This past month the ASIS Middle East Security Conference and Expo, the first of four 2013 global conferences, took place in Dubai. While work obligations kept me in the States, ASIS Chairman of the Board, Eduard Emde, CPP, kindly went in my place and he reports that the event drew record numbers – 533 security professionals from 40 countries – with attendees noting the quality of the education, including outstanding speakers and excellent networking opportunities. This success is consistent with the trend we have seen in recent years of increased growth both in our membership and attendance at our global conferences.
Although ASIS membership predominantly resides in the United States, our international ranks have seen marked increases in recent years. Our top recruiters in the 2012 Member-Get-a-Member program, AP Boom, CPP, PSP and Klas Nilsson, CPP, PCI, PSP, are from outside the United States. Also, two of our fastest growing chapters are Mexico City and Ghana. In fact, non-U.S. professionals now make up 28% of our membership.
Our first line of support for this worldwide community is our global network of chapters, 230 strong, that provide local programming and networking opportunities. ASIS education offerings have also expanded to include more webinars and e-Learning. Security Management has produced several terrific digital editions of their award winning magazine. In addition, ASIS offers conferences in Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and New York City where practitioners can connect with peers from across these regions, get hands-on-demonstrations of new technologies, and keep up to date on trends and best practices. The education components at these programs benefit from our partnership with (ISC)2 and the expertise of the CSO Roundtable, which now provides educational sessions tailored specifically to the needs of senior security practitioners.
The ASIS European Security Conference next month in Gothenburg, Sweden, will feature a robust CSO Roundtable track, a technology and solution’s theater, and a high quality educational lineup that covers everything from continuity to crisis management. Weeks later, practitioners will gather in the USA for the East Coast’s largest security and law enforcement conference and exposition, at ASIS NYC, taking place May 8-9 at the Javits Center in New York City. Now in its 23rd year, this year’s event includes the colocation of the Computer Forensics Show and CyBit. This joint programing will bring together investigators, legal, IT security, and cyber security professionals and offer ASIS NYC participants the opportunity to attend more sessions, see more exhibits, and collaborate with a wider audience of peers.
And, of course, we have our one, truly international event, the Annual Seminar and Exhibits, taking place September 24-27 in Chicago. This year’s program will feature a blockbuster lineup of keynotes including Steve Wozniak, Apple Computer Co-founder (and former Dancing With the Stars contestant!), access to a wide-array of tech wizardry, 200+ education sessions, and the opportunity to connect with 20,000+ colleagues. Stay tuned to www.asis2013.org for program updates in the coming weeks.
These offerings reflect our commitment to support members throughout the world—not only in places where our membership is robust, but in the areas where our footprint is still expanding. As befits their name, our volunteer leaders have been essential in shaping these events and helping ASIS raise its profile. Whether it’s from chapters building support within their communities, dedicated speakers and council members devoting time and expertise to our programs, or the tireless work being done on committee assignments across the association, we all benefit from the diversity and collective experience of our 38,000+ members. If you have not yet done so, I encourage you to consider taking the step to get involved with ASIS and help direct the future of our profession and professional association. Visit the Volunteer Leadership section of our site to learn about available opportunities. Together, we can continue advancing security worldwide.