ISC West, the largest security industry trade show in the U.S., will be held next month at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas – but with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China, a few key changes will be made to this year’s event.
On Feb. 2, a travel ban was issued by the U.S. government, restricting traveling to and from China. In response to the ban, most commercial airlines have suspended flights from the country.
Will Wise, a vice president at Reed Exhibitions – the event company behind ISC West – stated that the situation is “ever evolving,” but that the company is working with their China office and the Chinese companies involved in the trade show in adhering to the guidelines set in place by the travel ban.
“Everything is being guided through the U.S. government’s policy on travel restrictions from China. We’ve been really diligent in trying to assess the status of the Chinese exhibitors,” Wise said. “As you can imagine, there’s many that literally can’t travel or ship anything.”
The China Pavilion, which encompassed exhibitors from China, was in prior years an anticipated part of the ISC West show. Due to the ban blocking the majority of smaller Chinese companies from attending, for this year’s event the space has been reformatted to showcase different exhibitions.
“Traditionally there’s been a pretty large China Pavilion of companies in The Venetian Ballroom area of the show. It’s one of the main halls we have at the venue. The pavilion typically has been a lot of small companies that overseas agencies help to approve to bring over,” Wise said. “The flip side is, we do have Chinese companies that will be at the show still because they have U.S. staffing, they have U.S. offices.”
The ban is not expected to affect the overall attendance of the ISC West show, which is typically around 30,000 attendees. As Wise states, “It’s really been more of the exhibiting companies that were coming from China, not the attendees.”
Overseeing the security events portfolio with Reed Exhibitions, Wise is especially attuned to the various public safety elements concerning any event. “We are an event that’s all about security and public safety. We have really good security personnel that work on our events for Reed, but we also work with our venue, Sands Exposition Center. They’re one of the biggest event venues in the world. They have top notch not only security and public safety personnel, but also health and medical services.” He also noted additional hand sanitizer will be provided in all public spaces. The show will take place March 17-20.