052: How to Get the Most Out of Attending The ASIS 2015 Security Expo as a Buyer

Silvertrac at ASIS 2015

Over 20,000 people will be attending ASIS 2015 next month in Anaheim. That’s a lot of people, a lot of noise, and a lot of chaos. This event can be a great opportunity to make connections, discover new technologies, and pick up tips to improve your business. If you don’t know what you’re doing, though, it can just be a wasted trip. Here are some ways to get the most out of your ASIS experience.

Preparing for the Security Expo

The first thing you need to do is register for the event, which you can do at this link. On top of that, you’ll want to reserve a room at a hotel associated with the seminar. That way, you know you’ll be staying at the same place as a number of other attendees, which means opportunities for networking at the hotel bar or walking over to the convention center.

Resource: Here are the hotels affiliated with the event.

Most importantly, make a plan ahead of time. Take a look at the list of exhibitors and figure out which booths you want to hit. Pick out which of the keynote speakers and seminars are most important to your business. This is a massive show, and if you don’t know who you want to see and when, you might waste a lot of time at booths that don’t help your business while missing valuable opportunities.

If you have trouble narrowing down your list, or you simply don’t of time to look through the massive number of exhibitors, approach the problem a different way. What problems are you looking to solve and what needs do you have? For instance, if you need a new operating system for video surveillance equipment, you can then pick out a few key competitors that provide that service.

Of course, with all that preparation identifying the people you want to meet, it’s important to dress the part when you get there. Everyone’s dealing with so many new faces and trying to balance their time, and if you show up looking sloppy or unprofessional, you’re going to get written off as unimportant. Make sure, though, that you have multiple pairs of comfortable shoes, as there’s going to be lots of walking.

Finally, have some business cards and short brochures or promotional cut sheets that you can quickly pass out. You never know who you’re going to meet at the ASIS Security Expo, and you might wind up face to face with a potential customer.


In The Convention Center

With all that preparation you put into identifying the booths you want to hit, make sure you don’t waste that effort. Avoid going to booths that are already packed, as you risk not getting the undivided attention of the sales team.

“Take advantage of the fact that it stretches out over three and a half days, and do your best to get into the booth when it’s not fully packed,” said Johnny on today’s episode.

The other thing you want to do at booths is really be active. Don’t just sit back and listen to the elevator pitch. Challenge them, ask engaging questions, and get into the specifics of how it would impact your business. This means doing some research ahead of time so you understand the basics.

Also, take advantage of the fact that all the competitors are side by side. Weed out the vendors that don’t stack up, and leverage the competition in negotiations. Don’t be afraid to close a deal here if you feel like you have all the necessary information and can use the competition to get a good deal.

Finally, remember that this is work. The convention can be a great opportunity, but you have to approach it seriously. Take notes at the different booths and seminars you attend to make sure you’re retaining all the valuable information. If you want, you can even create a property and issue in Silvertrac -- using its native incident reporting software capabilities -- to take notes, pictures of business cards, and audio files to look over later.

Ultimately, you’ll get out of the expo what you put into it.

“If you approach this with the mentality that this is work, and you’re goal is to get the most out of the time and money that you’ve invested, you’ll look back on the show and appreciate the preparation that went into it and the information that you gathered,” said Johnny. 

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time and meet up with friends in the industry. We definitely expect to have a blast while we’re there, and we encourage everyone to come visit us at booth 2778 and our sponsors Paperless Proposal at booth 2660. You can see where we’ll be on the event map here.

Leave us a comment or shoot us an email if you have any other tips.

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Chris Anderson

Chris is the Founder of Silvertrac Software and has been working in the security industry for more than 25 years. He enjoys working with our clients everyday to help them grow their businesses and really enjoy what they are doing.

Chris currently lives and works in Seal Beach, CA.