Security Xchange, Burnsville, Minn., an industry event that is specifically designed to facilitate face-to-face meetings with top-level executives from leading security integrators with manufacturers and solutions providers, hosted its annual event at The Lodges at Deer Valley, Park City, Utah.

Integrators and solutions providers met for invitation-only, focused, scheduled meetings each of the two days the event was held, with additional networking opportunities available throughout the day and during the lunches and dinners.

“This event is absolutely more focused than most,” said Franco van Heijningen, vice president of technology, Niscayah, Duluth, Ga. “You can see a lot of people that you are interested in seeing in a very short period of time and it is not a huge investment to do that here.”

Jim DelFineo, who has attended for three years, pointed out that the conversations are more valuable at Security Xchange.

“This event is unique in the fact that you don’t get an opportunity to meet with, especially in a two-day period, the amount of world-class manufacturers, integrators and end users than you do here or get to spend time with them in a setting where it is conducive to having conversation.”

At Security Xchange, the meetings are set up by event staff, and the meeting attendees are guided through a pre-meeting communication process that is purposefully designed to make the meeting as productive for both sides as it can be.

John Nemerofsky, president, TSS International, Trevose, Pa., emphasized the value of that service.

“It can be a difficult, time-consuming process to set up meetings at other traditional events,” Nemerofsky said. “Here at the Xchange, it is very simple. As a supplier, we are in one beautiful suite to meet with as many as 24 people during a two-day period that are all decision-makers at their companies.”

Getting meetings between decision-makers to happen was exactly the vision Greg Geisler had in mind when he founded the event.

“I used to own a trade show company and ran a traditional trade show,” Geilser said. “The problem with the trade show model is that there is usually a defined one percent top tier of attendees that has probably 30 or 40 percent of the buying power. What I found in the trade show industry was that while we served 99 percent of the industry, we weren’t serving that top one percent that had all the buying power.”

So Geilser sold the company and launched Security Xchange in 2001.

“People I talked to at that buying level generally told me that ‘Trade shows serve a vital purpose for the industry, just not for me,’” Geilser said. “They rarely met their peers in the booth, and even if they did they would have ad hoc discussions. No one was prepared to delve into specific discussions — so the construct really came from the integrators — we go to them first and ask them what their challenges are and what products they are looking for and what services they need to offer to their customers and plan the event from there.”

“Our focus is on creating alliances and partnerships — and that’s why we insist on the senior-level teams from the integrators and the suppliers. It becomes a much more strategic discussion,” Geisler said.

“When you are done at 5 o’clock on that second day you do feel really empowered about what you have done and excited about where you are going and about all the opportunities that are in front of you,” Nemerofsky said.