If you’re heading to ISC West in Las Vegas this year, it’s helpful to acknowledge immediately that there’s no way you can experience all aspects of the show. Just not enough time and too many options. Once you give up on seeing everything, you can immediately lower stress. But you also raise the stakes in terms of picking and choosing exactly what you have time for – or want to make time for. Hoping to help out as we all set our ISC West priorities, here are some ways to make the most of ISC West.

Get there early

If you think the show starts on Wednesday (April 10), you have already missed the boat. Wednesday is the first day of the ISC West Exhibition, but there is a whole day of conference programming the day before – on Tuesday, the 9th. So plan to arrive early for conference sessions such as the End User Physical Security and Strategic Management tracks, a whole day of presentations by the PSA Security Network, and many other conference sessions.

Learn from the best

You can also learn about Body-Worn Cameras for Government Personnel, School Safety and Private SecurityWant to hear about Taming the Surveillance Data Monster? There’s a session on Thursday. Want to learn about Establishing a Corporate Drone Program? That session is on Wednesday the 10th. They’re among the wealth of information-sharing sessions at ISC West. You can also learn about Body-Worn Cameras for Government Personnel, School Safety and Private Security; 3D Virtualisation for Physical Security; and Using Enterprise Security Risk Management to Define Security's Value.

Plan for the future

So much at ISC West is geared toward the future – new opportunities, tomorrow’s hot new product, and the start of business ventures that will be profitable for years to come. Some of the conference sessions are especially forward-looking, too, including a session on Thursday about the Stadium of the Future. A session called Getting Smarter and Safer: The Campuses of Tomorrow is on Wednesday, April 10.

Another Wednesday session is Meet the Jetsons: Understanding the Promise and Challenges of Smart Cities. The Vision of the Future of the ISOC (Intelligent Security Operations Center) is on Thursday, as is the Smart Home of the Future session. All in all, ISC West can help you focus on the future in a big way. 

Meet someone new

Programs like SIA’s New Product Showcase can help, by recognising innovation in a variety of product categoriesISC West sometimes emits the vibe of a yearly reunion of friends (who happen to be in business together). It’s great to see old friends again, but we shouldn’t miss the chance to meet new people, too. There is a multitude of networking events related to the industry’s big spring gathering, so the opportunities to expand one’s network and meet new people are abundant.

Making the most of them takes effort, and some level of strategy. And there are also other, not-so-obvious moments to make new friends and acquaintances – whether it’s sharing a taxi or waiting for the next session to start. Bring a lot of business cards

Find something new

The chance to view industry innovation is a huge draw of ISC West, but it can take discipline to separate the wheat from the chaff. The latest-and-greatest could literally be anywhere on that big trade show floor. Programs like SIA’s New Product Showcase can help, by recognising innovation in a variety of product categories.

The announcements of winners will be made on April 10, and, historically, these awards have gone to some of the newest and most innovative products at ISC West. A What’s New at ISC West session on Wednesday can provide additional guidance.

Do good in addition to doing well

A 10-year tradition at ISC West is the Security 5K/2k Run/Walk, a charity event benefiting Mission 500’s fundraising efforts to assist children in crisisISC West is all about business, but there’s also a specific opportunity to help make the world a better place. A 10-year tradition at ISC West is the Security 5K/2k Run/Walk, a charity event benefiting Mission 500’s fundraising efforts to assist children in crisis around the world. Why not avoid a late night on April 10th and rise early on the 11th to be a part of a remarkable event that has united the security industry to provide aid for children in need?

Say thank you

Showing gratitude is an under-emphasised opportunity at ISC West, where the promise of new fortunes can eclipse our successes of the past. We will all see colleagues and friends we have been doing business with for years, so what better time to express a simple ‘thank you’, buy them a drink, propose a toast, celebrate? Helping to set a tone of gratitude is the ‘Official ISC West Customer Appreciation Party’ on Thursday. Parties are one way to say thanks, and a heartfelt verbal expression is another. ISC West will provide plenty of both – and they’re not to be missed.

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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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