A Virus on the Move
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Apr 08, 2020
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
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.
Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.