IFSEC 2012 exhibition review

Over for another year!

IFSEC 2012 shut its doors after yet another excellently attended show.

But how excellent was it really?

Well, we visited each day, dodging the rain showers wherever possible!

On arriving at the superbly located Birmingham NEC, it seemed that each day, despite the arrival time, East car park 4 was our destination!

Excellent and frequent shuttle buses (saved getting wet!) swept us to the entrance in under 10mins – on the one occasion where the queue was more than 2 shuttle buses long, the entrepreneurial local Taxi drivers pulled up and offered rides for £1 per person !!

On arriving at the Halls, swift entrance was gained using the pre-registration number allocated if you were efficient in booking ahead – scan the bar code or enter the number and one of the lovely ladies called out your name and handed the printed pass – valid for the 4 days of the show.

Entrance was only a zap away and then into the huge and almost intimidating Halls – we started each day in Hall 5.

First job, fire up the IFSEC 2012 iPhone APP to get at the list of exhibitors that we had made beforehand

And there was problem number 1 !

We had seen the App before do it’s usual (and time wasting) thing of updating this and that, downloading this and that etc, but we were in the confines of office wifi – standby on a severely stretched 3G signal that was being shared by half the population of the world and the app took a good 20-30 seconds to get to the stage of being useable ! bearing in mind that this process was the same EVERY time the app was needed, even if already running!!

Note to IFSEC App developers – ensure that the APP only updates ONCE and only perhaps on wifi ???? PLUS……use the Push feature of iOS devices instead of pulling everytime the app runs!!!

Once passed the splendour of HUGE stands such as Tyco and Norbain (and a BIG shout out to Samsung for the hugest video wall ever!) the usual Asian section provided an in sight into this years talked about Tech……..namely HD-SDI / HDcctv recorders, cameras and transmission widgets.

Nearly all stands (compared to VERY FEW last year) were extolling the virtues of HD-SDI / HDcctv as the new method for High Def CCTV images………. many interesting conversations took place on compatibility – all centring on the Genum chipset that seems to ensure compatibility amongst various manufacturers – SEEMS ??? well, at one point, we asked a camera supplier to borrow a camera to take next door to his Korean neighbour making DVRs…….sure enough, it worked, we could not however advise this will always be the case so HDcctv compatible seems to be the way forward here.

But, HD-SDI is definitely now more prominent – we expect to see major UK distributors push this retro-fittable tech out to their customers during 2012-2013

Another area of concern was meeting areas – ok, I guess if you are a big corporate exhibitor, hiring a meeting room is de facto, but if you are looking for a quick conversation with a new supplier, where do you go? We were planning a discussion with a leading Korean manufacturer……we thought combining with some refreshment would be relaxing……no seats in the heavily busy internal cafe/rest areas so headed out to the lobby area. EVERY cafe/eating area packed………. options included sitting side by side around the outside walls !!!

Surely some meeting areas with refreshments makes sense?

So, Hall 5 was where the main action was but to be honest, we were strangely warming to the exhibitors in Hall 4 !! Seemed to be more of the IP based guys (Axis, Milestone, IndigoVision) were up there and somehow, it kind of felt more ‘techy’ up there, like a club that announced “downstairs for cable, upstairs for IP!’

Milestone and Axis were showing various new technology – Axis with a HUGE PTZ camera and their Thermal offerings……..Thermal seemed to feature very well throughout the show, mainly because of its superb analytical capabilities. We saw several companies such as Flir and 360 Vision demonstrating their products on various partner stands to good reception.

Milestone had an interesting ‘wall’ of affiliated partners – companies such as IFSEC award winners Ipsotek showed their excellent analytics and Milestone integration to good effect!

The usual bevy of beauties lined the stands – obviously employed for their amazing product knowledge. So, what was the thought on this years IFSEC?

Well, apart from the troublesome app and the lack of meeting areas, really rather good – the new tech appearing is refreshing, the layout over 2 Halls was spot on and the show had enough to fill 4 days of interest easily.

Roll on IFSEC 2013!


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