GSX 2018 is both a new event for the security industry and the continuation of a 63-year tradition. Global Security Exchange (GSX) is the new branding for ASIS International’s annual seminar and exhibits, which have been held since 1955. In recent years, the ASIS event has joined forces with other organisations to expand its scope and to appeal to a broader audience.

Partners include ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) and Infragard, a public-private partnership between U.S. businesses and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The expansion is continuing this year with the addition of 30 supporting organisations representing industry verticals and reflecting ASIS’s intent to unite the full spectrum of security.

Improving the state of cyber security

Held September 23-27 at the Las Vegas convention Center, GSX 2018 seeks to attract more than 20,000 operational and cyber security professionals and 550 exhibitors.

The Cyber Security Summit will co-locate with GSX, offering cyber security programming at a time when it is needed the most

Other elements will further expand the 2018 event’s scope. The Cyber Security Summit will co-locate with GSX, offering cyber security programming at a time when it is needed the most. Top government, industry and academic thought leaders will engage in a dialogue to improve the state of cyber security.

The 2018 Security Cares Program will address school violence prevention and response in a free education program. Topics will include pre-violence indicators, target hardening, and best practices to involve the entire community of school administrators, law enforcement, security professionals and mental health providers.

Experts to deliver keynote speeches

Keynote speakers including CNN host Fareed Zakaria will bestow celebrity appeal. Air Force Major General Bradley D. Spacy will share details about the new AFWERX innovation and tech hub in Las Vegas and how the U.S. Air Force is collaborating with the private sector to bring new security product ideas to market. Spacy’s keynote on Sept. 26 will kick off Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Also, K.T. McFarland, former Trump Administration Deputy National Security Advisor, will share an insider’s perspective on critical foreign policy and defence industries.

Attendees to ASIS International’s annual gathering typically list networking and education as big benefits of the event. Historically, the trade show aspect has existed separately from the educational program, and foot traffic to the exhibits has sometimes suffered from the competition. Beginning last year, and continuing in 2018, ASIS International has pursued innovative approaches to integrate the trade show more closely into the overall attendee experience. “The integration of programming and exhibits is truly seamless,” says one observer of the new approach.

Global Security Exchange (GSX) is the new branding for ASIS International’s annual seminar and exhibits, which have been held since 1955
Held Sept. 23-27 at the Las Vegas convention Center, GSX 2018 seeks to attract more than 20,000 operational and cyber security professionals and 550 exhibitors

X Learning Theatres

GSX has sought to transform the exhibit hall into a ‘learning lab environment’ that features thousands of security products, technologies and service solutions (provided by the exhibitors), in addition to ‘immersive learning opportunities to connect the current and emerging threat landscape with solutions available in the marketplace’. There are several ‘X Learning Theatres’, including one (‘X-Stage’) focussed on leading-edge technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, AI, drones, and robotics. There is also an ‘Xcelerated Exchange Stage’ to facilitate discussions among security practitioners and solution providers. The ‘Xperience Stage’ showcases case studies and best practices.

Also attracting more attendees to the Exhibit Hall will be ‘Career HQ’, a free career fair and enhanced career centre. ‘D3 Xperience’ (Drones, Droids Defence) will focus on unmanned systems with education and demos. The ‘Innovative Product Awards (IPAs) Showcase’ will highlight winners of an awards program.

Focussing on security practices

GSX is not as much about sales leads as about making connections and contributing to a larger conversation about how to protect people, facilities and assets

ASIS International (now GSX 2018) is often compared to ISC West, the U.S. industry’s largest show held in Las Vegas in the spring. GSX 2018 this year may face even more scrutiny based on the changes, rebranding, and location (also in Las Vegas). However, GSX is a completely different show than ISC West, which focuses on the business of security. In contrast, GSX is much more about the practice of security than business.

The international network of ASIS International members attend the yearly conference to make new connections, to learn and to benefit from the experiences of other security professionals around the world. The successful trade show exhibitors are the ones that approach the show with that understanding. GSX is not as much about sales leads as about making connections and contributing to a larger conversation about how to protect people, facilities and assets.

ASIS International deserves credit for their efforts to integrate the trade show element into the larger goal of the event. Hopefully their new approach will enhance the overall experience for both attendees and exhibitors – and help to make the world a safer place as a consequence.

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Larry Anderson Editor, SecurityInformed.com & SourceSecurity.com

An experienced journalist and long-time presence in the US security industry, Larry is SourceSecurity.com's eyes and ears in the fast-changing security marketplace, attending industry and corporate events, interviewing security leaders and contributing original editorial content to the site. He leads SourceSecurity.com's team of dedicated editorial and content professionals, guiding the "editorial roadmap" to ensure the site provides the most relevant content for security professionals.

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