Starting with ASIS, the fall trade show, and conference schedule is packed with networking opportunities — particularly in the law enforcement and municipal security arenas. Anyplace, where there is a flock of potential new customers milling around, should be attractive to a security integrator, but these events also provide an opportunity for education to gain a deeper understanding of various markets.
As any security integrator who works in the world of municipal and government security knows, getting buy-in, partnership and guidance from the upper echelon of the law enforcement and public safety community is paramount to success. Consider our event, Secured Cities, as a gateway to those decision-makers, along with an opportunity to learn in great detail the pain-points of these important — and often untapped — end-users.
Secured Cities, which is in Houston from Nov. 15-17, focuses on the full spectrum of public safety — the traditional disciplines of law enforcement, fire, EMS; but also campus safety for schools, universities and healthcare facilities, transit security, and safety for virtually any public space.
The conference has “a broad enough focus to encompass security in all its forms and delve into the communications challenges (which includes video monitoring, access and more) faced by ALL public safety disciplines,” says Frank Borelli, editorial director for the Southcomm Law Enforcement Group.
Although public safety may be considered a niche market among many security integrators, it is growing fast. And like another emerging security market — schools — these are potential customers with big budgets.
“Often, we are dealing with a fairly unsophisticated agency infrastructure that is great at policing and providing public safety, but perhaps not with technology,” says Conference Director Steve Lasky. “These are people who need a trusted security partner who can help them with securing funding, specification and design, implementation, and then they need someone there to handle service and maintenance after the systems are in place.”
Indeed, these potential customers have access to a variety of sources for funding of security programs. The Department of Homeland Security and FEMA have a variety of grant programs targeted specifically at public safety — and part of the security integrator’s job is to know what’s out there that can be applied to technology and maintenance purchases.
“It is a specialized, largely untapped market where integrators can gain a foothold,” Lasky says. “There are not a lot of competitors.” That said, Lasky adds that many large integration firms are already regular attendees of the annual event.
Beyond the networking opportunities, peer-led education sessions will give integrators a much greater sense of what the potential public safety customer needs, their security concerns, and where they need help. Integrators will learn how some municipalities have implemented a public-private partnership — often the catalyst for getting these projects off the ground.
Additionally, the 2016 Secured Cities Conference will include behind-the-scenes security tours of the Houston Emergency Management Center, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and NRG Stadium, home of the NFL’s Houston Texans.
If you have the IT network expertise and IP video proficiency, there is a public safety customer out there for you. I encourage you to go find them at Secured Cities. Please visit www.securedcities.com to learn more.
Paul Rothman is Editor in Chief of Security Dealer & Integrator (SD&I) magazine. Access the current issue and full archives at www.secdealer.com.