ASIS to Move Forward as Scheduled Despite Impact from Harvey
Dallas Convention Center, where ASIS 2017 is to be held, is expecting thousands of people escaping the floods in south east Texas.
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Aug 28, 2017
In less than one month, ASIS International will host its 2017 version of its annual tradeshow. This year, however, Hurricane Harvey may play a role in use of the Dallas Convention Center.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Monday that the city is preparing to host “thousands upon thousands upon thousands” of evacuees from the Gulf Coast.
“I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but we’ve been asked to prepare for numbers that could be in the tens of thousands,” Rawlings said.
ASIS CEO Peter J. O’Neil said they are continuing to monitor the situation and are staying in touch with Dallas city officials, but at this time any evacuation should not impact the tradeshow at all.
“We continue to monitor the situation in Texas from multiple perspectives and at this point we don’t anticipate trouble in Dallas in four weeks,” O’Neil said. “We continue to send good thoughts and prayers to the great people in Texas.”
Several years ago, circumstances from Hurricane Katrina forced ASIS to move its tradeshow from New Orleans to Atlanta. Unfortunate timing once again, though circumstances were different in that New Orleans, site of the tradeshow was faced with a near direct hit.
According to the ASIS communications director Peggy O’Connor, ASIS will go on as scheduled.
“We are aware the Dallas Convention Center will house storm evacuees. However, this shelter will take place away from the convention area and will not impact our show.
“Exhibitor services are proceeding uninterrupted. Our general services contractor, Arata Expositions, has been unaffected and is continuing to process orders and accepting exhibitor freight as expected.
“Supporting those in need. We are working closely with our local leadership in Houston and the Dallas CVB to see how we can best support those in the affected areas. Through our Security Cares initiative we have donated to the Red Cross to support the rebuilding process,” O’Connor said.
If exhibitors or attendees have specific questions or needs, they are invited to reach out to the ASIS customer care team for immediate assistance.
“Our thoughts are with all those whose lives and livelihoods have been disrupted,” O’Connor said. “The strength of ASIS is our community and together, we will help these regions come back stronger and more resilient.
Rawlings spoke as city workers and volunteers scurried around behind him, lining up thousands of green American Red Cross cots -- with only a foot of space between them -- in the enclosed parking garage beneath the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
The mayor cautioned that the city is still dealing with short-term needs and doesn’t yet know what to expect long term. But the city is preparing for the worst.
Houston has dozens of buses that could end up bringing hundreds more evacuees to Dallas after the floodwaters on Houston’s highways subside. And Rawlings said flights of 50 to 80 evacuees from Galveston will begin landing this afternoon at Dallas Love Field.