Amanda Caton, Head of Communications at the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), reflects on the positive experience of member companies at Intersec 2015.
The Intersec exhibition in Dubai is fast becoming a must attend event for British security providers with organisers calculating that, despite the inclement weather, visitor numbers to what they describe as the ‘world’s largest trade show for the security, safety and fire protection industries’ soared to a notable 10% above 2014 levels. Members of the British Security Industry Association’s Export Council were there in force, for the 17th year, to benefit from this upturn, reporting a high level of interest in the wide range of innovative UK security solutions, from integrated systems to access control, CCTV, perimeter protection, intruder alarm and power supply technology, on display. By any measure the scale of the British presence at Intersec 2015 was impressive with the BSIA-organised UK Pavilion acting very much as the focal point for the highest-ever turnout of UK companies.
Middle East Matters
So, how important is the Middle East region, and the Intersec exhibition in particular, to BSIA member companies and British business as a whole? Well the short answer is extremely important. To put this into perspective, the annual ‘State of the Nation’ survey from our Export Council, which considers global export trends, confirms that the region sits top of the agenda as the primary market being targeted by members for growth over the next 12 months. In addition, Intersec ranks amongst the most important overseas exhibition for members with a striking 80% confirming, when questioned, that they attended the 2014 exhibition. The business benefits of targeting the Middle East market, where growth remains strong, were reflected in the findings of security and business trends research which we released to coincide with Intersec 2015. In fact of those questioned, an impressive 62.5% reported that they had witnessed a notable increase in revenues derived from the Middle East over the past 12 months.
Returning to the positive experience of member companies at Intersec 2015, this was underlined by feedback gathered from Export Council member companies through a post-event survey. Encouragingly, 75% of respondents to the Intersec-specific survey said that the number of visitors coming to their stand had grown year-on-year, paralleling what the organisers themselves have been saying. Beyond this, half of our member companies surveyed pointed out that the quality of attendees had improved – a welcome trend. Reflecting on the bottom-line business benefits, interestingly, three-quarters of those questioned said that they expect to obtain more orders thanks to Intersec and, looking ahead to 2016, all of the companies who replied confirmed that they were planning to attend next year’s event.
So what were visitors to Intersec 2015 most interested in? Well security integration seems to have been very much the hot topic this year with all respondents to the BSIA’s Export Council’s post-show survey selecting it as a standout technology area. This mirrors the findings of the BSIA’s security and business trends research and underlines the increasing recognition, amongst our member’s customers, of the enhanced security, and day-to-day management, benefits that can be unlocked when a number of elements – from access control to video surveillance – can be brought together in a seamless IP environment, rather than remaining in their own discrete and unconnected silos.
Other technologies on the shopping list for Intersec 2015 visitor included: HD (High Definition) CCTV – and ultra HD in the form of 4K – which continues to prove a popular choice thanks, undoubtedly, to the ability to provide additional detail in security critical applications such as banks and hotel lobbies and changing legislative requirements across the region. Outside of this, video content analysis, biometrics for access control and ANPR were also in the frame for those seeking solutions.
Turning to the thoughts of our member companies regarding Intersec 2015, and the specific solutions that they were promoting, Chris Williams, Director at VMS (Video Management Software) specialist Wavestore feels the design of the UK pavilion was particularly strong this year: “The many visitors who attended on all three days delivered one of the best shows we have attended for some time.” A key focus for Wavestore, he confirms, was the energy saving capabilities of its V6 VMS. This automates the spin down of hard drives not engaged in active read and write processes and can automatically power down single drives or arrays of drives. Williams stresses that the V6 is ideally suited to the region’s CCTV storage demands: “Some systems are required to operate for 120 days, 180 days, so you have got very long storage times.” Also driving forward, where efficiency is concerned, was Elmdene. Commercial Director Paul King reports that Elmdene’s switch mode power supplies – delivering efficiency levels of up to 95% – were a strong draw at Intersec, with leads up by 20%: “There was a lot of attention being given to our EN54 STX power supplies, high specification CCTV power supplies and PoE solutions,” says King.
With integration a key theme at Intersec 2015, Natalie Simpson, Marketing Manager, Synectics says that the company’s team at Intersec saw strong interest in integrated solutions and the EX camera station range, including thermal imaging. Another company whose solutions were tied-in with the quest for integration was TDSI thanks to its powerful Exgarde access control software in conjunction with VUgarde CCTV video management software. By the second day of the show, Managing Director, John Davies was already anticipating an upward trend for attendees, a fact reflected in the company’s final figures which rose by a fifth.
A Question of Access
The positive message about Intersec was reinforced for access control as Helen Williams, Marketing Executive at Remsdaq explains. She says that the company secured record visitor numbers from across the Middle East and Africa: “We anticipate significant new business based on our multi-award winning EntroWatch and EntroStar access control products and the brand new EntroPad proximity reader with its unique Arabic keypad.” For his part, Tony Smith, Major Accounts and Marketing Manager at Integrated Design Ltd (IDL) which is renowned for its Fastlane turnstile solutions is also upbeat. Smith says that this is on the back of a steady increase in visitors over the past few years. He reckons that the show also works well as a focal point to move existing business forward: “We have several projects in and around the Gulf so people were able to come to see us for technical training and to look at the products they had purchased,” reveals Smith. In terms of innovations, Smith singles out the previewing of a ‘free-standing’ touchscreen unit, the Fastlane Multi-lane Controller: “This offers remote control of our turnstiles over Ethernet.”
Another member company using Intersec to reflect on the shape of things to come was IndigoVision. Paul Murphy the company’s Head of Marketing is certainly an enthusiastic advocate of body worn video as exemplified by the company’s new FrontLline solution: “The technology has come to the point where it is durable and lightweight enough, and can record for long enough for deployment by front line staff.” Potential users, reckons Murphy, range from staff at airports to those dealing with the public in hotels.
A Bright Future
From the above, it is clear that Intersec is becoming an ever more important date in the calendar for British security providers and it will be interesting to see how the higher visitor numbers this time around translate into new business opportunities and projects in the months and years ahead.
For more information on the BSIA and its Export Council, please visit www.bsia.co.uk/export-council