With so many high-end professional security companies in attendance, a security trade show is perhaps the least likely environment for criminal activity. Would criminals really choose to mess with the leaders in global security? 

While it may seem counter-intuitive, personal and corporate security needs to be a priority for every attendee – no matter how secure you may feel. If you are attending a security trade show where you will be surrounded by security experts, you should still not let your guard down. Use your security expertise to remain alert and vigilant to your surroundings.

Use your security expertise to remain alert and vigilant to your surroundings

Personal safety

When it comes to security, there are two main areas where you need to focus on: your personal and your corporate security. Personal safety is self-explanatory: how you keep your person safe from physical attacks. 

When attending a trade show of any type, it is important that you are willing to speak to people and allow them to approach your personal space. However, it is equally important to set guidelines in order to keep your personal safety. Any location where large amounts of people are in attendance is a potential target for both individual criminal assault and terrorist attacks. Constant vigilance is your best defence here.

Below are just a few examples of personal safety standards you should adhere to while attending any type of trade show: 

  • Always have a way out: as soon as you are provided a map of the facility hosting the show, commit to memory both the public entrances and exits. As a backup, take notice of the utilitarian transitways used by employees of the facility. Don’t let the most obvious exits become a “choke-point,” where you can be easily become caught in case of a crisis.
  • Stay together: when you leave the venue make sure you do so in your group of colleagues or friends. While you may be anxious to get to your next destination, don’t breach protocol to do so.
  • Keep a buddy system: communicate your known travel destinations with your teammates. If you have a meeting to attend with a client, let someone know when you will be there and when you plan on returning from it. 
  • Use tech to your advantage: consider installing a tracking app on the phone of everyone in your group attending the show. An app such as Life360 allows you to easily find your friends in case of an emergency.
  • Drink responsibly: at many trade shows, alcoholic beverages are served. If you decide to partake, make sure that only people you trust are providing those beverages. Furthermore, don’t ever leave drinks unattended – it’s better to grab another than risk a spiked drink. 

Corporate safety

Corporate security is typically a bit broader in that it includes your physical space, the materials or equipment located in your booth, and any proprietary or digital materials shared with clients or visitors.

A security trade show will by nature offer a great many products and services that may be proprietary in nature. And so it’s important that everything you bring is accounted for at all times. Here are a few things to keep in mind when thinking about corporate safety:

  • Securing privacy: if you plan on meeting with attendees in your booth, make sure you can provide privacy during your discussions. It is essential to be able to provide a safe place to discuss things. Make sure that prying eyes or sensitive ears can’t pierce your veil of confidentiality.
  • Secure your assets: petty theft is a problem at any venue. To avoid the unexpected loss of your items, you should make sure all laptops, briefcases, backpacks, purses and anything else of value are “cabled” to hardpoints such as heavy tables to keep them from being carried off. Never leave anything important unattended.
  • Secure delivery: if the trade show facility requires contracted employees to deliver your equipment or booth materials to your space, make sure that your materials are locked, secured, and properly labeled to mitigate pilfered or misplaced materials. Do not be afraid to take photos of your booth before it is left for the evening to document the shape it is left in. 

After all, it is a security trade show

Keep in mind that you are there to target clients and customers who may need your products or services. 

Corporate espionage is a billion-dollar industry now. There are agents who attend security trade shows looking to steal the latest and greatest technology. These “professional spies” are solely there to undercut the success of your company at the show. Make their job as difficult as possible by being smart and alert.

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Thom Buck Chief Technology Officer, Yellow Jacket Case

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