International Security Expo 2018 Post Event Review

The Olympic Gold

The tension in the air was palpable, international media filled the VIP lounge whilst selected members had privileged seats. The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP was to give the governments first post BREXIT deal speech at the International Security Expo, his every word being broadcast live across the globe.  He started by stating that the International Security Expo was “leading the way” in delivering an event that brought industry and government together and how right he was!

Jason Wakefield from Todd Research summed up his experience from an exhibitor perspective when he said, “you know it’s a good show when
every coffee you get goes cold where you haven’t got time to drink it.”  He wasn’t the only one, David Roskelly from TruOffice said, “I heard from an exhibitor that they sold 20 units of their product in the first two hours of the event.  They said the buzz was infectious!”

The buzz was infectious because of the 350 exhibitors showing over 1000 products whilst 13 free to attend conferences gave attendees something to complain about, the common complaint was there was too much outstanding content and not enough time to listen to it all.  In fact, over 120 hours of CPD accredited training was provided and available for the Security Institute members over 2 days of the ABC people who came
through the doors from 75+ countries.

“I am responsible for the physical security of the worlds most popular music venue, this event gives me opportunity to engage with a variety of suppliers as well as listen to workshops, in particularly case studies, sharing best practice and challenges is very valuable to me, I look
forward to the 2019 event.” Paul Williams, Head of Security, AEG Europe, The O2

So, what of that content? Rowena Fell from EY was speaking at the cyber conference just as Ben Wallace was making his speech, “I thought I would be talking to empty seats as everyone would be listening to the minister, but even with all of that going on there were people standing 3 deep around the lecture theatre to listen to me, it was amazing,” she said.

The first time co-located International Disaster Response Expo was full until the close at the end of day 2 as were almost all of the conferences in the International Security Expo. One of the speakers, Darren Stanton, the Human Lie Detector, who was giving tips at the Aviation and Borders conference, proved so popular he could be found explaining his skills on several of the stands on the expo floor.

The content across both expos came in for one piece of criticism that the organisers are happy to admit to, paraphrasing the comments from several visitors they said, “There was just too much great content, we really had to cherry pick what we attended but we would have loved to have got to much more, is there any way it could be done again?” If that is the only criticism, then we are happy.

At the core of the International Security Expo was the Protecting Urban Spaces Demonstrator, all 300 square metres of it. An expo first, having a replica urban space built in the centre of the show floor and acting as a practical demonstration for technologies designed to protect those spaces.  The feature brought together government agencies with industry to demonstrate what is achievable.

However, focusing on today is not enough, a key part of day one was looking at tomorrow and not just with the huge innovation streak running through the event, but also looking after our next generation of security professionals.  30 children from the Police Cadets were hosted around the show by the Security Institute as the launch of their Next Generation initiative.

The International dimension to the show was evident with pavilions from the USA, Canada, China and the EU, not that the BREXIT word was far from people’s lips. 45 International delegations were hosted around the event and the worlds press descended to visit and has the opportunity to report Ben Wallace’s BREXIT speech live with Frank Gardner from the BBC and Erin McLoughlin from CNN quizzing him.

International was the underlying theme at the collocated International Disaster Response Expo with its own AAA visitors listening to 40 presentations and discussions with subjects ranging from building the Ebola Hospital in Sierra Leone, through the global landmine crisis as seen by the HALO Trust, to mentoring the Black Mambas, a South African all female anti-poaching unit all enhanced by exhibitors from across the globe. At its core the Government and NGO Zone had DFID, UNHCR, WFP, BRC and the Cabinet Office EPC all packed with visitors.

The Secured by Design team summed up the events perfectly when they said, “Fantastic couple of days where we were among the many exhibitors at this flagship security show, which attracted representatives from Government, Law Enforcement, Military, Transport and Borders, Cyber Security, and Public & Private sectors.”  Now is the time to firmly ink into your diaries 3rd and 4th December 2019 when the next International Security and International Disaster Response Expos will be held back at Olympia and this time even bigger than before!  If 2018 was an Olympia Gold, just think how good the 2019 will be.

Interested in attending International Security Expo 2019? You can reserve your free pass here:

Please note: Official registration for International Security Expo opens later this year.