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My first security trade show was in 2021. At the time, I was awed by the sheer magnitude of the event and the spectacle of products on display. But this was the first major trade show coming out of the pandemic, and the only commentary I heard was how low the attendance was. Two representatives from one booth even spent the last morning playing catch in the aisle with their giveaway stress balls.

It wasn’t until today that I understood the contrast—the show floor of ISC West 2023 was packed. In the best possible way, I had a hard time getting a word in edgewise with our Live From sponsors because they were too busy with customers. In some crowded corridors, you had to literally trade places with the person next to you to move at all. Finding a place to sit down—whether in the exhibit hall to regroup and pull out some notes or in the food court downstairs—was an adventure all its own.

It’s probably safe to say that trade shows are back in business.

The upswing couldn’t come at a better time. Despite the wide variety of applications for security products and technology, the topic on everyone’s mind is the recent rise in mass shootings in the U.S. Everything from emergency response to video analytics to access control is focused on keeping bad actors out and people inside safe. And the gathering of the best and brightest from the industry feels like a good start in creating a constructive dialogue on how to address the problem once and for all.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at MJones@1105media.com

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