WASHINGTON — By all accounts, the Access Control Summit 2023 (ACS23) held Sept. 27-28 was a resounding success, organizers say.
Produced by the Access Control Executive Brief, the event brought together 166 professionals from more than 15 countries from the global access control and smart lock industry, providing a platform for networking, knowledge sharing and collaboration.
The summit was held at the AIADC, a venue with special significance to the organizers, noted Lee Odess, CEO of the Access Control Executive Brief, who explained that the desire to host an event at the AIADC had been “a long-standing goal, and it finally came to fruition.” The event not only fulfilled this aspiration, he said, but also served to “unite the industry” and create a space for better storytelling and communication.
"I am absolutely thrilled with the success of ACS23," said Odess. "What began as a mere idea has transformed into a global movement. Today, the global access control and smart lock industry community united in one place. Attendees connected, collaborated, and offered valuable insights on the profound impact of digital transformation on our industry.
“It is truly invigorating to witness our readiness to seize the $70B global market opportunity.”
Networking played a crucial role throughout ACS23, starting with a well-attended reception on Wednesday night and continuing throughout the summit. Attendees had the opportunity to engage in discussions and establish valuable connections. The networking opportunities were unparalleled, organizers say, with one attendee even stating that they had accomplished “a year’s worth of meetings” in just one day.
The content presented at ACS23 exceeded expectations, with thought-provoking topics discussed in various panels and fireside chats. The organizers aimed to create an omnichannel experience, combining strong in-room networking with accessible online content. This two-in-one approach proved successful, providing attendees with valuable insights and information.
“Far too often, ‘industry events’ are diluted due to venue or sponsorship. Trade shows are massive and getting a unique opinion or viewpoint is nearly impossible. ACS was none of that,” said Phil Coppola, business development director for mobile solutions at HID. “In fact, this was the most impactful, educational and thought-provoking industry event that I have ever been a part of in my 22 years in the security industry.”
Consumer Experience Important
Several themes and trends emerged from the discussions at ACS23. A notable focus was placed on identity and the consumer experience. Shifting from a door-centric approach to a consumer-centric perspective was emphasized, recognizing the importance of understanding and meeting consumer needs. Accessibility also received significant attention, with a dedicated panel highlighting its importance within the industry.
Value creation beyond traditional security measures was another prevalent theme. Companies were encouraged to enhance workflows and automate processes, recognizing the need to go beyond simply keeping bad actors out. The concept of a "wallet" was introduced as a starting point for a larger transformation within the industry.
Integrated marketing approaches were emphasized as a necessity to effectively reach and engage consumers. Beyond product marketing, companies were urged to prioritize comprehensive marketing strategies that encompass a holistic view of the consumer experience.
Data and interoperability were discussed extensively, highlighting the importance of refined data and its accessibility to third-party systems. “The industry recognizes the need for technical standards that support business needs and enable seamless integrations between hardware and software,” noted Odess.
The success of ACS23 has paved the way for future events, said organizers, who confirmed plans to continue the ACS series with three more summits scheduled. The primary event will be the ACS U.S. edition, focusing on a North American and global view, to be held Oct. 9-10, 2024 in Washington D.C.
The European edition will specifically target the European access control and smart lock markets and will be held in May 2024. The possibility of an ACS event in the APAC region is also being considered.
Benchmarking and Analysis
In addition to the summit, several new initiatives were announced. A curated news source, www.ACAlerts.co, will provide industry-specific news to interested readers. AC Enablements will serve as a crowd-sourced service provider, offering assistance in various areas such as marketing, firmware design and dealer programs.
The AC50 Index will aggregate industry sentiment and provide valuable data for benchmarking and analysis. Finally, the Access Control Summit will gather security industry influencers for training and networking opportunities.
“ACS23 was a testament to the positive changes happening within the industry,” says Odess. “While there is still work to be done, the collective enthusiasm and dedication of the attendees indicated a bright future. The event successfully brought together professionals from different generations, fostering diversity and collaboration.”
Paul Ragusa is the senior editor for Locksmith Ledger International, an Endeavor Business Media Security publication. He is a longtime security industry editor formerly with Security Systems News.