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Looking forward with Tristan Norman

24 October 2019

Tristan Norman, the group exhibition director with Nineteen Group has his work cut out. Originally brought into the business through the acquisition of The Security Event, which successfully launched in April at the NEC in Birmingham alongside existing Facilities, Fire, Health and Safety events, it was a natural move for him take over responsibility for the flagship International Security Expo (ISE) and its co-located International Disaster Response Expo (IDR). Today he chats with Philip Ingram MBE.

WITH NINETEEN Group growing at such a pace the role is a challenge, but his immediate priority is International Security Expo focusing on the decision makers in Government, industry, academia and the end user community from a policy, regulation, procurement and delivery perspective. Its position in the market has gone from strength to strength over the years and this is exemplified by the amount of support from UK Government Departments & Agencies.

“International Security Expo is without doubt the premier event for International government and end users within the sector,” says Norman, “It is a unique proposition applying a UK security lens, hugely respected across the globe, to showcasing not just the best of British, but the best international security and disaster response solutions available.”

Many trade shows seem to be on the decline however Intentional Security Expo along with the rest of Nineteen Group is growing, “the Group CEO Peter Jones says we must ensure we add value to everyone who comes through the door and we do that by delivering the best possible experience through outstanding content, practical demonstrations, getting the right visitors and ensuring we understand the needs of our exhibitors. That works for me,” said Norman. “A successful exhibition requires good communication and that is what we do, we add the personal touch and aim to understand every exhibitor or sponsors requirements. We strive to deliver them, I would be lying if I said we get it right all of the time, but we strive for excellence.” he added.

Continuing he said, “for 2019 our visitor pre-registration is up 24% on last year, our exhibition stand sales are ahead of where they were last year, so you can’t get a better thumbs up from the community than that.”


“One of our real strengths is that we are working with Government and industry leaders to continue to develop the show into an increasingly forward-thinking event with a focus on innovation, education and uniting Government and industry. We are looking at the future of security. The innovative product launches and interactive live demonstrations on display this year have the potential to make a real mark in dealing with some of today’s biggest challenges. I’m afraid for more detail you will just have to come along to see them!”

Innovation, working with Government and practical demonstrations are all key elements of the show, but it seems this year people will first experience these as they enter the venue. “Our first collaborative demonstrator sees us working with the Rapiscan for the technology and CPNI & Home Office for the methodology to improve the secure access to the event. This year we have a unique ‘fast-track’ lane demonstrator at the main entrance showcasing technology and human behaviour analysis with Home Office and CPNI assistance giving a better experience to our visitors.”

“Other practical demonstrators include the LPCB live theatre cutting, smashing and drilling security products to see if they do what they say, Border Force with a life-sized sea container showing the ingenious methods organised crime gangs go to, to hide people & illicit goods, the Counter Explosive Ordinance demonstrators giving a practical view of what the bomb disposal operators call ‘The Long Walk’ and my favourite, the virtual reality ‘Training of the Future’ demonstrator, delivered nationally by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue allowing people to immerse themselves in a variety virtual reality scenarios and carry out a fire investigation, gather evidence in a forensic scene and even Armed Response training.”

Complementing the practical demonstrations are the conferences and summits looking at every aspect of security from initial design through to technologies to secure and in the event of an attack, the capabilities to respond. The educational content includes two high-level, application only summits focusing on Global Counter Terrorism and Global Serious and Organised Crime. A further six conferences cover Protecting Crowded Places, International Forensics, Cyber Security, Designing in Security, Crisis Management and Business Continuity, Aviation and Transport Security, with another specialist area looking at all matter drone and counter drone.

Of the content programme Norman said, “content is paramount to us as it is that value added for visitor and exhibitor stimulating debate, cooperation and shared best practice. This year’s conference programme is one of the strongest I have seen at a trade show with high level speakers from across the globe giving us a truly international perspective.”

“A new element to the conference programme this year is dubbed the realities of terror. The devastation caused in the aftermath of a terrorist attack resonates throughout communities both from the rebuild of physical assets, through to the mental scars following the experiences individuals have to cope with as a result. This element to the programme will hear personal accounts and experiences of losing a loved one in Manchester, being taken hostage in Iraq, experiencing an aircraft blowing up over your house, the human impact is harrowing.”

“One of the reasons we have such good content and international support is the 56 strong advisory council, chaired by Admiral Lord West the former UK Security Minister. They keep a weather eye on the content and provide professional advice from a broad range of industry perspectives helping us deliver what the security community wants, because they represent the wider security community.”

With over 50 formal hosted international delegations, a predicted 13,500 + visitors the two days of the event will be packed. “This exhibition is not just about new equipment, outstanding content or the immersive practical demonstrations but most importantly it’s about the people. Getting the right people together in an informative, well-planned and relaxed environment is crucial and the networking over the two days will be amazing.”

Don’t miss this free event by registering at: https://www.internationalsecurityexpo.com/register