IFSEC International 2019

by Mark Rowe

IFSEC International welcomed a total of 34,756 visitors, representing 117 countries and a combined annual purchasing budget of £23 billion. IFSEC also saw a substantial increase in visitors coming in from neighbouring shows – FIREX International, Facilities Show and Safety & Health Expo – and engaging with exhibitors. In particular, IFSEC attracted thousands of installers from London and the south of England, with a combined spending power of over £470 million to spend on new products. Representation from large installation companies and TFMs this year included Pointer, Kings, Banham, Mitie, Frontline, Secom, Magnum and Trinity.

IFSEC saw distributors and channel partnerships, with the range of international visitors allowing exhibitors to establish buying chains in a number of new territories, in particular the UK, Italy, Spain, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, the Nordic countries, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and more.

The growth in security end users could be particularly felt in the construction and real estate sectors, with representation from Kier, Costain, Ballymore and Mace – among others – as well as critical national infrastructure and government organisations such as Arriva Rail, Dubai Police, UK Power Networks, the United Nations, the Ministry of Defence.

As for highlights, in particular was the first Surveillance Camera Day, launched by Tony Porter, the UK’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner. This centred on a new minimum requirement for surveillance cameras – Secure by Design – which was introduced and discussed by Porter across several well-attended keynote sessions.

Simon Young, Exhibition Director said: “IFSEC International 2019 was another huge success. It’s encouraging to see the security market shift in a direction that better signifies the complementary relationship between the installer, the distributor and the end user, but also the increasing importance of the auxiliary markets in the security buying process, including facilities and health and safety. This is a goal we’ve worked hard to meet, and we’re thrilled to see it reflected in this year’s results.”

FIREX International

FIREX International saw a 4pc increase in year-on-year visitors and a 13pc increase in the visitor-to-exhibitor ratio. Visitors came from 73 countries, representing a cross-section of the fire safety profession: 16pc of visitors came from the construction sector, reinforcing the interest seen in fire safety in the wake of Grenfell, and complementing the growth in attendance the organisers UBM saw at their Tall Building Fire Safety Conference this year. A further 12pc of audience was involved with manufacturing.

Finally, the show saw a further increase in the number of fire safety installation companies in attendance, which reflects the merging of sectors we are seeing across all four shows in the series. In total, visitors had a combined annual purchasing budget of around £6.3 billion.

Highlighting the increasing importance of FIREX to the global fire safety market, government representation continued to increase at the event, totalling around 8pc of total visitors. Over a third of visitors were business owners or senior managers. FIREX International’s growth was driven by seminars, most notably a session outlining the findings of the Hackitt review into the Grenfell tragedy, one of the key discussions within the industry.

FIREX officially launched its new Egypt show, set to open on 3-5 November 2019 in Cairo. This represents a expansion of the FIREX brand, bringing this industry event to new markets across Africa and the Middle East.

Exhibition Director Simon Young said: “It’s been another successful year for FIREX International. We’ve continued to deliver a world-class event at the forefront of the fire safety profession – and we’ve seen this borne out in significant growth in installers, construction and manufacturing professionals and representatives from government. FIREX is critical for the industry, and the growing, high quality audience is testament to this.”

Safety & Health Expo

Safety & Health Expo saw steady visitor growth driven by a 75-hour CPD-accredited educational seminar programme, the new Workplace Wellbeing Show and the new PPE Attack Zone. The 2019 inspirational speakers were a particular attraction with Steph McGovern, Eddie the Eagle and Jonny Wilkinson drawing crowds. Safety & Health Expo saw a 3pc increase in visitors and an annual purchasing budget of £7.2 billion. Visitors came from 74 countries, with growth in heads of department and C-suite professionals.

Event Director Chris Edwards commented, “The substantial increase in footfall we saw this year and the high-quality of visitors Safety & Health Expo attracts, really demonstrates how significant the event remains for the health and safety profession. We’re proud of the way it has continued to grow in scope and scale, remaining at the forefront of the industry as it evolves.”

Facilities Show

Facilities Show also demonstrated a 3pc increase in visitors, continuing a three-year upward trend in attendance. As with the other shows, this resulted in a 4pc increase in the number of visitors per exhibitor, giving every exhibitor an increased opportunity to meet the strong numbers of TFMs, facilities directors, C-suite executives, directors, owners and heads of departments. Visitors to Facilities Show boasted a combined annual purchasing budget of £9.2 billion.

The Smart Buildings Expo was a new area dedicated to showcasing smart buildings technology including a working replica of a smart office building. Facilities Show also benefited from increased footfall resulting from the inspirational speakers – a shared feature with Safety & Health Expo.

Event Director Chris Edwards said: “We’ve adapted Facilities Show to better reflect the changing face of the profession – that meant introducing new features such as the Smart Buildings Expo and the Workplace Wellbeing Show. And these developments help Facilities Show remain a critical destination for FM and workplace professionals, so we’re delighted to see that reflected in the show’s continued upward trend.”

Next year, IFSEC International FIREX International, Safety & Health Expo and Facilities Show will take place on 19-21 May 2020. Smart Buildings Expo will expand to become its own event alongside Facilities Show, and the Smart Buildings Experience in association with Vanti will return with a new, wider remit.

Joining the events at ExCeL London next year will be Security Counter Terror Expo, which previously took place at Olympia London.

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