During ISC West in March, some of what happens in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas. Attendees will want to bring it back home to improve their careers and businesses.

ISC Education is launching a new program this year, with dozens of sessions at West that will offer valuable information and instruction. While an educational conference has long accompanied the ISC shows, it has not always been considered an integral part of the event, and too often, presenters used their time to promote rather than educate. Starting this year, though, Reed Exhibitions, the promoter of the ISC shows, and the Security Industry Association (SIA), the ISC show’s sole sponsor, are using feedback provided by conference attendees and input from the industry to overhaul the program and make ISC Education as highly-regarded a brand as ISC West.

SIA and Reed started by creating an ISC Education Advisory Board that comprises experts from the security industry, government and law enforcement to guide the development of the program and to vet prospective presenters. Within just a few months, several important changes recommended by this panel were implemented. One of the most important revisions was to impose a strict requirement that all presentations be commercial-free. The conference is not the place for product pitches; it is a venue for educating attendees about issues and technologies related to the solutions they see on the show floor. (If any commercial pitches do slip through, those presenters may be banned from future participation.)

In addition, ISC Education is working more closely with the conference speakers than ever before. For example, prospective speakers have been given resources describing how to develop clear learning objectives and content outlines, and have had the opportunity to participate in “speaker support sessions” during which they could receive constructive feedback on their presentations so that they could refine them prior to being evaluated by the Advisory Board. As a result, the reviewers received higher quality submissions to evaluate, which will lead to conference participants getting stronger, more focused programming.

In the end, the Advisory Board selected only about 20 percent of the many excellent submissions for the ISC West conference.

All of this means that, come March, ISC West attendees will be able to attend not just the premier security products trade show in the United States, but a top-notch educational conference as well.