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What to expect at a ‘physical’ ISC West 2021

What to expect at a ‘physical’ ISC West 2021
Ahead of the event, Will Wise, Group VP for Security, Transportation, Gaming at Reed Exhibitions, speaks to on what to expect at ISC West this year.
ISC West is taking place in Las Vegas July 19-21 – the first major security trade event to be held physically after a long hiatus of the security exhibition industry. As such it gathers the attention of security players not just in the U.S., but around the world. Ahead of the event, Will Wise, Group VP for Security, Transportation, Gaming at Reed Exhibitions, speaks to on what to expect at ISC West this year.
ISC West has long been the industry’s premier trade event. It cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, it makes a comeback at its usual venue – Sands Expo in Las Vegas – albeit at a different timeframe, July 19-21 rather than its usual March-April slot. Still, this makes ISC West the first major security trade show to return in the physical form.

A predominantly US show

Inevitably, the show will be smaller in size this year due to the ongoing COVID situation. It will also be a predominantly US trade event with mostly US exhibitors and attendees, and US representatives of international companies. “Regarding volume metrics, this year’s event is shaping up to be around 40 percent of 2019 levels. We look forward to welcoming over 400 exhibiting companies and an estimated 8,000 industry professionals from our core audience groups of security integrators, dealers and installers, and enterprise and government end-user practitioners,” said Will Wise, Group VP for Security, Transportation, Gaming at Reed Exhibitions, organizer of the event. “Regarding geographies, due to travel restrictions and policies, this year’s event is predominantly made up of domestic companies and visitors. That said, there are some international companies who were able to adapt creatively and are staffing their presence at the show with US-based resources.”

Brand new exhibitors

The event this year expects to see a mix of old and new exhibitors. Needless to say, ISC West attracts the leading players in the industry. Some of them will return this year, while others have either dropped due to COVID or will join in other forms. Meanwhile, there will be a slew of first-time exhibitors and start-ups to add value to the show.
“ISC West will continue to offer many large companies exhibiting on the expo floor such as Axis Communications, Honeywell, Genetec, Seagate, Boon Edam,, Dormakaba, Allegion, March Networks, Chevrolet, and Ford. Plus, several other large companies are participating via meeting rooms and marketing programs with us at the venue – such as ADT, ASSA ABLOY, Bosch, Johnson Controls, Resideo, and Teledyne FLIR,” Wise said. “Lastly, one of the marquee developments this year is a strong influx of SMB companies joining the event to take advantage of the industry’s market recovery. This includes over 100 brand new exhibitors to their first ISC West and over 30 start-up companies. These newer businesses are key to any industry event, as attendees love to see new and innovative products from emerging suppliers, in addition to their ability to re-connect with current larger solution providers.”

Long-awaited reunion

According to Wise, ISC West this year is shaping up to be an emotional experience. Yes the size is smaller, and the date has been changed to July when Vegas weather can be quite harsh. Yet in Wise’s words, there is a lot of enthusiasm in the ISC events community to re-connect together in person.
“Over a year of online-only interactions has resulted in a renewed appreciation for the value of face-to-face meetings, and the serendipity factor that is unique to live events – that ability to discover new ideas and innovations that one never expected. This year’s smaller scale show and more personalized networking and educational experiences will shine a spotlight on the quality and buying profile of the audience. And frankly, for many of us in the industry – it is a long-awaited reunion to see friends and colleagues. I expect the energy and positive emotions to be a highlight of the experience,” Wise said.

'Growth mode' for US security market

The show this year will feature the following technologies and solutions: Converged security/health tech products, emerging tech focused on real-time data like AI and cloud monitoring, cyber solutions to protect physical assets, alerts and detection technology, drones/drone detection/and robotics, and communications systems and processes to better connect public and private sector entities. 
All this reflects the latest trends in the US security industry, which Wise says is expecting a strong recovery. “The US security market has seen a lot of innovation and accelerated product development take place over the last year during the COVID-19 timeframe. Why? Offices and facilities of all kinds are investing in safe and secure re-opening strategies and products, and there has been a fast tracking of interest in technologies like AI, cloud computing, IoT security, biometrics/touchless solutions, mobile platforms, 5G, cyber-physical integrated solutions, proactive detection solutions, and products that integrate both security and health functionality,” Wise said. “For example, access control now is viewed more holistically as access control and visitor management. Plus, there is even more diligence than ever to keep communities, schools and cities protected. All of this has the market back to a growth mode that will accelerate further into 2022 and 2023.”

ISC West opens on July 19. For those who can’t make it in person this year to Las Vegas, ISC West offers a variety of different badge opportunities in order to stay connected virtually. More details can be found on

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