Virtual events have become the new normal and the risks associated with mass physical gatherings have created space for the new generation of security industry events such as Security Summit 2021 which managed to bring together more than 3000 professionals from almost 100 countries.
Building upon its earlier stellar track record, the second virtual edition of Security Summit, held from 4th to 6th May, managed to break new grounds with its achievements. Nearly 1,200 people registered for it for the first time, making a total of 3,282 attendees on the b2match platform. Security Summit has become a genuine international event due to the fact that it welcomed guests from as many as 96 countries. Compared to its 2019 edition which took place in North Macedonia, the number of countries which the guests came from has literally tripled (from 32 to 96).
In line with this, one can safely say that Security Summit has outgrown the borders of the Adriatic region and become one of the most significant events in Central, Southeast and Eastern Europe, with a significant number of exhibitors and visitors from across the globe. Around half of them come from Southeast Europe, followed by Central and Eastern Europe as well as Western and Southwest Europe. It was also interesting to note the presence of attendees from South America, with the first-time sponsor from this region coming from Argentina.
This year, Security Summit had 71 sponsors and exhibitors. Cathexis Europe, Huawei, MOBOTIX and appeared as platinum sponsors, while Dahua Technology, Eagle Eye, Hikvision Digital Technology, Secura, Seagate Technology, SoftGuard Technologies, Špica, 360 Vision Techology, Vanderbilt i ComNet played the role of gold sponsors. Special sponsors were key industrial organizations such as ASIS, ONVIF, asmag and CoeSS that were joined by the numerous regional professional associations from SE Europe and a large number of media representatives from all corners of the globe.
This year’s event managed to push the envelope when it comes to the technical features of its native platform. The most noticeable change is the completely redesigned scene. Visuals, lights, audio and other features have been elevated to a higher level in order to match the quality of the physical event. Much has been done to make the platforms as accessible yet as efficient as possible. Everything was hyperlinked, including virtual lobby, main hall and all side events rooms which were intuitively connected with the profiles of the exhibitors so that visitors could reach the desired companies in the easiest manner.
Other technical highlights of the event include Join Virtual Booth feature which makes a sponsor permanently available to every visitor of the company profile who decides to communicate directly via video call. Double confirmation of the meetings was made possible together with direct display of promotional videos on the company profile. Attendees could access presentations held by company representatives directly from their profile. In addition, each company could fill in their complete profiles for each of the categories in the Marketplace for product placement with video, image and text material. Also, sponsors could view the data and inquiries of all interested parties in one place, as well as check who sent their data directly via the Connect with Exhibitor option available on the exhibitor's profile. Links to company profiles on social networks were made available as well as data on their annual turnover and number of employees. Finally, the organizers supported making one-click requests for meetings or sending messages to all visitors featured on an easily searchable list.
Highlights from the Conference Program
Security Summit’s tradition is a strong conference program with speakers from reputable security companies or professional associations. This year, 14 main lectures were held while 11 successfully realized projects were presented. The program in the main conference hall was supplemented by 21 corporate seminars taking place in the virtual side event halls.
- Leo Levit, the new president of ONVIF and the director of system integration at Axis, spoke about the interoperability of products and systems from different manufacturers. According to him, 500 companies have taken advantage of affordability, component selection flexibility and the development of secure systems, with the number of interoperable products exceeding 20,000 for the first time. However, the real novelty is the information that, in addition to Profile M for standardization of meta-analytics i.e. data transfer from one system to another, ONVIF is also developing Profile D for access control for the first time. This has been a stumbling block for decades because access control has always been proprietary and thus mutually inoperable.
- Jakub Kozak, Genetec's sales manager for Eastern and Central Europe, gave an overview of the security industry in the past year based on research involving 1,500 experts from several verticals. With the fact that the number of cyber attacks has increased and that at least 67% of companies intend to invest in cyber security, the research has shown that the transition to cloud or hybrid cloud infrastructure is happening right before our eyes, with 37% of organizations already undergoing this digital transformation. The pandemic only accelerated that process.
- Radoslaw Kedzia, Huawei’s Vice President for Central, Eastern and Northern Europe, discussed the industrial revolution fueled by 5G technology. According to data available to his company, AI will be adopted by 97% of large companies by 2025, while full adoption of the cloud will happen 1-3 years earlier than expected, with 86% of managers expecting increased investment in digital transformation. The 5th generation mobile network will enable the flow of ever-increasing amounts of data, which will have a strong impact on many industries. As an example, he mentioned an interesting application in 5G smart mining, i.e. the option to remotely control machinery in mines, which will finally give miners a safer working environment than the one in which they are often exposed to risks.
- Former Securitas employee in Croatia Maja Krejči has launched a startup that will soon present the first marketplace for security services, which they call ZuluHood. It is a concept that follows in the footsteps of well-known services such as Airbnb or Uber, but this time for a market in which, for some reason, this type of service has not come to life. In one place, the user will be able to search for providers, get price information and pay for any desited service, from hiring security guards for a few days during the holidays to installing an alarm system for a few months. If it comes to life, a marketplace like this will greatly change the supply and demand for security services, just as it happened with Netflix, Amazon or Booking.
An interesting innovation also comes from the Argentinian company SoftGuard. To help prevent violence in crime-ridden countries like Mexico, Colombia and Peru, the company has developed an app that any citizen can easily use to report violations of the law. Users can simply press the panic button and call an ambulance, police or firefighters. It can also be used to call security guards in case of fear for one’s own life, but also to monitor the distancing from people with COVID. It is a practical solution for which they want to find partners for the markets in the European countries.