UK Security Expo 2016 Review – the global security showcase
The UK Security Expo 2016 opened its doors on 30th November – 1st December 2016 at the London Olympia, bringing in over 7,000 high-end international visitors from 81 countries and eight core sectors: Transport, Government, Energy, Major Events, Communications, Finance, Utilities and the Private Sector. The Lead Editorial Partner, Security Media Publishing, reviews the expo:
With the UK respected globally for its security expertise and status as one of the best security exporters in the world, there has been a “long standing desire from Government and the industry for a large scale exhibition that brings all stake holders together”, and this is what Chief Executive Peter Jones, the UK Security Expo Advisory Board chaired by Admiral Lord West, and the team at Nineteen Events set out to achieve with this inaugural UK Security Expo.
As the early Wednesday morning energy and excitement began to buzz around the entrance to Olympia London, the queues of security professionals and delegates from around the world put credit to this notion, as did the vocal Government support for the initiative shared throughout the two-day event. Ben Wallace MP, Minister of State for Security, delivered a keynote speech on the first day, and other ministerial attendees included the Transport Minister for Aviation, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, and the Secretary of State, Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP. As Britain, and the rest of the world, continues to counter terrorism and fight against organised crime, a message that rang loud and clear during the two days was the need for partnership between Government and Industry – a joined-up thinking that not only creates effective solutions to protect and serve those at risk, but also champions UK exports within the ever increasing security sector.
Through an immersive variety of conferences, workshops, demonstrations and with over 200 companies exhibiting their latest products and services, the expo succeeded in providing an ‘end-to-end’ security event which, far from providing a ‘gadgets and gizmos’ exhibition, offered a refreshing focus on solutions to global security issues in a wide range of sectors.
According to Lord Admiral West, former UK Security Minister and Chairman of the UK Security Expo, this kind of exhibition has been a “long time coming”:
“There has been a strong desire from Government, for a number of years, starting during my time as Security Minister, for the UK to host a blockbuster security show welcoming a global to-level audience to London. And here it is, the UK Security Expo supported by HM Government. I’m thrilled to see such a positive take up with over 200 major brand names exhibiting.”
Securing crowded places was a major theme of the expo, with The Home Office JSaRC and The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) hosting the Immersive Demonstrator at the event, an integrated experience in which visitors saw the latest security technologies in operation – beginning with a security Screen Zone at the entrance and continuing in a ‘Track’ and ‘Response’ Zone further into the venue. With security obviously high on the agenda, the process to get people into the venue was tested on the first day, with the organisers admitting that the queues were taking longer than was planned. It was a credit to the team, though, that this was addressed within the morning, causing no problems at all on the second day.
Within the hall, it was no surprise that the strategic conferences held throughout the exhibition were overflowing with delegates, with high-level speakers sharing their thoughts on Global Counter Terrorism, Protecting Crowded Places, Designing out Terrorism, Major Events, Critical National Infrastructure and Transport Security. Having been incorporated into the new event, attendees seemed more than satisfied with the way in which the original appeal of the ‘Transec’ show has been brought into the mix at the UK Security Expo, with topics concerning transport security flowing throughout the event.
Alongside the HM Government, the exhibition received industry support from the Border Force and British Transport Police, both with stands that were heavily populated throughout the event. Also supporting the exhibition was the Home Office and CPNI, the European Commission, London Fire Brigade Enterprise, Ministry of Defence, NaCTSO and the Metropolitan Police.
In the Prime Contractors Capability Lounge, BT, Leonardo, Thales and QinetiQ spoke about their experience in tackling large-scale security challenges such as the Olympic Games, Coastal Protection, Border Control and National Security.
One of the highlights was the speech by Ben Wallace MP, Minister of State for Security, who was introduced by Admiral Lord West on the first day of the exhibition. He expressed his delight in the Government’s support of the UK Security Expo and later told Security News Desk that:
“Security is the duty of the Government, [and] events like this are incredibly important. What we need to remind the rest of the world, and industry, is that Britain leads the way in security. We should be rightfully establishing our place alongside defence as a very important sector, and also a growth sector for the UK economy.”
With 93 per cent of speakers and exhibitors reporting that they were satisfied with their experience at the UK Security Expo, and 90 per cent of exhibitors rebooking on site, it appears that the expo succeeded in both showcasing the UK’s expertise in security as well as promoting the sector growth on a commercial level. Looking to the future, 83 per cent said that they will be back next year, and after this inaugural event, one can only imagine that the UK Security Expo will be bigger, better and even stronger in 2017.
When discussing the future of the exhibition, and asked whether we will see the UK Security Expo growing to the stature of some of the largest defence exhibitions, Peter Jones’ message was clear:
“If you look at one of the biggest defence exhibitions in the UK there’s about 1,400 exhibitors and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t do that in security – that’s our trajectory. If you look around the world elsewhere, like our friends in France and the Middle East, some of those security exhibitions have over 1000 exhibitors. Now, with some of the strongest security capabilities in the UK, and with defence, intelligence and security agencies that are envied globally, there is no reason why we shouldn’t have a global showcase like this hosted in London.”
Commenting on the expo, Peter Mawson of Security Media Publishing stated:
“Of the countless shows in the security market this one has to be at the top end when it comes to delivery and effectiveness – a major achievement for a year one launch. I had the opportunity to network with both users and trade and the feedback that came through was one of satisfaction on all counts. It seems the HM Government support really helped to drive high level delegates to the expo and the complimentary education program was second to none. Security Media looks forward to supporting the event in 2017 and well beyond.”
View the highlights of the UK Security Expo in the video below:
As with all industry exhibitions, leading profiles from within the industry sponsored the UK Security Expo 2016:
Major Events Conference Sponsor:
Designing Out Terrorism Conference Sponsor:
Transport Security Conference Sponsor:
CNI Conference Sponsor:
DNV – GL
Drinks Reception and Protecting Crowded Places Conference Sponsor:
Sungard Availability Services
Perimeter and Intrusion Detection Workshop Sponsor:
CCTV & Video Surveillance Technology Workshop Sponsor:
Counter Terrorism for Facilities Managers Workshop Sponsor:
Screening & Scanning Workshop Sponsor:
Perimeter Security Solutions Centre:
International Delegation Welcome Reception & Bags Sponsor:
Live Demonstration Theatre Official Partner:
Security Scanners Registration Area & Lanyards Sponsor:
Directional Signage Sponsor:
Live Demonstration Theatre Sponsor: