Intersec, the world’s leading trade fair for safety, security, and fire protection, recorded its biggest visitor turnout in history when it wrapped up a three-day run at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) earlier last month
Some 43,305 industry professionals from 131 countries attended the event’s 24th edition, the largest in the series’ history with more than 800 exhibitors from 55 countries spread across nine DWTC halls and the Trade Centre Arena. The visitor turnout saw a significant uptick in international visitors, with attendees from the GCC, Europe, Asia, and the Americas accounting for 49% of the total headcount. Footfall, meanwhile, was spread across 48,331 gross sq m of dedicated product showcases for commercial and perimeter security, homeland security, fire and rescue, safety and health, and cybersecurity.
A new report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), produced in partnership with Intersec, found that the wider sector is treading a new pathway to cognitive security and surveillance, which will see the system evolve with active involvement from customers alongside their OEMs of choice to drive client-centric development.
“With emerging technologies playing a leading role in driving change across the ecosystem, the success and future of the security and surveillance industry lie in moving from an industry-driven strategy to a customer-focused strategy,” stated the report. “The shift can be enabled by partnership strategies with varying degrees of control and investment to strike a partnership equilibrium, while building a robust technology foundation as an enabler. This will require a collective effort throughout the whole ecosystem.”
Alex Nicholl, show director at Intersec, added, “This year’s heightened visitor numbers underline the industry shift to this new era of cognitive security and surveillance likely to dominate the sector going forward. It demands a heightened focus on customised technology and partnership requirements, both of which Intersec deliver.”
Partnerships were prominent from the first day at Intersec 2023 with a Memorandum of Understanding being signed between video surveillance provider, Hikvision, and the UAE’s Ministry of Interior; as well as headline collaborations between Sharjah Civil Defence and Austrian firefighting equipment provider, Rosenbauer; and Indian satellite, digital cable, and broadband provider, NxDigital; and US cybersecurity technology company, Cybereason.
Technology and innovation remained front and centre of the event with the exhibitor profile featuring the biggest industry names alongside sector entrants and innovators. Major new exhibitors included Thales of France, Singapore’s ST Engineering, Saudi Arabia’s SAFE, Germany’s AGMC/BMW, Israel’s D-FEND, the UAE’s Tabbara, Holland’s Robin Radar, Sigma Security of Greece, Poland’s Megavision, and VX Ray of the USA.
The event’s special features, both vast and varied in their focus, drew large audiences across the three days. The Attack Zone hosted by the Loss Prevention Certification Board saw exhibitors live demo their products, while there was also a Safety Walk protective gear showcase sponsored by EnSafe Evacuation Chair, Jutec, and Teijin. A Tech Stage featured VR solutions, anti-drone technology, and new safety materials; a Start Smart Zone connected start-ups with decision makers, buyers, and investors; and the purpose-built Future Defenders Hack Arena provided a space for cybersecurity teams from schools, universities, and CISOs to compete for prizes and industry recognition.
There were also full houses for the powerful Intersec 2023 conference and knowledge-sharing programme – the biggest yet in the series with four focused streams including the high-level Security Leaders’ Summit. The UAE Cybersecurity Council hosted a conference with attendees ranging from government leaders to CSOs and CISOs across the oil and gas industry, BFSI, healthcare and hospitality, and energy and utilities. A dedicated Fire & Rescue Conference was also hosted by Dubai Civil Defence, while a highly focused Safety & Health Seminar explored the new MENA regulatory changes.
Additionally, Intersec 2023 recognised the best of the security and safety industries through its awards programme, with winners being presented at a gala ceremony. The show also hosted a successful bid by the UAE’s Cyber Security Council (CSC) to achieve the first Guinness World Records title for the largest cyber drill competition.
The Guinness World Records team had set a requirement for 100 participants for the inaugural record attempt, which the CSC surpassed with 150 participants across three days. An official adjudicator was on site to review the record bid and present a certificate to His Excellency Dr Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, head of Cyber Security for the UAE Government.
Now, as Intersec organisers, Messe Frankfurt Middle East, begin planning for the event’s silver jubilee edition to run at DWTC from 16 – 18 January 2024, PwC has reiterated the importance of trade shows in meeting new industry expectations.
“Such events add real value to the ecosystem as solution providers get an opportunity to showcase their capabilities in the latest technologies and features, while end customers can see live demonstrations and gain a hands-on sense of the technologies they are interested in,” the report confirmed.
Intersec 2023 exhibitor Ateis Middle East, a leader in the life-safety industry, needs no convincing of the show’s potential. Its COO, Philip Witts, called the event, “The number one global event for our industry.”