Video, Homeland Security Work Dominate Talk at ISC West

LAS VEGAS – New or enhanced digital video products and obtaining work with the federal government were two big topics at this year’s International Security Conference (ISC) and Exhibition West in Las Vegas. Held March 26-28 at the Sands Expo Convention Center, the show saw increased dealer attendance and interaction with exhibitors.

Both exhibitors and attendees said they preferred the Sands compared to last year’s location, the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year’s 200,000-square-foot hall was 9-percent larger than the previous venue, and housed close to 700 exhibitors. ISC West is scheduled to remain at the Sands until 2006, says Dean Russo, vice president of Reed Exhibition, ISC’s show organizer.

Total attendance this year was up almost 7 percent, from 11,280 last year to 12,008. End-user attendance was up 6 percent, while commercial system integrator attendance increased by 30 percent. “This show has really evolved and diversified the segments we believe the industry is targeting,” says Russo. “This event has strong representation from all the distribution channels.”

The war in Iraq wasn’t discussed much among exhibitors and attendees, despite the show taking place days after the United States had ordered troops to move into Baghdad. However, Homeland Security and how dealers can gain work in that arena was of great interest.

“Big government money is flowing, but it is being spent on force protection products, not traditional security products,” says Jeff Penny of GSA Schedules Inc. of Bowie, Md. Penny, along with associate Lyn de Seve, a member of Security Sales & Integration‘s Editorial Advisory Board, conducted a seminar on how to gain GSA schedule contracts and had a booth at the show.

Penny says the majority of government money released this year (80 percent to 85 percent) will be spent on perimeter security products, not what the traditional alarm dealer or systems integrator has built their business on. “Traditional dealers and integrators are realizing they must provide more of a total security solution if they want to play in the high-end government security world. Aggressive seekers are rethinkng their product mixes,” he says.

Fire protection was another domestic issue discussed among dealer attendees. There was an increased interest in fire-related products due to the fire at a Rhode Island nightclub in February and an incident at a south Chicago nightclub that killed 21 people.

The verified (nonresponse) policy in Los Angeles was also discussed at the show. The California Alarm Association (CAA) held a meeting to announce that its L.A. chapter, the Greater Los Angeles Security Alarm Association (GLASAA), filed suit against the city March 26 to stop the Los Angeles Police Commission from implementing the new law.

The policy, originally scheduled to go into effect April 15 (however, city officials say the policy may go into effect in May or June) requires police to not respond to burglar alarms unless first verified by a person other than law enforcement or via video.

At press time, the Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that it is bypassing its scheduled preliminary hearing and will hear the merits of the case directly. The court set a trail date for May 8.

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