INDUSTRY FOCUS

A Virus on the Move

If you had second thoughts about traveling to ISC West this year because of the coronavirus, raise your hand. If your opinion of spending three days in a confined space with 15,000 other well-meaning people is a bit tenuous, raise the other hand. You probably made other plans for ISC West this year.

COVID-19 has been the topic of much discussion in many boardrooms prior to ISC West. The show organizer, Reed Exhibitions, sent out a note two weeks before the event, saying the show will occur as scheduled. A week later, show organizers made the announcement that ISC West had been canceled for March but rescheduled for July. From the original press release, a “No Handshake Show” policy was announced.

Seriously, what is a tradeshow without a handshake?

Like many other travelers and exhibitors, we filled our boardroom with concerned staff to discuss the consequences of COVID-19 and our participation in Las Vegas. The Security Today team felt we had an obligation to serve the industry as B2B journalists, because this is the time of year when the newest products are being released and announced. Now, a sigh of relief as the show has been rescheduled.

As of this writing, specific dates in July aren’t announced but I’m sure we’ll have them in due course.

As several manufacturers were pulling out of ISC West, their notices often said it was for the concern of their employees, and the general safety of all tradeshow attendees. Reed Exhibitions held firm, saying the show much go on. This was not a popular response, until the March 6 announcement.

Will Wise, the Group Vice President at Reed Exhibitions, said that it was not a decision that the organizers took lightly.

“It is imperative that we maintain our commitment to prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved with ISC West,” Wise said in a statement. “Reed Exhibitions would like to express sincere gratitude to all exhibitors, partners, attendees, suppliers, media and staff, in addition to our Premier Sponsor SIA [Security Industry Association], for their support and communications during this challenging time and we look forward to welcoming the global security and public safety community to Las Vegas in July.”

Show organizers made the right choice. Putting attendees, and people in general in harm’s way would have been the wrong move. COVID-19 and a “simple” case of the flu is nothing to sneeze at. People want to attend ISC West, but just don’t want to get sick.

With COVID-19 on the move, the thing to do was to move as far away from Las Vegas temptation as possible.

This article originally appeared in the April 2020 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is the Publisher of Security Today magazine.

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