My experience at the Annual Seminar & Exhibits always begins on Sunday. From the moment I arrived at the registration area there was a sense of newness about this year’s conference. My first meeting of the day was with the Utilities Security Council at our annual face-to-face meeting. Apart from meeting with friends and colleagues, the greatest take-away is the information shared around the table. This was followed by the ASIS Town Hall meeting where I was able to gain insight into changes within our organization, first hand from ASIS leaders. For me, Sunday’s meetings set the tone for the total immersion in information, networking and sheer fun to follow.
While I spend considerable time selecting the seminars I want to attend each year, I find dialogue to be the greatest value at the Seminar & Exhibits. The renewed format this year allowed for optimum networking. I spent time at the Impact Learning Theatres to gain insights into new technologies. I met up with peers at the Councils hub and in the Certification Lounge. And I dropped into the Diamond Buyers Lounge for a dedicated one-to-one conversation with a vendor. There is no better way to learn and have my questions answered than these settings. ASIS has done a wonderful job bringing all of these venues together onto the show floor so that my time is well spent on the Exhibits floor.
I appreciated the newly formatted general sessions each morning. And the keynotes this year were excellent. My time at the luncheons is always spent learning about those who sit at my table and about their work and experiences. I never come way from this conference with less than 30 new contacts that become part of my professional network.
Kicking off this year’s conference with the Opening Night Celebration on Sunday nwas a brilliant move. It was vibrant and it was the perfect way to pick up the energy that drives ASIS, and the President’s Reception at AT&T Stadium on Wednesday night was a perfect bookend. After four days of focused engagement at the conference, my time at the President’s Reception reminded me that we are all part of something much bigger than we typically experience in our daily lives.
The Annual Seminar & Exhibits in Dallas felt like renewal to me. It was rich, it was fun and it gave me a total immersion in the information and resources I need to develop as a security professional. I cannot wait for the 2018 conference in Las Vegas!
Doug Powell, CPP, PSP