Industry Pulse In Depth: Security Industry Coming Together in Dallas for 50th Annual ASIS Expo

ALEXANDRIA, Va.— Even with the more than 2,000 booths and 135 seminars and educational sessions, the most valuable thing that will be gained by those attending the 50th Annual ASIS Int’l Seminar and Exhibits in Dallas is a simple handshake between two security professionals.

That’s the opinion of ASIS President Shirley Pierini as she prepares to oversee the biggest show in the security industry at the Dallas Convention Center from Sept. 27 to 30.

“The thing we value the most is networking. People gain the most from the camaraderie they develop with people in the industry,” says Pierini, who will be attending her 19th ASIS show. “You will see people standing in the middle of the aisles and they may be discussing an issue on access control. Join in that and be part of what’s happening.”

The last time the expo was in Dallas, in 1998, there were 615 companies exhibiting before 13,732 attendees over 300,000 square feet of exhibit space. Six years later, the 2004 event is expected to attract more than 800 vendors trying to sell their wares to more than 17,000 attendees over 500,000 square feet of exhibit space. “When you have all the exhibit spaces gone and exhibitors on a waiting list to get in, we’re on the bleeding edge of technology, not the cutting edge,” Pierini says.

“You walk in and you’re instantly overwhelmed at the enormity of it,” Pierini adds. “There’s so much information, it’s almost impossible to hit every booth. Trust me, I’ve tried.” Expect to see the largest displays for the biggest players like Tyco/ADT, Honeywell Security, Bosch and GE Security along the lower end of the exhibit hall.

To map out a plan of attack for the exhibits before the expo begins, ASIS is providing a Web site — at— where attendees can find the type and names of exhibitors they want to see and print out a map with their location.

Those attendees who never step beyond the exhibit hall are only seeing half of the annual event. There will be 135 educational sessions touching on topics that include commercial and government security requirements, improving fire safety, wireless video and the convergence of physical and IT security. There will also be preseminar programs the weekend preceding the expo, including a Sept. 26 session on campus security and safety hosted by Campus Safety Journal, a Bobit Business Mediapublication.

Each day will kick off with a general session, and Hall A of the Dallas Convention Center will likely be standing-room only with those eager to hear the general session featuring former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani on Sept. 29 — three years and a little over two weeks to the day he was witnessing first-hand the terrorist destruction of the World Trade Center.


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