The SIA Board Strongly Supports ISC West October 2020

By: John Honovich, Published on Apr 23, 2020

The SIA Board strongly supports the upcoming October 2020 ISC West, amidst heavy SIA member opposition in IPVM's latest survey.

SIA Position

SIA spokesperson Geoff Kohl told IPVM in response to our question "Does SIA support ISC West 2020 exhibitors getting refunds if they do not want to exhibit at the now twice postponed / 7 months later October show?" that:

SIA strongly supports ISC West 2020 and the association will do whatever it can to ensure its success for all attendees. We want each exhibitor to enjoy a successful show. Specific questions about ISC West exhibitor policies should be directed to the Reed Exhibitions team.

SIA Board Position

SIA Board Chairman Pierre Trapanese told IPVM in response to our question, "Is this the position of the SIA Board? Does the SIA board have anything else to add? I ask because many SIA members have complained about the October show and the problems with refunds or credits," that:

It is the position of the SIA Board. SIA does strongly supports ISC West 2020. SIA represents the interests of its membership and are working closely with our membership to ensure such interests are represented. SIA is always discussing ways that could increase the value of its events for its membership, including ISC West and are in ongoing discussions with them.

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We are working through this time of uncertainty and ever-evolving conditions to serve our industry and our membership. We understand adaptability is critical through the coming months.

Reed On ISC West Refunds Or Credits

Reed's Event Director for ISC West Mary Beth Shaughnessy responded to IPVM's question noting that "I spoke with multiple manufacturers this week who showed me copies of emails where their ISC West sales rep gave them credits for 2021", equivocating on the issue:

During this COVID-19 crisis timeframe, there are a wide range of circumstances for exhibitors and decisions to make re resources and strategies. Our focus is on being consultative and flexible, and we are working closely to consult with all exhibitors.

Reversal Within Hours

We too experienced this directly. For example, at first, our Reed sales representative told us we could have a refund for the 2020 booth. However, he quickly came back and said we could have a credit but no refund:

After we accepted the credit offer, he rescinded it less than an hour later, saying:

Cancellation Calls Broad

While SIA and the SIA board evidently are strongly supporting the upcoming October 2020 show, cancellation and refund calls are rising, as this excerpt from our recent survey demonstrates:

  • "It’s a moral issue for us at this point. Refund the 2020 money and we will see you in 2021. Otherwise, GSX is our go show moving forward. gReed should be ashamed of their behavior with this show."
  • "I feel that they do not want to refund mfg money to just cancel which is why they rescheduled. Having ISC West 2020 in Oct and then having ISC West 2021 in March/April is foolish."
  • "Other than Reed's bottom line, I'm struggling to find any positives to hosting 2 shows of this (anticipated) caliber over the course of 2 weeks. I think they should cancel the 2020 show and put an extra day on the 2021 show, or something along those lines?"
  • "Re-reschedule looks more like a money grab than anything. Aside from valid COVID-19 concerns, July wasn't going to be popular or likely well attended so they (SIA/Reed) are pushing to October to try to avoid having to discuss much less issue refunds to exhibitors."
  • "Too close to ISC East, GSX and other end of year shows. They should cancel and put on a virtual showcase of there own if they dont want to refund the money. Then have the show in 2021 and we forget all about 2020."
  • "As a manufacturer, we will not be going to ISC West this year and are considering if we will go or not next year. How they handled the refunds (or as it sits now, no refunds) especially at this time when nobody is making revenues, pretty weak response from them."
  • "They are officially out of their minds. So disappointing.... 1. It is too close to GSX. To ship equipment and booths from one to another in less than a week is a slap in the face. Shame on SIA and REED. 2. Even this date is uncertain. Cancel the damn show and refund us our money."
  • "Only 5 months until the next ISC West. My hope is that they allow manufacturers to skip this show and put monies already spent towards 2021 (unlikely). If nothing else, a discount should be offered considering the likely drastic drop in attendance."
  • "We already spent ISC West budget for renting and sending a stand and material to Las Vegas for nothing... Furthermore the way SIA has handled this from the beginning made our company feel cheated. I trust we are not the only one so exhibition should be down and companies will cut expenses drastically so, there won’t be that many attendees. SIA and Reed have handled this poorly."
  • "I am more excited about ASIS this year. I have lost some respect for way ISC handled the cancellation and rescheduling this year. I think the best thing they can do is completely cancel this year and focus on making next year extra special to recover."
  • "Cancel both ISC events in 2020 and credit for 2021. Exhibitors have already incurred extra costs for this twice rescheduled event."

Moreover, one exhibitor has called for a class-action lawsuit against the show to force refunds, with many supporting them.

Attendance Concerns

The biggest concern manufacturers expressed was poor attendance. They signed up for a show in March with 30,000+ attendees but now they fear a show with far less than half those attendees.

We repeatedly asked ISC West / Reed for an October attendance estimate but none was provided.

SIA Board Stance?

Surely the SIA board, most of whom are ISC West exhibitors and are dealing with all these coronavirus related challenges, understands the issues with the now October planned ISC West.

We would encourage the SIA board to better reflect the concerns of SIA members.

Let The Show Go On But Free Exhibitors From It

If SIA and the SIA Board want to have a show this October, let them have it. But surely they understand that, in the midst of a global pandemic and a recession, that being forced to exhibit at a show that was rescheduled twice over a 7 month period and is bound to have a dramatic drop in attendance is neither fair to the companies exhibiting nor a prudent long term move for their own organization.

Vote / Poll

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Mass Exhibitor Dropouts Threaten ISC West October 2020 on May 08, 2020
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Comments (20)

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Great article as always John!

We agree that if SIA and the SIA Board want to have a this show in October, let them have it! But, they cannot possibly agree with the hard nose stance of forcing exhibitors to either be there and exhibit or forfeit their investment!

That will be a publicity nightmare and will cut deeply in a rapidly deteriorating relationship that the SIA and ISC West show has at this point with manufacturers and exhibitors all over the world. (their customers!)

We have had calls with other manufacturers and exhibitors who all feel very disappointed in the decision to proceed in October. Most agree that a class action lawsuit challenge may be the only option, if they do not change their position.

They agree that contractually, Reed and SIA could potentially prevail legally however, the resulting public relations damage will be significant.

Our position remains the same. Cancel the twice rescheduled October show and focus on a bigger and better ISC West 2021. Refund money to those who want/need those refunds. Offer an incentive to roll the investment over as a full booth credit towards 2021, maybe a 10% discount on 2022 or something that says, we understand, we have your back and we are in this together!

Hopefully someone on the SIA Board will get it and be smart enough to understand that they do not want and should not start this fight!

"Lock downs" and "quarantines" were never about getting rid of the virus. Unfortunately it seems a lot of people on social media have this misunderstanding. They were about trying not to overwhelm the healthcare system and buying time for treatments. When the lock downs lift, it does not mean the virus is gone.

Make no mistake, we are living with this virus for a long time, probably a year or more. You or someone you know will probably get it at some point or another until then. That is just a fact of life.

Of course we can't remain locked down indefinitely, either. And no, it's not about getting massages or going back to your favorite bar; you can cherry pick whatever quotes you want for a political slant. But social distancing and increased hygiene will still need to be practiced until a cure or vaccine is developed and delivered en masse.

Let's say Reed moves forward. Barring that, to do the responsible thing they'd still need to limit the number of attendees on the floor at any give time to allow people to have space. That'd be what, maybe 1/10 of what they would normally have at peak attendance? It's a waste of time and money.

they'd still need to limit the number of attendees on the floor at any give time to allow people to have space. That'd be what, maybe 1/10 of what they would normally have at peak attendance?

#2, you are missing a money-making opportunity!

SIA needs to sell sponsorship rights to the "OFFICIAL FEVER DETECTOR OF ISC WEST", rows of thermal cameras and blackbodies all over the ISC West entrance.

I am kidding... I think...

There are things about the industry I like, and things I don't. Unfortunately, I think you just gave them an idea to latch onto.

They will also have to hand out masks that would require a sponsor. I am sure there are some creative marketing folks out there that could make a tasteful mask!

Good point, exhibitors should watch for face mask, face shield and disposable glove sponsorship opportunities on the Reed Exhibitor Portal. Instead of concessions or a coffee bar, we should be able to purchase a hand washing station for our booth, right? Anything to make a few more bucks from their hostages... I mean, exhibitors!

Fully agree with Undisclosed Manufacturer #1 and is the same position we've taken in our discussions...

"Our position remains the same. Cancel the twice rescheduled October show and focus on a bigger and better ISC West 2021. Refund money to those who want/need those refunds. Offer an incentive to roll the investment over as a full booth credit towards 2021, maybe a 10% discount on 2022 or something that says, we understand, we have your back and we are in this together!"

Anything else is tone-deaf and a money-grab by the show organizers.

This is very good and succinct proposal.

As a consultant I was on board for the show to be held in March, but then this virus got real and Vegas was shut down right before the show was originally scheduled. I'm pretty much in agreement now with 90%+ of the folks that took the poll. Cancel this year and hopefully they can come back strong next year. Unfortunately I've heard from some reliable sources if there isn't a vaccine by next fall/winter we may have Corona Phase 2.

how can Reed not have insurance policies that shield them from being in the position to have to battle so hard to keep their loot?

Why would they need an insurance policy? They've got a captive audience that can't get a refund.

Insurance policies always have the stipulation that you have to do what they say concerning accepting liability, and that it is up to them how to handle. They [the insurance company] will default to the position that they won't pay out until unless they really have to, and that usually means not until people sue, and their lawyers will still try to settle for way less than full liability. They won't care about what it does to Reed's reputation. It will be about saving as much money as possible.

agree with all of your words - all which validate my point.

Reed should have had appropriate insurance in place to handle something like this...

and it has become increasingly clear that they did not.

insurance companies are going to be insurance companies.... collect as much revenue as possible and pay out the minimum amount of money as possible on claims.

this is not a secret.

sounds like Reed didn't want to pay the extra $$$ on their own policies that might have covered damages against what has happened RE: COVID-19.

and now they are clawing to keep deposits/fees from exhibitors because they have no choice (since they weren't fully covered against what happened due to the COVID-19 lockdowns).

am I wrong?

sounds like Reed didn't want to pay the extra $$$ on their own policies that might have covered damages against what has happened RE: COVID-19.

and now they are clawing to keep deposits/fees from exhibitors because they have no choice (since they weren't fully covered against what happened due to the COVID-19 lockdowns).

am I wrong?

No, not saying you are wrong. What I am saying is they may have insurance that will cover refunds. But they might not be permitted at this point to offer any because their insurance company hasn't authorized coverage on it yet. This is all speculation on my part. I'm just saying the insurance may be there, but it might not be Reed's choice to say yet they can refund or not. We will see how it plays out.

ok - we are saying the same thing, but simply looking at it from opposite ends.

i gave you an agree ;)

Ultimately it is up to the NV Governor on when to resume functions of this size. So far he says NV is in opening Phase Zero, and will remain there until he is satisfied there is a safe path to reopen. Regardless if the industry supports or does not support it, we will have to comply with the orders from the honorable Stephen F. Sisolak, NV Governor.

Good job for Jon!!

Also, "Freeman" which is a company for Material handling services. There is no any contract to exhibitors. Freeman charged very high handling services, but only return 40% of the fee when our company decide to cancel the booth. We argued that we don't want to move out our products from the warehouse, and these products are kept until 2021. Freeman did not negotiate this issue, and just returned 40% of the fee to our account. It means that they just want to keep the profit. It doesn't make sense for us.

Just received confirmation from Reed that they are offering to rollover your funds to March 2021 if you are not able to make the show in October.

if you are not able to make the show in October.

What did Reed say counts as 'not able to make'? Is that a government-ordered lockdown or just if you don't want to go in October?

I asked

Will credits be issued for March 2021 if we do not attend in OCT 2020?

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