Physical events have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in security companies turning to virtual trade shows and other online events.
With all major security exhibitions postponed or cancelled in the first half of 2020, security companies are moving from physical events and in-person training to virtual trade shows and online training webinars.
From in-person to virtual events
Traditional in-person events, such as conventions and trade shows, have taken a big hit during these times of stay-at-home
orders and social distancing; however, it has also created new opportunities for security companies to grow their online presence.
“Everyone is now trying to shift marketing activities to online, however many companies just try to convert their traditional trade show-based programs to digital 1:1, which does not work,” said Andreas Conrad, Head of Marketing at Qognify
. “Webinars require a different content setup, different ways of promotion and a cross-channel approach to be successful.”
In lieu of all the cancelled international trade shows, Genetec created a virtual event similar to its traditional conference experience, explained Andrew Elvish, VP of Marketing at Genetec
. The virtual trade show
included panels with end users, experts and thought leaders, as well as educational sessions, security technology insights and product demos.
Hanwha Techwin has come out with a series of webinars produced with the help of its professional in-house trainer. The webinars include detailed information on how to install, configure and commission its latest generation of products, solutions and software.
“Each webinar is tailored to the meet the requirements of the specific audience (e.g., consultants, system designers or sales people working for systems integrators or our distribution partners),” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product and Marketing at Hanwha Techwin Europe
Axis Communications has also replaced physical events with virtual, online events. “This move has worked out well, and will likely be something we’ll continue beyond the resolution of the current situation,” said Peter Lindström, EVP of Sales at Axis Communications
Increased demand for online training
With installations and security projects on hold, security companies are witnessing an increase in online training requests.
“Virtual support and online customer resources are essential right now and should be at the forefront of what we’re doing to help aid in any way we can,” said Kurt Takahashi, CEO of Pelco
Verint is looking to enhance training options for its integrators at this time so that when the pandemic is under control, they can “move on and hit the ground running,” according to Alan Stoddard, VP and GM of Situational Intelligence Solutions at Verint
. Some of these training options include the availability of educational materials online and through webinars.
The Linx International Group noted an 88-percent increase in demand for distance and online training courses. “It’s important now more than ever, that our learners are still able to access our learning programs and continue in their professional development,” said Angus Darroch-Warren, Director of Security Consulting and Training at the Linx International Group
Linx is also introducing new interactive ways of teaching traditionally classroom-based courses with the aid of Zoom video tutorials led by its tutors. “From the learners’ own home, they will be able to undertake our Practical Fire Alarm installation course, for example, and return to the training center later in the year to complete the practical assessment,” Darroch-Warren explained.
Is virtual the new physical?
Virtual shows, webinars and other online materials are proving to be great resources during this time; however, nothing can truly replace the in-person connections and hands-on experience of physical events. Even so, companies have adapted well to the current situation and these platforms have given them opportunities to expand their online