Taking place on 18-20 June 2019 at ExCeL London, the shows demonstrated notable visitor growth, representing 39,188 unique visitors – including thousands of international visitors from 128 countries – boasting an overall combined budget of £45.7 billion.
IFSEC International welcomed a total of 34,756 visitors, seeing growth in high-quality visitors representing 117 different countries and a combined annual purchasing budget of £23 billion showing the potential scale of investment our visitors were in a position to make. IFSEC also saw a substantial increase in visitors coming in from neighbouring shows – FIREX International, Facilities Show and Safety & Health Expo – and engaging with exhibitors.
This year saw a huge volume of installers and integrators attending the exhibition, a significantly higher number than any other UK event. In particular, IFSEC attracted thousands of installers from London and the South of England, with a combined spending power of over £470 million to spend on new products. Representation from large installation companies and TFMs this year included Pointer, Kings, Banham, Mitie, Frontline, Secom, Magnum and Trinity.
IFSEC’s growth was also demonstrated in a greater increase of distributors and channel partnerships, with the diverse range of international visitors allowing exhibitors to establish buying chains in a number of new territories, in particular the UK, Italy, Spain, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, the Nordic countries, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and more.
The growth in security end users could be particularly felt in the construction and real estate sectors, with representation from Kier, Costain, Ballymore and Mace – among others – as well as critical national infrastructure and government organisations such as Arriva Rail, Dubai Police, UK Power Networks, the United Nations, the Ministry of Defence. These numbers are particularly encouraging for next year’s co-location with Counter Terror Expo.
The positive response to IFSEC International was driven by a number of key highlights, in particular the first ever Surveillance Camera Day, launched by Tony Porter, the UK’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner. This centred on a new minimum requirement for surveillance cameras – Secure by Design – which was introduced and discussed by Porter across several well-attended keynote sessions.
Simon Young, exhibition director commented: “IFSEC International 2019 was another huge success. It’s encouraging to see the security market shift in a direction that better signifies the complementary relationship between the installer, the distributor and the end user, but also the increasing importance of the auxiliary markets in the security buying process, including facilities and health and safety. This is a goal we’ve worked hard to meet, and we’re thrilled to see it reflected in this year’s results.”
FIREX International saw an impressive four per cent increase in year-on-year visitors and a 13 per cent increase in the visitor-to-exhibitor ratio. Visitors came from 73 countries, representing a broad cross-section of the fire safety profession: 16 per cent of visitors came from the construction sector, reinforcing the interest we have seen in fire safety in the wake of Grenfell, and complementing the growth in attendance we saw at our Tall Building Fire Safety Conference this year. A further 12 per cent of our audience was involved with manufacturing, revealing a thriving sector bursting with innovation.
Finally, we witnessed a further increase in the number of fire safety installation companies in attendance, which reflects the merging of sectors we are seeing across all four shows in the series. In total, visitors had a combined annual purchasing budget of around £6.3 billion, demonstrating the wealth this sector is accumulating.
Highlighting the increasing importance of FIREX to the global fire safety market, government representation continued to increase at the event, totalling around 8% of total visitors. Furthermore, over a third of visitors were business owners or senior managers, with this increase in high-quality visitors reflected in feedback from our exhibitors.
FIREX International’s growth was driven by a programme of timely, current seminars, most notably a session outlining the findings of the Hackitt review into the Grenfell tragedy, one of the key discussions within the industry.
Furthermore, FIREX officially launched its new Egypt show, set to open on 3-5 November 2019 in Cairo. This represents a significant expansion of the FIREX brand, bringing this world-class industry events to major new markets across Africa and the Middle East.
Commenting on this year’s success, Simon Young said: “It’s been another successful year for FIREX International. We’ve continued to deliver a world-class event at the forefront of the fire safety profession – and we’ve seen this borne out in significant growth in installers, construction and manufacturing professionals and representatives from government. FIREX is critical for the industry, and the growing, high quality audience is testament to this.”
Safety & Health Expo
Safety & Health Expo saw steady visitor growth driven by an impressive selection of highlights, including a 75-hour CPD-accredited educational seminar programme, the brand-new Workplace Wellbeing Show and the new PPE Attack Zone. The 2019 inspirational speakers were a particular attraction with Steph McGovern, Eddie the Eagle and Jonny Wilkinson drawing huge crowds.
This programme helped Safety & Health Expo secure a three per cent increase in visitors and an annual purchasing budget of £7.2 billion ensuring Safety & Health Expo remains by far the largest event of its kind in the UK. Visitors came from 74 countries, with strong growth in heads of department and C-suite professionals, highlighting the show’s prestige and considerable global reach.
Event director Chris Edwards said: “The substantial increase in footfall we saw this year and the high-quality of visitors Safety & Health Expo attracts, really demonstrates how significant the event remains for the health and safety profession. We’re proud of the way it has continued to grow in scope and scale, remaining at the forefront of the industry as it evolves.”
Facilities Show also demonstrated a three per cent increase in visitors, continuing a three-year upward trend in attendance. As with the other shows, this resulted in a four per cent increase in the number of visitors per exhibitor, giving every exhibitor an increased opportunity to meet the strong numbers of TFMs, facilities directors, C-suite executives, directors, owners and heads of departments. Demonstrating the importance of this sector, the visitors to Facilities Show boasted a combined annual purchasing budget of £9.2 billion.
Among the highlights driving such strong numbers was the Smart Buildings Expo – a new area dedicated to showcasing smart buildings technology including a working replica of a smart office building, which attracted considerable attention from visitors. Facilities Show also benefited from increased footfall resulting from the inspirational speakers – a shared feature with Safety & Health Expo.
Chris Edwards said: “We’ve adapted Facilities Show to better reflect the changing face of the profession – that meant introducing new features such as the Smart Buildings Expo and the Workplace Wellbeing Show. And these developments help Facilities Show remain a critical destination for FM and workplace professionals, so we’re delighted to see that reflected in the show’s continued upward trend.”
The year ahead
These strong numbers represented the four events’ continued centrality to their respective industries. Showcasing the most innovative products, providing education and helping connect thousands of professionals with hundreds of leading exhibitors, each has proved itself an essential part of the industry calendar, reflected in the visitor growth and their continued innovation.
Next year, IFSEC International, FIREX International, Safety & Health Expo and Facilities Show will take place on 19-21 May 2020. The date change, announced earlier this year, has been made so that all four events will better reflect the industry calendar and give exhibitors and visitors a longer period of time in which to continue their conversations before the summer period – don’t forget to add it to your diaries.
Smart Buildings Expo will expand to become its own event alongside Facilities Show, and the Smart Buildings Experience in association with Vanti will return with a new, wider remit aiming to integrate even more suppliers into its programme.
Joining the events at ExCeL London next year will be Security & Counter Terror Expo, which previously took place at Olympia London. Together with IFSEC International, this will create an even more comprehensive and diverse global hub for the security industry, giving attendees a unique opportunity to access all segments of the market.