed any relationships that would eventually turn into business for my company. ASIS is not a quick sell process, its a long term commitment to building relationships without expecting ANY monetary return. As a vendor member, I also get the advantage of being educated by others on a number of subjects unrelated to technology that help me better understand an end users application or risk factors when I'm working with them toward a technology solution. That in itself has value. Just for the record - I don't attend ASIS for all of these reasons, I'm a sales person and the only members I'm interested in developing relationships with are in my home state so I'm active at the Chapter level. My favorite show is ISC West because there, you have all the same vendors and its okay to "sell" so I invite clients to attend, set up booth meetings with them for the purpose of selling (unless its one of my ASIS friends and then I respectfully follow the ASIS guideline of no selling). By the way - the relationships you develop give you friends to call when you need a mentor on something or an introduction to someone you ARE trying to sell to etc. There is value beyond $$ that vendors need to focus on if they're going to be spending $70k on a booth.

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" Also, its hard to be in the security industry in any capacity and NOT know about ASIS. "

But you said ASIS is about training for end users. Which end users are we talking about? End users "in the security industry", or general end users like the facilitites manager at the school or the retail franchise owner or the school district superintendant....?

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All of the above. In our local Chapter we have IT directors, facility managers, vendors, security directors from all verticals: hospitality, banking, entertainment, government etc. ASIS doesn't lend itself so much to retail although eBay is a member of our Chapter as is GoDaddy so at that level of retail, yes. I'm not so sure a school superintendent would be a member but the facilities or security folks at the school would be. If you want to talk to me in more detail about my experience with ASIS feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIN.

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