Let’s face it, tradeshow attendance is hard work. When a company is putting on its own tradeshow, it become less a trial and more a labor of love. Security Products magazine (1105 Media Inc.) owns GovSec, an annual security conference and exposition held in Washington, D.C. each spring.
GovSec is satisfying work.
Our parent company, 1105 Media, bought the tradeshow a few years ago. It was down on its luck and bending sorely at the backside. Company president and CEO Neal Vitale discovered something no one else saw. He empowered our team to make this tradeshow work and grow.
It’s working and GovSec is growing again. In fact, tradeshow are working again. Let’s be honest for a moment. GovSec ain’t no ISC West, but by the same token, the Las Vegas show is no GovSec. Our exhibitors are focused on the government security world, and the attendees are there to learn about security methods and tactics. It is a fine-tuned market filled with very smart people.
Tradeshows are working again.
“Large industry tradeshows, such as ISC and ASIS, provide the perfect venue to see a multitude of new technologies and products, as well as the opportunity to get detailed demonstrations on their integration and implementation,” said Frank DeFina, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Samsung Techwin America. “In fact, most manufacturers look to conduct detailed instruction sessions at these events as they help ensure their solutions are selected for upcoming installations. And, of course, there is plenty of opportunity for face-to-face communication at shows, which remains one of the best ways to learn.”
I appreciate our GovSec exhibitors and attendees, all supporting our efforts to lead training and teaching moments at GovSec. There are so many others that deserve our praise and sincere thanks for supporting GovSec. I know that exhibitors were very pleased with tradeshow traffic and face-to-face interviews. Security equipment manufacturers are excited about teaching others about their products, and tradeshows work.
“Tradeshows provide us with an outstanding opportunity to get feedback on our existing products,” said Peter Botelho, executive vice president and general manager of Speco Technologies. “They are a great way for us to explain and discuss new concepts, take the pulse of market conditions, both with current trends and future forecasts. Tradeshows allow us to reset expectations and goals for the upcoming year, and manage relationships through direct interaction with customers and business partners.”
Interaction is critical. We were fortunate to have an in-your-face kind of keynote speaker in Joe Theismann. The GovSec crowd remembers Joe. He played for the Washington Redskins until 1985 when he clashed with Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants. Joe, who played for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and is a Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion, had his career handed to him in one play, on Nov. 18, 1985.
“I didn’t know how to deal with success,” Theismann said. “On that Monday night football game with the Giants, I told myself, ‘Tonight, your life is going to change.’”
Change it did. Theismann said the injury on the football field sounded like two massive gunshots. It resulted in a compound fracture.
“I learned you cannot, you will not be able to do everything by yourself.”
Theismann spoke about winning and teamwork, and reminded GovSec attendees that it’s not the athletes who are heroes, but, rather, attention should be paid to firemen, law enforcement, the military and those attending who are the heroes. They are the ones who protect the American dream, and protect the valuable life Americans share.
“We’re so blessed to be in the greatest country in the world,” Theismann said. “I’ve played golf with our wounded warriors, and they are the heroes; they are the leaders.”
As an NFL quarterback, Theismann spoke about leadership and the influence that is part of the game. He pleaded with U.S. lawmakers to put their partisan politics aside and work together. He said, “Action and deeds become the way to determine leadership, not words.”
Theismann spoke of goal setting and challenged every person in the audience to, next week, sit down and make a list of goals. He said that 98 percent of people do not write down the things they want to accomplish. He challenged listeners to write down personal, spiritual, financial and professional goals.
I hope the GovSec group remembers the challenge, and I extend that same challenge to our magazine and online readership. Theismann said that people are special, but it does come with a price of what an individual is willing to pay.
“How would you like to be remembered? What is your passion?”
We, our GovSec team, have some commonalities with Theismann. He said “Get excited about life, and take control.” We preach that in our GovSec planning meetings, and we’re not afraid to try something different.