Neither McAfee nor Kaspersky will have stands at the annual chest-beating contest that is Infosec this year, as the two industry giants look to splash their marketing moolah in a more targeted manner.
Taking place from 29 to 31 April at Earls Court, this year's extravaganza will feature more than 325 exhibitors, according to its organisers, but two of the security industry's leading lights won't be among them.
In previous years, when big names haven't turned up they have been notable by their absence, with no-shows perceived in some quarters as sending the wrong message to the market. At least to the more materialistic observer, the vendor with the biggest and glitziest stand must be the one investing the most in the market.
Not so, says Kaspersky, who says its decision to sidestep the silverback contest this year was driven by its desire to pour its marketing money into cracking the enterprise market.
It has, however, taken space on the stands of its two distributors, Wick Hill and Computerlinks, to "show support for the channel", said consumer and SMB sales director Lee Sharrocks.
"A lot of companies go to Infosec year after year almost on autopilot, but is it the best use of their time?," he questioned.
"We don't need that kind of brand recognition, but we will be having lots of meetings with the people who matter at a partner and end-user level. We are not being arrogant here, but we are [moving] into the enterprise space and have to do that at a personal level – you can't do that through broad marketing."
Although Kaspersky initially told organisers it planned to take a stand this year, Sharrocks stressed no formal booking was ever made and a decision to spend its money elsewhere was taken as far back as last summer.
In a statement, McAfee UK&I channel director Spencer Starkey confirmed the Intel-owned vendor will be another notable absentee, for a second year running.
"McAfee will not be attending Infosecurity Europe 2014 and will once again focus on specific and targeted activity and events directly as well as through our channel partners," he said.
"We're committed to our customers, partners and the marketplace in general, and work closely with them to protect against the evolving threat landscape with a ‘Security Connected' approach in this targeted fashion."
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