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Unmissable event

02 December 2019

International Security Expo takes place in London Olympia on 3 and 4 December 2019, and this year's theme is the ‘realities of terror.’ Philip Ingram MBE looks at this two day unmissable event.

EXHIBITIONS AND conferences are great to bring the widest possible security community together to see the latest equipment, discuss the latest policies, share case studies but at the end of the day, the measurement of success for a security or counter terror professional is nothing happens.

So, what is it like when terror strikes at the very heart of your being? How does it make you feel as a human being when you become a victim of terror? How do you deal with it at the time and rebuild your life back to a semblance of normality after life changing events? A theme running though this year’s International Security Expo in London Olympic on 3rd and 4th December 2019, is the ‘realities of terror.’

Figen Murray, a mother devastated by the loss of her son, Martyn, in the Manchester Arena bombing, Peter Moore, taken hostage whilst a contractor in Iraq, Helen Scott, living under Pan Am Flight 103 that came down on Lockerbie all those years ago. They are all victims of the horror that terror causes, they will all put the innovation, best practice and technologies on display, into the context of the human cost if it goes wrong. 

They are the reason why this is a must attend event, they put into context all of the effort and work security professionals, public or private, embody and they are the reason why the measurement of success in the security industry is nothing happens. They all in some way were failed.

The realities of terror theme is merely one theme and this year’s extensive content programme contains two high level summits on Global Counter Terrorism followed by International Serious and Organised Crime. Led by the organisations responsible for dealing with and advising on these issues, Counter Terror Police UK (CTPUK), the FBI, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), the Cabinet Office, National Crime Agency (NCA), RUSI and more.

Complementing the high-level Summits are a series of conferences covering International Forensics, Cyber Security, Aviation and Transport Security, Protecting Crowded Places, Designing in Security and Crisis Management and Business Continuity. Again, organisations responsible are taking a leading role in setting the foundation for these conferences with the likes of the Home Office Forensic Science Regulator, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Department for Transport (DfT), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and more, all taking leading roles.

Technology workshop

However, that’s not all of the content. A two-day dedicated Drone workshop will hear developments in drone and almost more importantly counter drone technologies from those that provide them and all of the other technologies and capabilities on display have the opportunity to speak in a dedicated technology workshop.

Talking about tech is not always the answer and from moment one as people arrive at Olympia the entrance security processes will be demonstrating solutions designed with the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure’s (CPNI) help. This is the first of the live capabilities being demonstrated. A returning favourite, the LPCB Live product test lab, will be drilling, cutting, smashing, thumping as many physical security products as they can, not just to create noise and mayhem on the exhibition floor, but to demonstrate how capable properly designed security products really are.

Reality is critical in security awareness and Border Force have a sea container demonstrator showing the ingenuous realities of how serious and organised criminals try to hide contraband designed to illegally hit the streets. Dealing with terror realities is the subject of the Counter Explosive Ordinance UK demonstrator and then when appropriate the scenes of crime team are allowed into the area. This is covered by a virtual reality demonstrator where visitors can immerse themselves in a crime scene carefully looking for and collecting evidence in the latest tool to help train the professionals, fielded by Leicestershire Fire on a national remit. You can see for yourself how the virtual world has a direct impact on preparing for activities in the real world, you can become the crime scene investigator in the virtual world.

Year on year growth

All of this is great if the audience is right, many events struggle to keep fresh numbers dwindle but not with the International Security Expo. Year on year since its launch it has grown, gown in content, grown in exhibitors and grown in visitors with the international percentage of visitors steadily creeping up. 

There will be formal delegations from over 50 countries, brought to the event and hosted by the Department for International Trade, Defence and Security Organisation (DIT DSO). International content is coming from Europe, Australia, the USA, Canada, Nigeria and more, with country pavilions from Canada, the USA and the EU. How critical are our trade relations with their areas in a possible immediate post BREXIT era?

DIT DSO is merely one element of a huge amount of government support and almost every level of related government departments and many organisations and agencies will be at the vent, not just visiting, but with a presence on the expo floor, in the Government and Agency Zone, ready to engage with visitors to learn about new capabilities and update on their requirements. 

Such is the commitment of many of the government departments and organisations, they are happy to be ‘partners’ of the event and we are confident that the Government and Agency zone is the largest, best represented in any open security related event. In addition to many of the organisations that have been mentioned already, we see representation from the Cabinet Office through the Home Office and JSaRC, NaCTSO, British Transport Police (BTP), the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), Defence Scientific and Technical Laboratories (DSTL) and so many more.

The event partners with many of the Security industries professional bodies including ASIS with its international reach and The Security Institute who are offering CPD credits for attending and are once again brining their “NextGen” initiative to the event. 50 or so police cadets who are still at school will be taken on a hosted tour to show these potential security professionals of the future the vast range of opportunities from the technical through to law enforcement all available under the banner of Security. 

With the realities of terror and innovation threads running through the overarching theme of Design, Secure, Respond, over 375 exhibitors are expected at Olympia for the two days of the event. Those exhibitors, the international delegations and the wider ranging content programme are expected to attract over 13,500 visitors. The two summits are ‘by application only” so early registration and application to attend is essential. They are expected to be very heavily oversubscribed. Last year many of the conferences were standing room only and numbers meant there were queues. The new CPNI designed entrance will deal with those but early registration and early attendance on each day are the only ways to deal with the others!

It is worth noting that the International Security Expo is co-located with the International Disaster Response Expo, launched last year but focusing on the massive good delivered across the globe by DFID and International Non-Government Organisations (INGOs). Whilst a separate event with its own conferences and exhibition, the cross over in technologies and processes is huge in some areas, communications, critical event planning and drones are all perfect examples of this. The good thing is one ticket gets free access to both events.

The International Security Expo with the co-located International Disaster Response Expo complement the suite of events now owned by the Nineteen Group. The new “The Security Event” at the NEC in Birmingham, launched this year has already massively outgrown its launch footprint and has brought an event focused on the channel market back to the heart of the UK in Birmingham. It has co-located Fire, Health and Safety and Facilities events and the most recent acquisition by the Nineteen Group was the Emergency Services Show. Another Midlands based event that ensures a mutually complementary suite of exhibitions and conferences delivering real effect. 

Peter Jones, the CEO of the Nineteen Group sums up the reason why he has built the Nineteen Group this way when he said in a recent interview, “my main motivation is to add something back, helping make the world a little bit safer for my family and in reality, for everyone. It makes leaving the house each morning to do something that helps pay the mortgage a pleasure, rather than a necessity.” It is that ethos of making a difference that is what the International Security Expo and the others are all about. 

The question is not “am I available on 3 and 4 Dec 2019 to attend the International Security Expo,” it is “how many of my team can I take to cover the fantastic content and make best use of the huge number of exhibitors and visitors.” There won’t be another opportunity to get so many relevant contacts in one place. Can you afford not to be there? 

Register for FREE here: www.internationalsecurityexpo.com/register