Pay ASIS, Get Meetings With Security Whales

By: John Honovich, Published on Jul 26, 2013

Manufacturers, like casinos, want whales - huge customers who will spend the big bucks. Getting them, of course, can be difficult. Now ASIS has a new program that makes it easy for manufacturers to get guaranteed introductions and meetings with whales. It is called the Diamond Club Security Buyer's Forum [link no longer available] and all manufacturers need is $12,500 each.

ASIS picks the whales, noting that they restrict entrance to those security end users meeting these criteria:

  • Annual security budget of at least $1 million or a Fortune 500 company
  • Purchasing plans scheduled within the next 12-18 months
  • Currently searching for supplier solutions
  • Final decision maker or key member of the buying team

Great For Manufacturers

This is a salesman dream come true. Rather than beg for meetings, or cold call for months, they pay for a sure thing setup. Plus, since all the meetings are in a single location (this year in the Arizona desert during July), they can do them all in 2 days (rather than flying around the country). It is clearly far less expensive and even if they only convert 1 of those 10 whales, given the size of their purchases (often hundreds of thousands), the fee is easy to justify.

[link no longer available]What's In It for End Users? [link no longer available]

End users get free travel, accommodations and meals. Unlike a 'traditional' trade show, like ISC West, where end users need to pay their own way, 'hosted buying' events are all inclusive (sort of like a free weekend at a time share). In exchange for this, end users guarantee that they will attend all these meeting or be forced to pay back expenses.

ASIS Making Money

In a few days, ASIS can make fifty thousand dollars or more.

ASIS lists 11 companies attending this year's event [link no longer available]. That's $137,500 for their sponsorship fees (11 x $12,500) plus another $30,000 or so for 'add on sponsorships [link no longer available]' like snack bags, lanyard, luggage tags, etc. Even after factoring in the costs of bringing in a few dozen security end users to a hotel, profits are likely to be significant. Indeed, as this hosted buyer profitability analysis [link no longer available] shows, it can be quite a money making opportunity.

Good for Security End Users?

This is not a good deal for these security 'whales.' Any manufacturer would gladly fly out and personally present to a buyer with a million dollar annual budget who is currently looking for suppliers on a near term project. Why they would constraint themselves for meetings with only vendors that are willing to pay to present is bizarre and unnecessary.

Unhealthy for the Industry

ASIS is setting up 'dates' based on what vendors are willing to pay them rather than which offer the best fit for end user's need. It promotes a world where influence is literally bought and sold.

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