Ask an ASIS Champion: Craft Your Intention and Message with Suzanna Alsayed
Ahead of GSX 2022, the GSX Daily team reached out to ASIS members around the world to learn more about the security challenges they’ve faced in the past two years, the educational sessions they’re looking forward to in Atlanta, and advice they have for their security peers.
Here are some insights from Suzanna Alsayed, MDEM, founder and CEO of security marketing and branding agency Evolutz, Inc., and a member of the ASIS Toronto Chapter. Alsayed is a regular contributor to Security Management and is focused on driving fresh conversations across the industry while fostering a network of innovative, creative, and passionate security professionals.
GSX Daily: What area of security do you work in?
Alsayed: My expertise is in security and emergency management; however, nowadays my energy as the founder and CEO of Evolutz, Inc., is set on growing my marketing and branding agency. Hence, I find myself in a niche market, focusing on helping companies and professionals market and brand themselves and/or their products in a unique way to stand out from their competition, grow their ROI, and make a mark within and outside the security industry.
GSX Daily: What networking activity at GSX 2022 are you most looking forward to?
Alsayed: I am looking forward to networking with as many security professionals as I can, walking the expo floor, and visiting booths and finding out what everyone is doing or selling. I am excited about attending the after-hours networking events (Canada Night, Texas Night, etc.), and I have the ability to finally meet professionals after two years of virtual events. So many professionals became virtual friends over the years, and it is finally time to celebrate these friendships in person!
GSX Daily: What advice do you have for first-time GSX attendees?
Alsayed: I was a first-time attendee in 2018, as one of the Young Professional GSX Experience recipients, and I took it upon myself to prepare for GSX like there was no tomorrow. At that time, I was 3.5 months away from graduating from my master’s degree in disaster and emergency management, and my goal for this conference was to find a management job in security. I checked all the networking events and courses, registered for all available media events to get exposure, reached out to more than 100 professionals in advance on LinkedIn to see if they would be willing to meet with me, printed 50+ resume copies, made basic business cards with my dad, bought several new suit jackets and comfortable shoes, and prepared my 30-second elevator pitch. When I was there, I took advantage of every interaction, soaked everything in like a sponge, and focused on achieving my goal.
When the conference was over, I grabbed a coffee at the airport and began journaling my experience. I wrote the following: “I only slept four hours a day, met 350+ professionals, gave out all my resumes, I am exhausted, I have no energy… but the security industry is for me. I can build a home here.”
And here we are five years later—GSX and that initial exposure really changed my life. I got a job three months later as an operations manager and made my dream a reality.
My advice is to soak in the conference and the opportunities that come with it, work for what you want, pour your energy into it, stay organized, state exactly what you want to achieve, and visualize the end goal. If you work for it and stay consistent, you will see the fruits of your labor come to fruition.
GSX Daily: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten so far about attending security conferences or events?
Alsayed: I remember speaking to someone who told me, “Suzanna, you can be the most educated person in the room, but if you do not know how to build and maintain relationships, you won’t be able to advance in our or any industry. Everything is word of mouth. Everyone talks. Especially in security, it is a small world.” I live by that every day.
GSX Daily: What’s a book, podcast, poem, or movie that’s influenced your work or your life that you would recommend to others?
Alsayed: I love this question since it brings a human side to security. I spend a lot of my time digesting content and doing research because of my line of work. I read daily about geopolitics, linguistics, security technology, AI, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), trending topics, etc. So, when I have down time to consume personal content, I am very specific and strategic.
My personal content is focused on motivation, personal growth and development, law of attraction, meditation/healing/classical music, and especially recently my time has been concentrated on writing my book.
Here is a list of books, podcasts, and movies that have had an influence in my life in the last three years:
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- Big Conversations with Haley Hoffman Smith (Available on Spotify)
- The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
- The Secret (Documentary) by Rhonda Byrne
- The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
It is good to read books, listen to podcasts, watch motivational movies; however, if they are not actively and consistently applied to your daily life and routine, it will just be passing information. Understanding the content and keeping yourself accountable is what will really make a difference in your life!
Claire Meyer is managing editor of Security Management, the publisher of the GSX Daily. Connect with her at [email protected] or on LinkedIn.