Intersec, the world’s leading security, safety, and fire protection trade fair, will open doors early next year in Dubai, with organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East providing a safe and vital environment to reconnect and restart business in 2021.
The 23rd edition of the annual three-day event will take place from 24-26 January 2021 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), as global players look to get the New Year off to a commercially successful start.
Intersec 2021 will also signify an important milestone; it will be the first major international security, safety, and fire exhibition to take place since covid-19 forced countries to shut their borders and impose nationwide lock-downs, leading to the postponement of live events worldwide.
Now, global travel restrictions are easing, and events have ‘relaunched’, both internationally, and in Dubai, which hosted its AI Everything Conference at DWTC last month – the first physical event at the venue since March 2020.
And with Intersec 2021 fast-approaching, we spoke with Show Director Alexandria Robinson, who outlined the latest updates, including a new show format, the health and safety procedures in place, and why Intersec remains more relevant than ever in a post-pandemic world.
What has the Intersec team been up to since the last edition of the show in January 2020? The last few months have been about maintaining our connection with the industry and staying front of mind among our stakeholders. In the absence of being able to meet and connect in person, we’ve been very active in the online space through industry webinars and these have been very popular with thousands of visitors and exhibitors taking part.
We had a hugely successful show in 2020 and the feedback from participants was extremely positive, with some citing it as one of the best editions yet.
What followed was obviously a very challenging period for all. What I have seen is a united industry, many of whom have played a significant role in the safety of our communities that are committed to leading from the front – and that starts in 2021 with meeting up at Intersec.
What will be the main themes of Intersec 2021?
The fundamental theme will be securing a safer world. We’ve all witnessed a dramatic shift in the way the world functions and we know that our communities have been working tirelessly during these times to protect, secure and keep us safe.
Many have adapted their product lines to help fight for a safer future and we want to make sure they are able to showcase all of this good and valuable work in January.
Tell us more about the hybrid model at Intersec 2021 and how exhibitors and visitors can benefit?
Events have had to make a fundamental shift from what we have known and traditionally delivered each year. I would say we have learnt a huge amount over the past few months and it’s very exciting to see that put into action with the first Intersec hybrid in January 2021.
By introducing virtual elements to the event – live streaming conferences with full two way interaction we know that we can serve a valuable and enjoyable experience to an even larger audience. And of course most importantly those visitors whom cannot physically get to the venue.
An important part of the hybrid offering is an AI-powered matchmaking app using behaviours as well as interests to match suppliers and buyers together, whom can then go on to a one to one communications platform for further discussion.
There really are no limits with hybrid events and we will work closely with our exhibitors to ensure they get the most out of these additional ways to engage from their stands.
Which exhibitors have committed to the show in 2021 so far?
At the forefront are our government partners and major supporting stakeholders, the Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Police, the Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA), Dubai Police Academy, and Dubai Municipality. These industry bodies are imperative to the development and success of the show, and we’re very pleased to have them involved again in January.
We also have a great mix of returning and quite a few new brands next year. NAFFCO, one of the world’s leading producers and suppliers of top-tier firefighting equipment, fire protection equipment, security and safety engineering systems, spearheads our Fire & Rescue exhibitors along with Draeger, Honeywell, and Hochiki.
Many of the world’s biggest security brands are also back including Hikvision, Dahua, Pelco, IDIS, and Mobotix, Seagate, Bodet and Infiniteplay. While leading Perimeter and Physical Security players Gunnebo, HS Security, and Arma Kontrol will also be present.
The key Safety & Health brands on board include Carrington Textiles, 3M, Jutec, Giasco, and Cofra. And with Homeland Security & Policing there’s names such as Adani, Comelit Group, and Gatekeeper.
What are the health and safety measures you’ll have in place?
Dubai authorities have already issued their safety guidelines for organisers to follow as they look to ‘restart’ exhibitions and conferences, and we’ll be implementing and communicating these accordingly both leading up to and during the event.
These measures include temperature or thermal screening of attendees at all main entrances, wearing face masks, maintaining the appropriate physical distancing, sanitisation of the venue at regular intervals, and the provision of hand sanitiser dispensers across the exhibition.
We’re also looking at ways to reduce physical contact points during the show, so for example we’re encouraging attendees to preregister online, print their badges at home, and collect their lanyards at designated hygienic pick-up points throughout the venue.
It’s worth noting that the UAE has been at the forefront of the global fight against covid-19. The country recently reopened its borders to international visitors and business travellers from the beginning of July, while the first physical event since March 2020 took place at the Dubai World Trade Centre on 15 July 2020, with all the appropriate measures in place to keep participants safe and healthy.
From next year on, Intersec will co-locate with three other Messe Frankfurt Middle East-organised shows – how will this benefit attendees?
As organisers we are always looking at how we can build value for visitors and exhibitors into the future. And this year we found an important future trend that made the co-location of Intersec, Light Middle East, Middle East Clean Technology week and Intelligent Buildings essential.
At a time when changing workplace demographics come with increasing occupant expectations of modern and flexible space design, improved comfort and hygiene, productivity, and pervasive connectivity, asset owners stand to benefit greatly from the use of building intelligence in order to meet space optimization, energy efficiency, safety, security, and connectivity challenges.
The co-location of these four important events, will provide the first trade platform where systems integration of Security, Lighting, AV, Fire & Safety and Cleaning Technology is at the core.
These shows together will provide developers, architects, system integrators, facility and building operators, managers and owners everything they need to create Smart, Safe, Secure, Connected and Sustainable buildings and infrastructure.
What will be the key themes of the conferences next year?
New for the next edition is our 2021 technical Fire Summit which has been created to not only cover a wider range of essential topics including passive fire learnings but also to allow us to delve deeper into industry specific fire challenges and trends such as the energy and utilities industries.
The Future Security Summit this year returns afresh with a different module format targeting different groups of security professionals from task force to c-level.
And a very exciting development is our much expanded focus on cyber security following the increasing attacks and challenges faced by all sectors and all organisations on a daily basis.
Delegates will be able to learn how to secure their assets and limit their digital vulnerabilities with experts on hand to share practical and manageable advice.
The complete content programme is put together in consultation with the industry and our advisory boards who are essential to ensuring we keep Intersec valid and relevant for our audiences.
What else will be be new at Intersec 2021?
Health and Safety has been top of mind in recent months for obvious reasons, and we will see more exhibitors displaying Personal Protective Equipment and other safety clothing. Working with some recognised designers we are keen to see how we can turn PPE into being stylish and safe.
Whilst not new – the drone display is highly relevant today – with governments across the globe using drones to disinfect, sterilise, assess and patrol cities. They have played a pivotal role in control and prevention. We will see the very latest technological developments and what the next step is.
What’s your key message for attendees to Intersec 2021?
Intersec in January is the first major international security, safety, and fire exhibition to take place since covid-19 lead to the postponement of live physical events worldwide.
There is no greater need to come together and share experiences, insights, learnings and to discuss the future in a safe and secure way.
In an industry that is frontline in so many ways – it will be Intersec that will once again lead the way for reconnecting, rebuilding and securing business for the future.
We have a packed program.
I am excited and eager to bring the industry back together once again in Dubai.