Over the last few weeks and even months, a conversation between security professionals usually includes a comment along the lines of: Are you going to ASIS?

The 62nd Annual ASIS International Seminar and Exhibits, ASIS 2016 for short, is right around the corner and with an estimated 20 000 security professionals attending, Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center Florida will be the hub of the security world in mid September.

For the short answer to the question “why go?”, the ASIS International website summarizes it quite clearly, “For every threat and security challenge that exists—there’s a solution to be discovered at ASIS 2016 (…)”

Online resources are abundant for conference goers with your primary source being ASIS 2016. If you have never been or even if you have attended each and every year of your security career, the “New for 2016” is a great page to consult and if it is the education track that has you motivated then consult this link for all the details concerning seminars, speakers, and other resources. That said, read on for more insight into other non-traditional education opportunities.

Plan Ahead

Considering the volume of things to do, you will need to make choices and set a game plan for your visit. In addition to the online resources mentioned above, we have compiled a list of things to consider that will help you have an enriching and valuable experience at the show.

Before you go: Because security is what we do every-day sometimes we forget to “practice what we preach”. Be sure that home and office security are taken care of!

Security Idea Exchange: New for 2016, the Security Idea Exchange (Booth 2751) takes place every-day right on the show floor. Free of charge and sure to generate some good discussion and learning. Of particular interest: How Should Security Speak to the C‐Suite? Held on Wednesday from 1400-1430 co-hosted by yours truly.

Social Media: Know the conference hashtags (#) and check out the twitter handles of interest, namely, suppliers, thought leaders, associations and contacts.  Keep an eye out for “meet-ups” a chance to meet and exchange ideas in person. Suggestions to follow: @TrackTik, @markfolmer, @asis_mtl and @asis_intl.

Download the App: The show has its own app (link here). Download it and take advantage of multiple features for planning. Consult who is presenting and where. Find an exhibitor’s booth and keep track of what is going on.

Learn: The opportunities for learning are nearly endless! Seminars are an obvious choice. But also consider the ASIS Council booths (such as the Security Services Council).  The free learning is most abundant on the trade show floor – wall to wall exhibitors offering demos and best practices – find some that tie into what your overall goals are. Don’t forget to log your CPE credits!

Meet your suppliers: The show is an excellent opportunity to meet with your current suppliers. Solidify relationships, build trust and share ideas. A great time to be sure that you have optimized your business relationship. Some exhibitors have even ensured that there are private meeting rooms available right on the show floor, allowing you to talk details in complete privacy. Find your supplier here. We are in the heart of the action at booth #2950 – it is easy to find us!

Network and connect:  It goes without saying but the show is the place to network! Face to face, make connections on the show floor, in the different lounges, at the various events, etc. Consider a social invite from your supplier as an opportunity to meet other like-minded security professionals and learn from one another.

Best Practices: Looking for ways to benchmark how your program is doing versus peers or how our company is providing service versus the competition. The conference is a good venue to learn about various industry Standards and identify best practices that you could be following to maximize your security offering.

Trends: What are you concerned about? IoT and its impact on security? How gathering data can drive your security program? Does BYOD really have impact on your business? What does the convergence between InfoSec and PhysSec mean to me? You will find an answer to your questions at “The Show”.

Let’s Connect

It would be great to connect, discuss industry trends, learn more about your business and get your input on future product development. If you are planning on attending ASIS 2016 then please send me a note at [email protected].

I will be at the Show as of the Sunday and will hit the ground running, including: the Region 6 (Canada) General meeting, the Security Services Council meeting and, of course, the often imitated but never replicated Canada Night! For the rest of the conference I will either be at booth #2950, at the Security Services Council info booth, attending education sessions or at the Security Idea Exchange booth #2751 (floor map).

See you at ASIS!