For a show that was on track to have record attendance, having to postpone ISC East due to Hurricane Sandy and quickly reschedule it during the holiday season was a powerful blow. Many did not know what to expect from ISC East this year. But spirits were high during the first day.

“I always find something of interest at these shows. I’ve been coming here for 20 years,” said Pennington, N.J.-based Daniel Hogan, president of Hogan Security Group. “My expectations were that I would find some interesting technologies and services; and I have.” Hogan was joined by one of his clients from Princetion University, where the company recently installed an access control system for student dormitories.

“This event has definitely exceeded my expectations,” said Don Erickson, chief executive officer of the Security Industry Association. “We have 175 exhibitors out of 180 that had committed to the original ISC East. We lost a few, primarily due to scheduling conflicts. But talking to people around the show floor there has been a lot of positive feedback. I think the floor looks great and the traffic has been solid throughout the day. I’m particularly impressed by the education sessions. It’s literally been standing-room only for every session. For a show that had to be put together in just a few weeks, it’s a very good production.”

Some of the stand-out education sessions included a panel on “Contracting with the U.S. Government: How to Grow Your Federal Business” that had a practical approach for small to medium security companies to getting and working on government projects.

One of the prominent trends for 2013 is moving to a services-based business plan. Reflecting that, another popular session was “Cloud RMR Opportunities for Integrators,” which was followed by “Building a Video-Driven Services Business.”

Robert Vezina, president of Life Safety Commercial Fire & Security Services, Buffalo, N.Y., and Michael Vezina, vice president, national accounts at the company, attended ISC East this year after being prompted by one of their vendors. R. Vezina noted that he had not attended the show in recent years because of a perception that it was a very regional event. They decided to attend this year to show support for the city after Sandy and to explore new opportunities up with vendors they work with in addition to learning about new companies.”

M. Vezina said, “I didn’t have huge expectations because this is the first time I’ve personally been [at ISC East]… I like the fact that it’s a little more intimate. You get some time with people and don’t feel rushed. It was a good size to actually have meaningful conversations with people.”

Roy Hood, account executive at COPS Monitoring commented, “With the storm and the show being rescheduled, everybody anticipated a lower turnout. But I was pretty surprised with the people on the floor today. We’re very appreciative of the dealers who did come out.”

Several vendors noted that while the show was smaller than in previous years, quality of leads is more important than quantity; and that the people who attended were fully engaged and truly wanted to be there to find solutions that could help their businesses.