Messe Frankfurt’s leading security exhibition, Intersec, has played a major role in the last 15 years in reflecting the security industry worldwide. Intersec 2014, which will be held from the 19th to the 21st of January at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, is on track to be the most successful event yet.
SecurityNewsDesk has spoken to Intersec’s Senior Show Manager, Andreas Rex, for an inside look at what has made this exhibition the success it is and what we can look forward to in Dubai in January.
How has Intersec grown from its inception to the and what has ensured its continued standing in the security industry?
The upcoming Intersec in January will be the 16th edition. Epoc Messe Frankfurt took over the exhibition 11 years ago when they first entered the Dubai market and we have been running the show on an annual basis since. Security is a global industry with enormous potential for expansion. It is also playing an increasingly important role in the Messe Frankfurt portfolio of events. With eleven events, Messe Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading organisers of fairs and congresses for the expanding international field of safety and security technology. Eight trade fairs and three high-grade congresses in Germany, Asia, the Middle East and South America provide optimum opportunities for gaining a foothold in these dynamic growth markets.
The key objectives and goals of the exhibition were to provide a veritable platform for the security sector in this region giving international exhibitors the opportunity to break into what can be traditionally more difficult markets to penetrate. As a business venture, ensuring the growth and the development of the exhibition is paramount for us but we also believe we give back to the sector. Intersec gives a satisfactory ROI on participation and we work hard to ensure our exhibitors and visitors are happy with their interaction and this is why they return year on year.
As the exhibition has grown, do you feel Intersec has met the goals it sets for itself and how do these objectives evolve each year?
While the objectives do evolve year on year, we do have a long term strategy for Intersec that we are constantly striving towards. We are happy with where the exhibition is today and are looking at robust growth and development which is sustainable. We expect this year’s edition to be approximately 10% larger than last year’s and we will have about 20% more exhibitors than previously.
All indications are that the 2014 event is going to be a record breaker, seeing at least a 10% increase on last year’s attendance. Why do you think Intersec continues to be so successful and grow?
It is always hard to predict attendance levels prior to the event itself. However, our pre-registered visitor numbers are looking good and we are confident that we can translate this into growth in visitor numbers in January. The growth in exhibitor participation is simple – many exhibitors are returning each year with larger stands because they have had such positive experiences at the show in the past. Furthermore, we have first time exhibitors joining us each year because they have learnt from competitors and industry insiders the benefits that can be gained through participation at the show.
In terms of visitor numbers, I guess this goes hand in hand with the growth in the size of the exhibition. Each year, with increased exhibitor numbers there is even more to offer to the Intersec visitor. This year for example, we have put an increased emphasis on the construction and oil & gas sectors and thus expect to attract new visitors from these sectors because they stand to benefit from a visit to the fair. The strategy is simple really – if you can bring together quality companies who genuinely have products, services and solutions for the industry, then the visitors will come as they stand to benefit from developing relationships at the show.
Why is Intersec so important to the security industry?
There are many reasons for this. The networking opportunities that it provides is definitely one of the show’s selling points, but most exhibition organisers can say this. One of Intersec’s USPs is its locational advantage. It is the most international exhibition of its kind in the world, having attracted visitors from 116 countries at the last edition. No other platform can boast such an international reach in such a short time frame and so it provides our international clients access to some really important markets which they may find difficult to penetrate without Intersec.
Another USP of Intersec is that real business is genuinely conducted at the fair. Some other exhibitions have more of a technical focus and are known for the high number of product launches and previews. Intersec, then, is known as being the platform where those products are actually sold. It is a true business generator.
What do you think are the top three issues, challenges or talking points in the industry at the moment, and what do you think Intersec 2014 will contribute to these?
A major talking point today is that Dubai has been awarded the honour of hosting the World Expo 2020. This, along with Qatar hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022, means that there is going to be a huge boom in business in the coming years in terms of infrastructure development. This also means some serious business for the security industry especially in terms of health & safety on construction sites, crowd security and access control for the world cup stadiums, fire protection and the protection of people and assets for all the upcoming projects – the opportunities are endless.
Mobile security is also a growing hot topic. The latest advances in today’s technology mean that everyone is connected everywhere. Identifying threats and protecting data is becoming a more pertinent issue in the age of new media. At Intersec, Dubai Police Academy will be delivering a seminar on Mobile Security which will cover these and other related topics.
An ongoing challenge in recent years has been the economic environment. As the markets in Europe continue to remain cautious, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain momentum on the business development front. Companies need to look further afield in order to secure their growth and development. At Intersec we have seen an increase in the number of participants from European countries. This is because Intersec offers them the opportunity to reach new markets and thus maintain their business development.
Finally, what are you most excited about for Intersec 2014?
This is a question I always find difficult to answer as there is so much on offer during Intersec. I enjoy the busy atmosphere and seeing people do business. This is the time where we see an entire year’s work come together and where you remember that Intersec and what we are doing throughout the year, actually does have an influence on the growth of the industry. The technology is also continually progressing. If I had the time, I would love to spend the entire show going around testing and learning about all the equipment and solutions that are available on the market.
For more information about Intersec 2014, visit www.intersecexpo.com.