With the Securing New Ground™ conference coming up on Nov. 1, SDM caught up with SIA’s chief executive officer, Don Erickson, to find out what attendees can expect from this year’s conference. Erickson noted the event is being reenergized with a very strong program and a new location while maintaining its signature mix of end users, C-level executives, and financiers for unparalleled networking and education. Here are just five of the many reasons why this is a must-attend event.

1. Unique education sessions led by industry thought-leaders

“An incredible amount of time went into developing compelling topics from cloud computing, to providing a holistic view of physical security globally,” Erickson highlighted. “And I think many of the topics are unique. We have some new speakers such as McCowen and he’s going to talk about risk and how it relates to cyber security and research and development opportunities, and public/private partnerships.”

Among the highlighted sessions are The Global View of Physical Security, bringing the outline of the physical security market into sharper focus in the wake of economic tsunamis felt around the globe. This, the opening session of the conference, will be moderated by Gordon Hope, Jr., manager AlarmNet Communications, Honeywell and presented by Don Erickson, Jay Hauhn, chief technology officer, Tyco Integrated Security and Jim McHale, founder of Memoori Business Intelligence.

Brett Bontrager will keynote the conference with a presentation of The Journey of Stanley Security Solutions, discussing the building of a platform, globalizing a value proposition, and the next frontier.

Erickson continued, “We’ve designed a conference that appeals to people who are real decision-makers in the industry,” Erickson highlighted. “What attracts them to the conference is the compelling agenda, but also that we’re providing information they’re not going to find anywhere else. You won’t be able to search [online] and find these insights in a blog. This is fresh research that’s being brought into the conference.”

2. Networking opportunities

The conference annually attracts more than 200 senior executives from the security industry, 95 percent of whom hold executive management positions with their companies. Dealers and integrators make up 35 percent of the conferences audience.  The financial sector has representation just around 20 percent and executives from manufacturer companies changing today’s security space make up another third of the conference’s attendees. This blend ensures that discussions can not only be profound, but also highly applicable to business planning.

Erickson commented, “On the networking side, SNG has always been known as a terrific networking event. It’s very unique in the industry. With SIA — as an organization that is probably one of the biggest services we provide to our members: networking opportunities. With the caliber of people coming to this event, it’s going to be an amazing networking event. Whether it’s to discuss strategies, what competitors are doing, new products coming to the market, trends, and more.”

3. Exclusive First Look at the Security 500, SDM Forecast and Integrator of the Year Award

Mark McCourt , group publisher for Security and SDM magazines and the founder and author of the Security 500, will unveil the 2012 Security 500 and SDM Forecast.

The health and viability of the electronic security industry is measured each year through SDM’s Industry Forecast Study, conducted annually since 1981. Through the Industry Forecast Study, which samples SDM’s subscriber base of installing security dealers and systems integrators, we get a depiction of the strength of the industry as measured by revenue increases and decreases, expected growth for the coming year, pricing trends for systems and services such as monitoring, and challenges that installing companies face.

The Security 500 Benchmarking Report ranks the leading security programs and identifies the critical issues on which thought-leading security executives are focusing.  Mark McCourt will present for the first time the 2012 Security 500 sharing the biggest challenges and targets for where billions of dollars will be invested to manage enterprise risk and improve security.  The 2012 Security 500 presentation will showcase our profession’s leaders and their organizations.

4. Timely research from SIA

“Another thing we’re going to be doing is getting the pulse of CEOs through a survey SIA is doing a week or two before the event to get their understanding of the business climate,” Erickson said. “That’s a good example of how SIA can provide unified data in a dynamic way and have a panel respond to it.”

All attendees will also receive a free copy of the 2012 SIA Securing New Ground™ Annual Report, a compendium of primary research and market information designed to help plan and grow your business. The information ranges from financial and transaction data to technology, market and customer trends.

5. Location, location, location

“Reflective of the high caliber audience, we have a new venue,” Erickson said. “We’re going to do it at the Conrad Hotel, which I think is more conducive to the fresh thinking that’s going into the conference this year and a different approach to making it more relevant. We’ve seen an uptick in attendance in these final weeks.”

For the second year, Securing New Ground will form part of Security Week — starting with ISC East on Tuesday Oct. 30 and closing with Securing New Ground on Nov. 2, from Hell’s Kitchen to the Financial District.