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INSIGHTS

IFSEC 2022: Exhibitors pleased with quality of visitors

IFSEC 2022: Exhibitors pleased with quality of visitors
IFSEC was held this year in mid-May. It was the first physical IFSEC since the pandemic. We spoke with a few exhibitors/visitors to see how the show fared.
IFSEC was held this year in mid-May. It was the first physical IFSEC since the pandemic. We spoke with a few exhibitors/visitors to see how the show fared.
 
The show was held May 17-19 at its usual venue of ExCel London, making a physical comeback after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. According to exhibitors and visitors we spoke to, the show was smaller compared to previous years.
 
“The aisles seemed wider and the majority of the booths were not so extravagant in design compared to previous years – maybe this has been done due to feedback – but also it may be down to reduced budgets for many companies exhibiting. It didn’t seem to be as busy as previous years,” said Jit Mistry, Senior Product Marketing Manager for EMEA at 3xLOGIC/PACOM, who went as a visitor.
 
“The show worked well for us and we had a steady stream of genuinely interested visitors, though it would appear that this event did not seem as busy as we have witnessed in previous years,” said Stefaan Pinck, VP of Global Business Development for Sales, Traffic and Security at Teledyne FLIR.
 
“I think it’s fair to say that there was a special appreciation this year of the benefits of connecting in-person, spending time in the stands, seeing demos, and just walking the show floor. Our booth had significant traffic, and visitors to our booth had specific topics they wanted to discuss,” said Rishi Lodhia, VP and MD for EMEA at Eagle Eye Networks.
 
“The numbers were clearly down from pre-pandemic levels and the floor space taken up by IFSEC was a fraction of its previous levels, but the quality of visitors was still good with a higher percentage of overseas end-user visitors,” said Mark Williams, Director of Sales for EMEA at AMAG Technology.
 

Quality more important than quantity

 
Indeed, IFSEC has experienced a decrease in booth/visitor foot traffic over the years due to several reasons, including the location of ExCel, the overall higher prices in London and competition from The Security Event in Birmingham. The pandemic, of course, made everything worse.
 
Yet many exhibitors echoed Williams’ remarks, saying visitor quality was great at this year’s how. “As an exhibitor in 2022 our stand was extremely busy with a huge interest in our SAFR facial recognition platform and new SAFR SCAN biometric access reader. We were pleased with the quality of visitors which was a combination of system integrators, distributors and end-customers who were genuinely interested in seeing new technologies such as SAFR SCAN,” said Charlie Bennett, VP of UK and Europe at SAFR.
 
“The quantity of people at fairs like IFSEC has always been less important than the quality – whether we are able to engage with the right kinds of people. It felt as if numbers were slightly down on 2019, but the quality of people that we were able to meet was good,” said Michael Nicholson, Business Development Manager for the UK and Ireland at 2N. “Whilst we always focus on the quality, on a really positive note the number of visitors to the 2N stand was actually very high, so it was a successful show all round.”
 

Int'l vs. local visitors

 
As for the geographic makeup of visitors, many exhibitors felt there was a higher international presence at the show this year.
 
“I felt the visitors to our booth were mostly non-UK. More than half were from outside of the UK, at least the ones that we spoke to or approached our stand demo. There was a show a few weeks earlier in Birmingham which catered more to the local UK market. I assume many UK visitors that went to that show skipped IFSEC,” said Oscar Hsieh, VP of International Sales at Network Optix.
 
“Most of the visitors to our booth and consulted visitors were from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, not limited to the UK. At this point, Union Community believes that the IFSEC UK exhibition, which was visited by multi-national visitors, was a positive opportunity as it is necessary to develop markets not only in the UK but also in Europe,” said Chun Ho Kim, a representative of the Korean company.
 
Some exhibitors, on the other hand, felt there were more UK visitors, and it worked to their advantage.
 
“The majority visitors are UK based (50 percent), and we think we can more focus on optimizing the product sales in the local market,” said Stacey Lien, EMEA regional business head at VIVOTEK. “IFSEC 2022 result for VIVOTEK is better than expected. There were many news leads, new potential businesses, and new prospects too; the turnaround result is unexpected compared with last time back in 2019.”
 
“Around 280 visitors came to KJ TECH booth. They were mostly UK-based at around 70 percent, and other EU customers visited. It was ok for finding distributors or system integrators,” said JJ Kim, Sales Director for the company. “Due to the pandemic, customers were decreasing, but KJ TECH will join this show in 2023 too, because many customers interesting of KJ TECH product.”
 

COVID measures nearly non-existent

 
There seems to be almost no COVID-related measures even though the pandemic was still ongoing.
 
“I attended as a visitor having exhibited at The Security Event in Birmingham the previous month. I found the show was busiest on the second day. In line with UK guidelines there were minimal COVID measures in place and they were not intrusive,” said John Davies, MD at TDSi.
 
“IFSEC’s COVID measures followed the current guidance in the UK. As such, mask wearing was not mandated but visitors and exhibitors were free to wear masks if they wished. Overall, people seemed keen to get back to physical and in-person events,” said Richard Tracz, Group Marketing Manager at SmartWater.


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