Security and the City

In the time since the International Security Conference (ISC) East was last in New York, a lot has changed. The city’s landscape has transformed, America’s collective consciousness has been altered and whether life has returned to normalcy is debatable.

The city electronic security dealers and integrators visited in August 2001 is much different than today, but so is their industry. The 9/11 attacks that came just two weeks after the last ISC show in New York have brought security to the forefront of the minds of everyone from Fortune 500 companies to suburban homeowners.

Those huge changes are one of the reasons why ISC East 2004 is back in New York Nov. 3 through 4 after a two-year stint in Orlando, Fla., and Washington, D.C., says Dean Russo, executive director of Reed Exposition, the company that organizes ISC East and West.

And like New York, a city that’s blended its proud history and culture with a new, post-9/11 way of life, ISC East attendees can expect the usual high-quality show that comes from a 30-year history but with some alterations.

New educational programs, adjusted hours and plenty of entertainment options will leave ISC East attendees busy. It’s a good thing the electronic security industry never sleeps, because neither does New York.

ISC East Attendance Expected to Be Largely From Northeastern U.S.
Aiming for an 85-percent increase above ISC East 2003 attendance, Reed is well on its way to success, with more than 6,000 preregistered attendees at press time. “We could be successful with less than that, but that’s what we’re shooting for,” Russo says. “That’s what we feel we have the opportunity to achieve.”

Last year’s event hosted 3,697 attendees, Russo recalls. ISC East 2001, the last time in New York, drew 7,405 attendees. This year’s show is expected to rival 2001’s.

Of those preregistered attendees, the majority are dealers and integrators. End users, including security managers and professionals, comprise the second largest group of attendees. At press time, this group made up 27 percent of registered attendees, a surprising figure as few end users attended ISC East in years past. Also attending are distributors, government employees, central station operators and — a new addition — electrical contractors, Russo says.

Most attendees are from the Northeast region of the United States, but all 50 states were represented during preregistration and Texas is one of the top-10 states represented at the show.

The attendees will have plenty of exhibitor booths to check out. At least 400 vendors are expected to occupy 80,000 square feet of exhibiting space, a figure similar to last year’s. The exhibitor list is long and varies from industry giants like Honeywell Security, Pelco and HID Corp. to 100 expected first-time exhibitors.

Reed expects to sell out booth space, which leaves attendees many products and services to see on tight schedules, especially considering the show is reduced to two days this year. According to Reed, the days were reduced and show hours increased in part to help integrators.

“A lot of dealers can’t spend that much time away from the office,” says Beth Blake, a Reed spokeswoman. “We thought if we condensed it into two days with longer show hours, that would provide an opportunity for dealers to come down, conduct their business and get what they need without missing out on their business.”

Conference Commences With 9/11 Hero, Best-Selling Author Keynote
Kicking off the show is the 8:30 a.m. keynote address Nov. 3. This year’s honors go to former New York Fire Department Battalion Commander Richard Picciotto, the last firefighter to escape the ruins of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

The author of The New York Times bestseller, “Last Man Down,” will discuss his experience during the tragedy (see in-depth interview with Picciotto on page 62 of October 2004 issue). Russo expects Picciotto’s experience to resonate with the audience, the majority of whom are New York-based.

“I think he could speak to the importance of first responders and how the security industry and fire industry needs to work together to protect the citizens,” he explains. Promptly following Picciotto’s address, the show floor opens and many educational opportunities begin. This year’s educational offerings take a different approach than years past, Russo says. The ISC East Conference will offer two days of hands-on, in-depth, case study-oriented training on specific areas of the industry, such as protecting structures like bridges, tunnels and dams; video and voice over IP; and the fundamentals of smart cards.

Industry authorities will teach the two- to four-hour sessions, offered throughout both show days and geared for integrators and end users. Although available to all attendees, the courses have registration fees: $250 will buy attendees their choice of conferences on one day; $300 will get them two days’ worth.

Free to all attendees is ISC East’s manufacturer training program. These one-hour sessions will feature representatives from 10 security industry manufacturers offering product-specific training in a classroom session. Featured companies include DSC, Fire•Lite, HAI and Linear.

Visit for more information about educational opportunities and exhibitors.

NBFAA Members Will Have a Busy Schedule With Fall Conference
The keynote, booths and educational opportunities are certain to leave attendees busy, but National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) members will have their hands full, as the organization’s fall conference is held in conjunction with ISC East.

NBFAA events begin Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. with the associate members meeting. Wednesday, the bylaws committee meets from 11 a.m. to noon; fire section, 1 to 2 p.m.; and Alarm Industry Research & Educational Foundation (AIREF) board of directors, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

From 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 4, the NBFAA membership committee will meet. The communications and investment committees congregate from 10:30 a.m. to noon and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., respectively. All Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday NBFAA events take place at the convention center unless otherwise noted.

The New York Marriott Marquis welcomes the board of directors meeting Friday, Nov. 5 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., continuing into Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Check out for more complete information about NBFAA’s fall conference schedule.

Bus Program Battles Traffic, Parking Problems for Regional Attendees
With the variety of educational opportunities, number of booths and entertainment options available, attendees can expect a great show and Reed anticipates a triumphant return to New York. In fact, ISC East is committed to a Big Apple venue indefinitely, Russo says. Still, running a show in Manhattan has a few complications, such as transportation problems.

Because most of ISC East’s attendees call the Northeast home, Reed has found a creative way to offset this problem. For local attendees loath to drive into the city and battle for a parking space, Reed, in a partnership with NBFAA and the New York Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NYBFAA) will offer a bus program designed to facilitate travel to and from the show.

Buses will pick up attendees from central locations in Connecticut, northern New Jersey and certain areas of New York, take them to the show and bring them back in the evening.

Also, venues, hotels and labor are more costly than in many other cities. However, Russo maintains Reed has found creative ways to offset the additional costs, such as
allowing exhibitors to set up booths during the day to avoid overtime costs. In the long run, however, he says the extra expense is worth it.

“At the end of the day, New York is still a fairly popular trade show venue because it’s the business capital of the world, the highest concentration of professionals in the world,” he says. “It’s the highest concentration of our target audience. Despite the cost, it’s the right place for us to be.”

Like the prodigal son returning to his homeland, ISC East is back in New York for 2004, and all involved expect an exciting show and triumphant results. Maximize your time and get a sneak preview of the vendors exhibiting at the show (see booth listings on page 76) – and don’t forget to visit Security Sales & Integration at Booth No. 1779.

Scope out the educational offerings and think about what New York landmarks you’d like to take in (see sidebar above) once the show floor closes for the night. This event will go by in a flash, and ISC East 2005 – slated for Aug. 24 and 25 – will be here before you know it.

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