Exclusive: Ensuring the safety of future generations


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Excitement is growing across the global security industry about the long-awaited return of in-person events. In fact, eyes are already beginning to turn towards Intersec 2022, held in Dubai, UAE from 16-18 January.  

Following the cancellation of Intersec 2021, anticipation has been building for the return of the show next year. The show, due to take place in Dubai in January 2022 has experienced huge growth over the years. From humble beginnings in 1999, when it featured 61 exhibitors from 13 countries, Intersec has developed into a global powerhouse, and in 2022, in its 23rd edition, the three-day event is set to welcome more than 1,100 exhibitors from 135 countries. 

International Fire and Safety Journal recently had the chance to sit down with Group Exhibitions Director of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organisers of Intersec, Christine Davidson. 

Making connections 

Due to the travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been an incredibly long time since the global security industry was able to gather at an event. With those restrictions now beginning to ease, Intersec 2022 looks set to be an even bigger event than usual.  

Intersec has certainly come a long way since it was first launched in 1999 and Davidson is extremely proud of the standing the event has today: “Intersec’s growth and evolution coincides with many of the exhibitors that have been with the show from the beginning.   

“In its customary dates at the beginning of every year, Intersec is a pivotal event in the industry calendar and remains the preferred platform for hundreds of new product launches from global manufacturers and we’re expecting more of the same in 2022.   

“Its real value is in the connections that have developed over time, where innovators, end users and government agencies come together to collaborate, share knowledge and learnings and prepare for future challenges. Intersec has grown in size and scope over the past 23 years, keeping pace with and reflecting the tremendous transformation in the regional safety and security market. 

“This year, Intersec takes a huge step forward as a nod towards its evolution to a multi-level interactive and inter-connective event that will host some of the most important product launches, industry stakeholder discussions and future focused content.” 

Davidson goes on to reveal what visitors can expect to see at Intersec 2022: “Intersec will return with its seven product sections of Commercial Security, Cybersecurity, Homeland Security & Policing and Perimeter & Physical Security, Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services, Safety, Health and Wellbeing.   

Intersec is the nexus and the only event of its kind to bring all of the key stakeholders together in one place. 

“Future foresight, bilateral cooperation and next generation tech is on the agenda for next year and we’re preparing an exciting three-day programme of value-added conferences focusing on key pillars. Simulations of live case study scenarios, demonstrations and interactive sessions will provide in-depth access to best practice, innovation and thought leadership from global industry specialists.” 

She added: “Whilst we look to the future, it is essential we also take time to review and reflect on the past 12 months. The industry needs to take stock, share learnings and discuss the necessary changes to procedures and operations. Other sectors have been disrupted by the pandemic but this industry is frontline and consequently has experienced massive transformation which will continue as it futureproofs against new threats. 

“The programme is comprehensive and carries over 250 speakers from heads of governments to security, cyber, policing, safety and emergency experts. Intersec 2022 delivers a wealth of knowledge sharing, networking and business opportunities at a time when the industry needs it.” 

Back to the show floor 

Whilst physical events have not been able to take place, a number of organisations have navigated to begin hosting virtual events in order to maintain some sort of connection with their community. Davidson believes that whilst online events have some benefit, they are no match for their physical alternative. 

She said: “Over the last year, we’ve learned that, while virtual events have been useful to keep our communities connected, there is an overwhelming desire to reconnect in person in a safe and secure environment. 

“At the outset of the pandemic, Intersec pivoted to the digital world, launching our webinar series that are still ongoing and that have connected thousands of professionals virtually via panel discussions, presentations and live virtual Q&A interactions.  

“We’ve also launched our Interseclive365.com digital community platform which keeps global security, cybersecurity, safety and fire protection professionals connected 365 days a year. Interseclive365 is an important step in Intersec’s own evolution and is a valuable compliment to the physical, in-person event that takes place every January. 

“Face-to-face interaction is so important, a fact that everyone recognises now more than ever before. I share the Intersec team’s enthusiasm to return to the show floor to welcome our global clients and partners and friends back in a safe and secure way.” 

The theme of Intersec 2022 is ‘Ensuring the Safety and Wellbeing of Future Generations’, Davidson explained how the show is going to do this: “By presenting that all important platform that promotes bilateral cooperation between governments, private and semi-private institutions.  

“Increased infrastructure investment, ongoing perceived external threats, stringent government regulations and new technology adoption have put the regional security market in a good position. We are seeing greater integration between IP-based security systems in the market, such as surveillance, access control, fire and intrusion detection, which is simplifying security management and increasing cost efficiency.   

Join the best in the business 

Some of the world’s leading companies within the fire and safety industry have historically gathered at the show, and it is no surprise that next year will be no different. Just some of the names that will be attending for fire and rescue include NAFFCO, Hochiki, Bristol, Fomtec and Johnson Controls, covering key areas such as fire vehicles, firefighting foam, suppression, PPE and much more. The quality of expertise is promising to be make the event an exciting and informative event for everyone involved.  

According to Davidson, it is the quality of Intersec’s audience that encourages so many of the industry’s top providers to exhibit at the event: “In 2020, nearly 90% of the of 34,000+ visitors from 136 countries had direct purchasing influence on security, fire, cyber and safety products, of which 55% were top level management.” 

With the show returning after a two-year wait, the organisers have set about engaging with some of the biggest names in fire and safety. This, among other key features of the show mean that 2022 looks set to be one of the biggest and best Intersec events yet.   

Intersec is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. 

For more information, visit: https://intersec.ae.messefrankfurt.com 

This article was originally published in issue 6 of International Fire and Safety Journal 

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