ISC West 2021: Everything You Need to Know

As the industry’s largest event welcomes security pros back from the pandemic-induced hiatus, here is a summary of educational offerings, networking events and other goings-on at ISC West 2021.

ISC West 2021: Everything You Need to Know

You won’t be packed in like sardines — standing shoulder to shoulder without a care among throngs of industry comrades from the Americas, Europe and beyond — but won’t it feel good to enter the exhibition venue again on opening day at ISC West 2021?

You might expect layers of emotion to be tracing through your veins: Gleeful to experience some semblance of normality, greeting friends and peers for the first time in well over a year with the cancellation of the 2020 installment. Energized at the thought of getting back to work, in-person and engaged faced-to-face, albeit appropriately distanced.

Possibly a fare dose of apprehension could be expected; maybe butterflies, even. No matter … carpe diem!

In fact, to help you seize all three days while in Las Vegas we bring you this overview of the conference, held at the Sands Expo & Convention Center July 19-21.

ISC West, sponsored exclusively by the Security Industry Association (SIA), was originally scheduled to take place March 23-26, but of course was delayed due to restrictions and concerns related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Concurrent with the in-person event, ISC West will also stage virtual programming that will include in excess of 50 sessions, online product showrooms and more for security professionals to stream remotely.

As far as the exhibition floor goes, don’t expect it to look anything like that of years past. Far fewer exhibitors and health & safety guidelines will result in a vastly altered show floor layout.

Still, organizers say attendees can expect hundreds of exhibiting vendors and brands with well over hundreds of product and solutions covering access control, biometrics, video surveillance, IoT-enabled devices, cybersecurity, public safety, drones & robotics, and more. Let’s dive in for a closer look.

SIA Education@ISC, Tec@ISC Presented by PSA

Organizers of the SIA Education@ISC program have assembled more than 65 sessions among some 15 tracks of vendor-agnostic physical security and network training.

The curriculum qualifies for continuing education (CE) hours with various relevant industry accreditation bodies. Certificates of attendance will be distributed to all session attendees after the show. Participants who complete sessions through SIA Education@ISC may be eligible to receive ALOA education credits (AEU), ASIS continuing professional education credits (CPE) and NICET continuing professional development points (CPD).

The SIA Education@ISC courses are structured to allow participants sufficient time to visit the exhibition floor following their session work. A large portion of the overall curriculum is geared toward installing security contractors, including executives, managers, field technicians, central station personnel and others.

SIA will also conduct its Security Project Management (SPM) Training Seminar July 19-20 at the Sands Expo. The program is geared for integrators, installers and end users who manage security projects to get a full understanding of the process of how a project works from start to finish. As part of the SPM training, attendees receive takeaway materials to help prepare for success on future projects. Following the training seminar, SIA will administer the certification exam for the Certified Security Project Manager (CSPM) credential.

Formerly known as Vendor Solution Sessions, ISC West will offer complimentary Exhibitor Product Training & Case Study Sessions that are designed to train security pros on cutting-edge products through live, in-depth and interactive demonstrations. Led by some of the industry’s premier manufacturers, these sessions will offer practical tips and solutions to the challenges installing security contractors face every day.

PSA Security Network is once again hosting a five-session track on July 19 as part of its ongoing TEC@ISC series. Members of PSA committees and other industry subject matter experts will conduct sessions focusing on leadership development, cybersecurity, marketing and more.

ISC West Keynote Series

This year’s keynote Series is geared toward helping attendees gain new perspectives and arm them with the information necessary to lead the security and public safety industry into the future.

A pair of high-profile speakers will be featured: Dave Komendat, vice president and chief security officer at The Boeing Co. (July 19, 11:15 a.m.-noon); and James Gagliano, retired FBI supervisory special agent, law enforcement analyst, adjunct assistant professor and doctoral candidate in police use of force at St. John’s University (July 20, 8:45- 9:30 a.m.).

Komendat will share his thoughts on how the security industry will recover and grow once the pandemic subsides. Those security organizations, suppliers and integrators that can demonstrate a strong value proposition using defined metrics will survive and thrive, he says. Those who cannot will likely be challenged as businesses and face a challenging future. Gagliano is slated to address recent responses to contemporary challenges such as active shooters, bombings, domestic terror-ism, as well as pandemic issues by identifying and disassembling the ever-evolving threat matrix.

Two-time racing champion Julia Landauer will keynote the Women in Security breakfast and networking event on July 21 at 8:30 a.m. In addition to racking up wins in many different racing series over the years, Landauer was selected as an honoree for the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the sports category (2017), and she was the only female member of the highly selective NASCAR Next class of 2016-2017. Expect her key-note to address risk analysis and working with fear, the im-portance of STEM education, women’s empowerment, and leadership. Registration is free; to reserve your seat in advance, go here.

Networking & Assorted Activities

Numerous networking events, product showcases and other related activities will be held throughout ISC West. Here is a selection, with additional details still to be released:

Mission 500’s The Great Las Vegas Scavenger Hunt — The nonprofit charitable organization is slated to host a different of type fundraiser at ISC West 2021 than its normal activities to help raise funds for children and families in need across the United States. The scavenger hunt will take place on day 2 of the show and cost $200 per team of four participants ($50 for individuals) and includes an event medal and a T-shirt. The event will begin in front of the ISC West exhibit hall and conclude at Harrah’s Carnaval Bar. Instructions will be handed to each team at the start of the scavenger hunt and teams are expected to go to each individual designated spot and take a group photo as evidence. The first team to gather all location group pictures and return to the finish line wins.

New Product Showcase — Established in 1979, SIA’s NPS program recognizes winners in more than 30 product and service categories along with the Judges Choice and Best New Product awards. Given ISC West’s later than normal scheduling this year, organizers recognized it is still important for vendors to introduce their latest products into the marketplace prior to reconnecting again in-person. Therefore, judging was to be held virtually the week of June 7, followed by a virtual awards ceremony on June 17. An NPS product display will be staged onsite at ISC West.

SIA RISE Happy Hour at Topgolf — Join SIA’s RISE community for young security professionals on July 20 for a lively happy hour outing at Topgolf Las Vegas with tomorrow’s industry leaders. Swing some golf clubs and enjoy cocktails and networking with other young security professionals and those new to the industry. Free.

SIA Data Privacy Breakfast — The breakfast meeting on July 20 will give attendees an opportunity to start their show day by learning about a topic that presents compliance and market risks and opportunities, and that is having a growing impact on the deployment of security technologies. The meeting is free and will be hosted at the Sands Expo Center.

SIA OSDP Verified Event — Hosted on July 20 at the Sands Expo Center, SIA will present its annual networking function to showcase various efforts of its standards program. During the SIA InteropFest attendees can see how technology providers are incorporating interoperability into their devices by leveraging the Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP). Free.

SIA Women in Security Forum Breakfast — Close out your ISC West experience by joining SIA’s Women in Security Forum for a complimentary breakfast event at the Sands Expo Center. The Forum is open to all SIA members and offers programs, professional development opportunities and networking events with the goal of supporting the involvement of women in the security industry.

If you are looking for the SAMMY Awards, they were held virtually this year. You can view the finalists and winners here. The MVP Award winners will be announced online during the show.

Health & Safety Guidelines

ISC West organizers have implemented new guidelines and policies to help support a safe experience. This includes following all directional and distance markings and signage. Attendees are asked to greet each other without shaking hands and avoid hugs. Everyone in attendance, including customers, vendors and staff, are expected to comply with requirements that also include:

Face coverings — Everyone is required to wear an approved face covering. All face coverings must, at a minimum, fit properly and snuggly, fully covering your nose and mouth, and securely under your chin. Not permitted: exhalation valves, bandanas, neck gaiters, mesh materials and costume masks.

Temperature screening — All attendees will be required to undergo a temperature screening prior to entering. Anyone with a temperature above 100.4° F will not be permitted to enter.

Physical distancing — The venue layout has been adjusted to implement exhibitor guidelines and requirements to promote physical distancing. Attendees must maintain a distance of six feet (two meters) between themselves.

You can read more about the event’s health and safety protocols here.

Keep an eye on this page as it will be updated with relevant information as it is released leading up to the event. Click here for ISC West registration information.

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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