The security channel remains divided over whether Infosec 2009 can defy the economic gloom and outstrip last year’s show.
Europe’s premier IT security fair, which takes place next week, is moving from Olympia to Earl’s Court this year but some are in doubt as to whether it will live up to its grand new location.
Last year’s show topped visitor number expectations but was marred by the absence of some top names, including Symantec, Blue Coat and Trend Micro. Many of the bigger players have returned for 2009 but the jury is still out on whether Infosec has passed its peak.
Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of security distributor Wick Hill, is among those increasing his firm’s investment this year.
“We expect it to be bigger,” he said. “We did Cebit five weeks ago and the security area was just packed, while you could see the tumbleweed blowing around in other areas such as telecoms. We took 1,000 leads – up on the 750 we took the year before.”
He added: “Security is still hot and people are still spending money. When security is making the main news my expectation is that the show will be bigger.”
However, other distributors and resellers weren’t so sure.
Kay Bruen, UK managing director of distributor Westcon Security, said: “The new venue will not make much difference in terms of visitor numbers. Infosec has almost run its course and is getting like Networks in the 1990s. It does not deliver as much value as it used to in terms of leads.”
Paul Spencer, director of VAR Axial Systems, said he would use the show to network but questioned the timing of the upgrade in venue.
“It will be interesting to see how Infosec fares as it has taken the bold move of moving to a bigger venue just as people’s budgets are under pressure,” he said. “The sign up rate for next year will be more interesting as last year’s marketing commitments were made against a completely different backdrop.”
Andy Zollo, regional director of northern Europe at security vendor SonicWall, was more positive. “We are going and have already booked up for next year,” he confirmed.
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