Event Preview: Here’s What to Expect When GSX Goes Virtual

The pandemic forced ASIS to cancel its flagship in-person show and move online. Find out how GSX+ will bring you exhibitors, sessions, networking and more virtually.

Event Preview: Here’s What to Expect When GSX Goes Virtual

Typically the beginning of a new decade signifies a fresh start. Plans are made, hopes are high and ambitions are strong. You can say the 2020s started off with a roar, but not the kind anyone was expecting. We are currently enduring a pandemic that has caused near-mass hysteria, the likes of which we have not seen in modern times.

We now realize what life is like without all the things we take for granted, whether that is going to a restaurant for dinner or traveling to trade shows. Nearly every major convention around the world was forced to cancel their in-person events, including the security industry’s two largest shows, ISC West and ASIS Int’l’s Global Security Exchange (GSX).

In June, ASIS officially announced the in-person event would be transitioning to an online experience, GSX+, that would take place Sept. 21-25.

For decades, security professionals have been accustomed to strolling trade show floors, sitting in educational sessions, getting up-close looks at new products and having one-on-one conversations with exhibitors, not to mention catching up with colleagues at post-show get-togethers.

Though these experiences can’t be replicated online to a T, GSX+ has a few tricks up its sleeves. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from the virtual show. Make sure to check back as this page will be updated until the beginning of the show.

Meeting With Exhibitors

GSX+ will look to bring security professionals a diverse lineup of content, spanning areas such as physical and cybersecurity, facilities management, crisis management, business continuity planning, and more.

The virtual event plans to replicate the booth experience with GSX+ Marketplace, which will let attendees browse exhibiting companies and view on-demand product demonstrations provided by the exhibitors themselves.

“We’ve gone to great lengths to ensure this virtual experience allows attendees to virtually demo newly released industry products and services in the online Marketplace,” says ASIS Vice President of Events & Business Development Andrew Ortale. “If an attendee is interested in learning more about a product or service or receiving a more personalized demonstration, the platform offers the capability to request and schedule one-on-one meetings with whatever exhibitors you choose, directly within GSX+.”

Education & Keynotes

GSX+ education will span more than 100 sessions addressing five security-driven topic areas — national security, risk management, digital transformation/information security, physical and operational security, and organizational management. Education sessions will become available on-demand after their conclusion.

Attendees with an All-Access Pass will have on-demand access to GSX+ education sessions through the end of the year and can earn up to 25 CPEs toward their recertification.

5 TIPS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF A VIRTUAL EVENT

Sitting in front of a computer all day while trying to stay focused is no easy task. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help you get the most out of virtual events, conferences, webinars, etc.

1. Act as if you are attending an in-person event. That means be prepared, create a schedule, and engage with speakers and other attendees.

2. Familiarize yourself with the platform. Everyone is using different solutions, whether it’s Zoom, Teams or something you’ve never heard of. You don’t want to sign on first thing in the morning and miss a session you were looking forward to because you have no idea how to navigate the platform.

3. Minimize distractions. Find a quiet place to settle down but also make sure you have everything you need (water, laptop charger, notebook and pen).

4. Soak in the information. Most likely the slides or presentation you are viewing will be available afterwards. Instead of scrambling to write down every bullet point, make sure you are really taking in what is being said.

5. Don’t forget to stretch. The beauty of attending an event virtually is no one can see you. You’ll likely be sitting for a while, so keep your limbs loose.

“In addition to one-on-one meeting scheduling capabilities, GSX+ will offer topical subject matter chat rooms for attendees to have important ongoing conversations throughout the week on specific security topics. GSX+ education sessions will also off er live chat rooms and Q&A portions for attendees to learn from each other and have meaningful discussions with session speakers,” adds Ortale.

The following keynotes are scheduled to take place:

  • Day 1 — Leading with Hope, Not Fear: A Global Perspective
    • Juan Manuel Santos a two-term President of Colombia (2010-2018) and recipient of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize, will share insights on the global economic outlook and what lies ahead for global security.
  • Day 2 — Embracing the Future: Strategies for Building Resilience and Innovation
    • Solvay CEO Dr. Ilham Kadri and Group Security Director Werner Cooreman will discuss the tools and culture required to be nimble in a time of constant change, the values needed to support and retain top talent in a remote environment and more.
  • Day 3 — Leading in Turbulent Times
    • Former Army General Stanley McChrystal will provide practical and actionable guidance on what it takes to lead successfully in a rapidly shifting world landscape.
  • Day 4 — The Future of Cybersecurity
    • Keren Elazari, CISSP security analyst and researcher, will take attendees on a journey through the world of cybersecurity from a hacker’s perspective.

Networking

Day 1 will kick off with a virtual happy hour and a “Rock & Roll Game Show.” Day 2 will feature a Women in Security and Young Professionals happy hour. Day 3 is Military & Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

The President’s Reception will take place on day 4 and feature ASIS Member and Senior Regional Vice President Marco along with “Bar Rescue” host Jon Taffer. The duo will swap business management stories and share a special drink recipe.

GSX+ will be utilizing an AI-based platform to help attendees connect with each other virtually in highly targeted ways, according to Ortale.

“When it comes to networking, our AI-based platform replaces the random chance you would get from walking around a trade show floor by letting attendees search for — and schedule meetings with — attendees from specific industry verticals. We’re enabling a highly personalized experience for attendees and exhibitors alike.”

GSX+ will also feature a “virtual break room” that will provide on-demand exercise videos, a puppy cam, Atlanta Aquarium cam, photo booth and games.

You can learn more about GSX+ at GSX.org.

About the Author

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Steven A. Karantzoulidis is the Web Editor for Security Sales & Integration. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in Communication and has a background in Film, A/V and Social Media.

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