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Forum successfully debuts virtual events for the Security industry

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Forum Events & Media Group has successfully held its first virtual networking events – with over 550 individual meetings taking place within the security industry over the course of two days via virtual events.

With live events unable to take place for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Forum has expanded its cutting-edge proprietary software to create a new interface with live video meetings. This has allowed the company to create a virtual Forum platform, taking the events experience virtual. These events allow procurement executives to source new solutions, and give suppliers the opportunity to discover new clients – and ultimately, keep industries talking.

Forum’s first virtual events were the Total Security Summit and the Security IT Summit, which both match procurement professionals with suppliers for a series of pre-arranged meetings. The Summits attracted security and cyber security professionals from the likes of Amazon, Asprey London, Associated British Foods, BNP Paribas, Department of Work & Pensions, Essex County Council, HSBC, JP Morgan, Legal and General, London Stansted Airport, Manchester Airport Group, Matalan, Marriott International, National Trust, NatWest Markets, Pret A Manger, Royal Mail, Sodexo, Tesco Mobile, United International Pictures, ViacomCBS and many more.

In addition to the virtual meetings, delegates had the opportunity to ‘attend’ streamed webinar sessions hosted by industry experts.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown restrictions associated with it have had a major impact on how we, as a nation, do business,” said Forum Events & Media Group Managing Director Sarah Beall. “Exhibitions are postponed, traditional conferences and networking events are on hold for the foreseeable future. But the wheels of commerce must keep turning and businesses need to connect, particularly during these unprecedented times as companies look for practical solutions to their challenges during the pandemic.

“Like many of our colleagues in the events sector, we have a goal to #GetBritainMeeting. The events industry is a £70 billion sector that employs 700,000 people and is currently on its knees, with no ‘go date’ yet from the Government about when we can host live events.

“The events industry is full of forward-thinking individuals who are more than capable of making controlled, organised events and exhibitions COVID-secure. But with no greenlight from the Government, we cannot sit back and wait. We are creative and innovative thinkers and, like many other events businesses, we have taken our events virtual.

“The success of our first virtual events has proved that business connections can still be made in an online environment. Over 550 meetings in two days shows the potential – and we’re looking forward to hearing back from our guests about the business deals that are made as a result of this event.”

Further virtual events are on the agenda at Forum, while going forward the company is also planning ‘hybrid’ events allowing delegates to choose whether they attend the events in person or via a digital option.

In addition, Forum Events & Media Group hosted two full-day conferences recently – the Hotel Designs LIVE event aimed at hoteliers, interior designers and architects; and the PA Life LIVE conference, which brought together Executive and Personal Assistants for a full day of learning. Both digital conferences also featured ‘supplier pitch’ sessions, allowing companies to present their products, services and solutions to the respective audiences. The Hotel Designs LIVE and PA Life LIVE digital conferences will return again in the autumn.

Security IT Summit

Forum Events debuts virtual meetings & networking solution

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Forum Events and Media Group, organiser of face-to-face meetings-based events like the Total Security Summit, is launching a series of new Virtual Forums.

For over 20 years Forum has been bringing together procurement decision-makers with suppliers for pre-arranged meetings and networking at its Forums and Summits. These events have generated £millions of new business agreements between buyers and suppliers over the years.

With live events unable to take place for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Forum has expanded its cutting-edge proprietary software to create a new interface with live video meetings. This has allowed the company to create a virtual Forum platform, taking the events experience virtual. It will allow procurement executives to source new solutions, and give suppliers the opportunity to discover new clients – and ultimately, keep industries talking.

“During this unprecedented time, we have chosen to redirect our focus from live events to virtual so that we can still deliver expectations to our supporting exhibitors and create a platform to meet with high calibre decision makers face-to-face,” explained Forum Events and Media Group MD Sarah Beall.

“We cannot wait to welcome attendees back to our live events from September and have implemented a COVID-safe risk assessment at all our venues, ensuring the two-meter rule throughout, introducing temperature check and reduced numbers, but still creating the same professional and informal atmosphere of buyers and suppliers.”

“We are prepared and ready to kickstart our Forums from this month across four industries via our virtual platform. And we will continue to serve industries’ supply and demand by holding hybrid live and virtual events that are COVID-safe throughout the coming months.”

The first four virtual meeting events from Forum Events and Media Group will be:-

  • Total Security Summit – June 29th
  • Security IT Summit – June 30th
  • eTailing Summit – July 6th
  • Digital Marketing Solutions Summit – July 16th

Forum Events and Media Group is working alongside other UK events industry to promote the #GetBritainMeeting initiative aimed at kickstarting the events sector in a safe and sustainable way. The events industry employs some 700,000 people across the UK and contributes over £70 billion to the UK economy every year.

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Crises, CCTV and Cyber Crime top the total security summit

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The global landscape has experienced a rather monumental change over the last year, with security being more relevant than ever as we go into 2017.

The first Total Security Summit of the year is determined to address these issues and uncertainties in a bespoke two-day event for security professionals.

Meet, share, connect and debate business relevant to your current and future projects with matchmade face-to-face meetings, experience a day of dining, drinks and discussion as you network with fellow business professionals and attend seminars covering a range of relevant topics.

Reaching a landmark age in political global challenges and uncertainties, it’s vital to prepare for the future, protecting crowded areas, addressing terror threats and discussing counter-terrorism is Dr Anna Maria Brudenell, Lecturer in Military and Security Studies,
Cranfield Defence and Security for the first seminar on Global Security Strategy.

As terror threats continue to rise and evolve without warning, discussing and understanding the implications is crucial to develop your security in a crisis. Chris Phillips, Managing Director, International Protect and Prepare Security Office (IPPSO) is presenting seminar 2 on Crisis Management and Communications

Video surveillance is being used in greater quantity and with higher quality expectations, with Britain among the leaders in CCTV operation, but are the benefits worth the cost? With few resources and increasing legal parameters, Simon Lambert, Independent CCTV Consultants, Lambert Associates is discussing  CCTV and Video Surveillance in seminar 3.

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John Marsden, Head of Fraud, Equifax, is discussing how to identify and tackle theft as it happens, assessing risk, detecting threats and ensuring on-going training in Seminar 4: Keeping your Business’ Cash and Assets Safe and Secure

Going into your second day, and following morning networking, James Willison, Founder, Unified Security Ltd goes digital. As our dependency on technology grows, many companies are more vulnerable than ever, between data and privacy risks to ransomware, hackers are becoming more sophisticated, and businesses need to adapt quickly for Seminar 5 on Cyber Crime – the United Security Response.

With a continuing rise in companies at risk of fraud, from physical fraud to high level hacking, security needs to be tight across the board, and the final seminar before more discussion and networking addresses these fears. Fraud Prevention with David Lee, Fraud Prevention Manager, Transport for London sees the summit almost to a close.

Taking place between the 13-14 March at the Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted, this year’s Total Security Summit is the industry go-to for professionals.

To secure a complimentary delegate place at either of the two annual Total Security Summit events, call Liz Cowell on 01992 374 072 or email l.cowell@forumevents.co.uk.

Or, to attend either event as a supplier, call Nick Stannard on 01992 374 092 or email n.stannard@formumevents.co.uk.

For more information, visit www.totalsecuritysummit.co.uk.

Forum Insight: Savvy SEO tips for start-ups that won’t break the bank…

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With 50 per cent of new businesses failing within five years, recent research has revealed that many small businesses are missing out on opportunities to market online due to a lack of digital knowledge.

The research from 123 Reg found that 73 per cent said they did not advertise online and 42 per cent reported having no digital presence. SEO and other terminology also stumped 48 per cent of business owners surveyed, and only 53 per cent said their websites were easily readable via a mobile device.

“Being digitally savvy is especially important for start-ups. It can be the difference between your business being seen in the right places by the right people, and even small changes can have a huge impact,” comments Alex Minchin, founder and director of SEO agency Zest Digital.

Here, Alex shares three instantly achievable tips for small businesses looking to get started with SEO:

  1. Sign up to Google Analytics and Google Search Console and add the necessary code to your website: These are two free tools that will enable you to measure performance, even if you don’t understand it all immediately. You cannot improve something that you’re not measuring, and these tools will measure things such as; the number of visitors landing on your website, the best performing content, keywords driving traffic, any broken links or pages, and the links from other websites that are pointing back to your website.
  2. Start local: Most searches in the micro and small business world include local modifiers such as your city or county, e.g. “Plumbers in Croydon”. An easy way to start to build some gravitas towards your website is to feature on business directories. This creates ‘citations’ (mentions) of your business name and confirms your address and other details, in addition to pointing a link back to your website. It’s crucial to make sure your information is kept consistent, so finalise your details and use the same information as a template for all directories. These things will help to increase the strength and trust of your website. Just be sure to focus on reputable directories such as Touch Local, 192, Freeindex, and Opendi for example.
  3. Focus on the real basics and design each META title and description for each of the key pages on your website as a minimum: The title tag and descriptor underneath the search result is considered as a ranking factor by Google, and can positively influence your rankings for a particular keyword. Your title should include your keyword and brand name as a minimum, but try to be as creative as possible with the character limit (55 is the defacto) that you have available.  In the META description, it’s more important to include your value proposition and key information, for example “free delivery on all orders”, or “free quotation”. Remember, you’re trying to stand out to win a greater share of the clicks against the other websites competing for the same keyword so details and USPs are key.

“It’s widely reported that somewhere around 90 per cent of all purchasing decisions begin with a search engine and a search query.  SEO can therefore play a huge part in the marketing strategy of a small business.

Alex continues. “Sharing your expertise through content and delivering value to your target market is the name of the game, and it’s a playground that, whilst dominated by some larger brands, isn’t policed by them. It’s entirely possible for a small business to compete and win on this channel, and doesn’t have to involve a huge cost in doing so.”

Industry Spotlight: “It’s one of a kind and nothing like this has ever been done before”…

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Used in more than 80 countries, Pervade Software‘s solutions are leveraged by a wide audience of private and public sector clients, as well as partners ranging from independent consultants to global managed security service providers. Here, John Davies, managing director, discusses the company’s premium position in the global and UK marketplace, the challenges it faces when approaching potential clients and keeping up with industry trends…

There is a tremendous amount of competition in the sector – how does Pervade Software stand out from its competitors?

Right now, there are dozens of IT monitoring systems on the market, and pretty much all of these systems are built on relational databases – meaning they can only deal with one or two data types each. By definition, log systems only handle logs and configuration systems – as you can probably guess – only deal with configuration files. Both data types are wildly different and it is far too difficult to handle log data and configuration files in the same database. Therefore, you have two separate products: one to look at your logs, and the other to look at your configuration files and this issue is repeated across other data types such as asset management, vulnerability, file integrity, database, application performance, network monitoring etc.

We stand out from our competitors because we have developed a brand new database that can process all data types which has won major industry recognition; it’s the only one of its kind and nothing like this has ever been done before. So, we compete with all other data monitoring systems on the market because we can do the job of multiple systems in one. What’s more, we can correlate data that is normally dealt with in multiple systems providing faster and more in-depth forensics capabilities. This is not limited to IT data types either; we handle industrial control system SCADA data just as easily.

We also stand out because we have a unique compliance tracking capability.  Obviously, because we can handle all data types, we can audit all devices to collect any evidence for every technical control in any standard or policy including logs, config, asset etc.  Furthermore, we have added the ability for contributors to log in and answer non-technical compliance questions such as “Do you have a policy?”, “Do you keep records, if so provide a copy” etc. which means that all evidence of compliance can be tracked in a single configurable system and this is also unique.

 

What challenges does Pervade Software face when approaching new clients and driving new developments?

Our first challenge is that people do not believe that it can be done. The industry has always had a wide array of monitoring systems and people are used to the fact that, if they want full visibility across their whole infrastructure, then they have to have four, five, or even six monitoring systems in place – when we waltz in and say “it doesn’t have to be that way”, people are naturally suspicious, especially because we are a relatively new and unknown player in the market. We almost always have to run proof of concept evaluations, which we are perfectly happy to do.

The second challenge is that, even when people do believe what we can do it, it’s too much of a paradigm shift; too much of a change for them to implement. We’re only really attractive to early adopters at this stage in our growth and even then we tend to deploy our software alongside their existing systems, to plug any gaps in their monitoring capability or automate compliance tracking for a specific certification, and then we work on displacing their other expensive systems over time. 

 

Can you detail the main differences between the OpAudit and the OpView solutions?

OpView is the monitoring system – basically an optimised view of your IT infrastructure and security, viewing everything in one system.

OpAudit is the compliance tracking system – optimizing the way that you work towards becoming compliant, prove your compliance to auditors and maintain your compliance through time, with all evidence available in a single set of screens.

We sell them as two separate products, but actually, they run from the same central server and are part of the same system.

We believe this reflects that fact that it is becoming more and more difficult to separate IT Security from IT Compliance.  The increasing cyber threat means that everyone’s customers are demanding proof that their systems are secure and gaining certifications ranging from Cyber Essentials, IASME, ISO27001, PCI-DSS right up to NIST 800-53 is by far the best of way of demonstrating that you have the right controls on place to be as cyber secure as possible. 

 

As a company, is it challenging to keep up with and introduce new trends?

For us it’s a piece of cake as we have developed a platform that is based on a portal architecture, which makes it incredibly extensible. One of the benefits of our software is that new features or functionality needed in response to new cyber threats or compliance demands can be added as a “widget” rather than needing core code changes.  So we can keep up with the fast-moving security industry much better than our competitors. Also, their solutions can only handle certain data types, which means that they simply cannot deal with new attack vectors that are designed to be invisible to their systems.  For example, the new generation of attacks that leave no logs, which makes them invisible to an SIEM system regardless of how much money it cost.

 

You’re primarily based in Cardiff, so how is Pervade Software performing in other areas of the UK as well as internationally?

Our software is currently being used in over 80 countries and we have to deal with all queries from these countries, which, of course, come with challenges. What we’re trying to do as a business is develop a collection of channel partners located in different countries – such as system integrators, compliance consultancy firms and so forth. We need partnerships to continue our growth and to further integrate our solutions internationally and we are actively looking for these partners right now.  

 

In your opinion, do you believe industry events such as the Security IT Summit are beneficial to generating new business?

Yes – what many big conference style events do is appoint big-name speakers to present, leading to many industry professionals attending but mainly to sit in on these speaking sessions. This doesn’t help companies like us at all – if I were to set up a roll-up banner and sit at a table, people are only going to visit my stand during the coffee breaks or if they’re bored. The major expos are not much better because there are now so many vendor stands that people are completely swamped by the range of solutions they are seeing and it is difficult to differentiate

Comparing these events to the Security IT Summit, where meetings are scheduled beforehand and suppliers are guaranteed to be able to talk to serious buyers. It’s a much more beneficial use of my time. As a small company with an innovative new solution, I’d prefer to have longer more in-depth discussions than five minute sound bytes on a stand.

 

Learn more about Pervade Software here

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IN PICTURES: The Total Security Summit is the only security manager event you need

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The UK’s security industry converged on Whittlebury Hall earlier this week for the Total Security Summit.

It was one of the most successful to date, with delegates and security suppliers locked in deep conversation throughout the face-to-face meetings and copious networking opportunities.

Put simply, if you’re looking for a security manager event, this was it (but don’t worry – there’s another one coming in March – see below!).

For the uninitiated, the Total Security Summit is a unique tailor-made event for security professionals that takes place twice a year.

Delegates are given a carefully planned two-day itinerary that ensures their time spent at the event is worthwhile – they meet, share and connect with businesses relevant to their current and forthcoming projects in matchmade face-to-face meetings.

And not forgetting the extensive seminar programme – delegates and suppliers alike also had the opportunity to learn and improve security best practice strategies from Smith Consultancy Int, Alcumus Group, Nedap Security Management, ISMI and Deutsche Post DHL Group.

And did we mention the evening gala dinner? That was tremendous fun – Luckily everyone appeared bright eyed and bushy tailed for Day 2.

Thanks to all of the delegates and suppliers that took part to make the event such a success.

Here are some Twitter highlights from the two days!

 

More bespoke than a security conference and more focused than a security expo – the next Total Security Summit takes place on March 13th & 14th 2017 at the Radisson Blu London Stansted.

For more information or to book your place, call Nick Stannard on 01992 374 092 or email n.stannard@formumevents.co.uk.

 

Alternatively, visit www.totalsecuritysummit.co.uk.

Attending the Total Security Summit? Here are our top tips for security industry networking!

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If you’re coming to the next Total Security Summit (or if you’ve been to one before) you’ll know just how many opportunities there are to network with your industry peers.

The networking areas are where, as security suppliers or buyers, you can follow up on conversations you’ve had during the one-to-one meetings that form the core of the two days.

Or, you know, talk about the football.

Either way, business is more often than not about building relationships.

We create networking environments that are informal and free of any pressure – whether that’s during the plentiful coffee breaks, over the delicious lunches and gala dinner, or playing roulette as part of the evening entertainment.

To help you get the most out of these opportunities, we’ve pulled together a few top tips for becoming the consummate networker at security industry events:

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Always be yourself:
You’re among friends at the Total Security Summit, so there’s no need to feel nervous about walking into a big room of people. Our staff will be on hand to help with introductions and grease those social wheels (do come and say ‘hello’!), plus the evening entertainment lineup means fun and relaxation are the name of the game (did we mention the roulette?).

Have a think about what you want to achieve: Who’s in the room? Is there anyone you met earlier in the day that you’d like to follow up with? Whether you’re a supplier or a buyer, you’ve come to the Total Security Summit with some specific goals in mind – the networking periods are a chance to help solidify those new partnerships.

Be curious: The Total Security Summit seminars are a great place for developing your industry knowledge and learning new skills. And they always create points of discussion. So why not see what everyone else thought of the talks, or swap some ideas on the latest technological developments and trends in the security? And if you’re new to the industry, there will be seasoned veterans ready and willing to impart their wisdom!

Don’t forget your business cards! You didn’t think we could get through a whole article about networking without mentioning business cards, did you? It’s an old chestnut, but one worth re-roasting. This author has forgotten his cards more times than he cares to remember – it happens. Always keep a few spread between your wallet/purse, pockets and bag – then you’ll be able to produce one when you most need it. But don’t blanket bomb – just because you have 100 cards to give out, it doesn’t mean you have to!

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Always follow up:
You’ve given your cards out, but hopefully you’ve picked some up too! So make sure that when you get back to the office you log into LinkedIn or fire off a some emails to your new contacts while everything’s still fresh in the mind.

Follow the above tips and you won’t go far wrong. Just don’t spend too long in the bar at the end of Day One – you’ll need to be bright as a button for all the networking we have lined up on Day Two

More bespoke than a security conference and more focused than a security expo, the Total Security Summit is the only security industry event you need to attend.

 

For more information on the Total Security Summit, call Nick Stannard on 01992 374 092 or email n.stannard@formumevents.co.uk.

Or visit www.totalsecuritysummit.co.uk.

Forums vs Expos – how to maximise your precious time out of the office…

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With a majority of ‘expert’ advice on Expos being somewhat outdated or, like with many businesses, asserting too much emphasis on easy routes rather than methods that actually work, it’s no wonder people get frustrated and disconcerted when they are looking to effectively network and source new connections without it lessening quality time spent in the office.

Amplified by the dominant presence of social media quick fixes such as: setting up a LinkedIn profile; increasing your Twitter presence; scheduling a large number of email marketing campaigns; and collecting as many business cards as possible at industry events – are key solution in helping you to be astute in intelligently selecting what methods best suit you and your way of working.

Expos can also have a somewhat ‘lazy’ association to it: people picture the huge halls and countless stands as a way of picking up leads and justifying their time out of the office, but realistically a large percentage of exhibitors won’t be of necessary relevance, or the person you need to speak to has decided not to attend at the last minute.

So set aside any previous experiences you may have with networking and Expos, and garner some quality connections by attending one of our Forum Events. Our formula ensures that buyers can increase their knowledge of how, why and where to invest without hanging around waiting for the wrong supplier; as well as ensuring that all suppliers are provided with qualified leads and valuable business is made as a result.

Events relevant to you may include the Total Security Summit taking place on October 17-18, 2016. Contact the team today…

Forum Insight: Tactics to improve your email marketing campaigns…

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Although many in the marketing profession have publicly declared the platform of email to be a thing of yesteryear, it’s still evident that a majority brands and sales departments are keen to adopt an effective strategy that will connect an audience and spread the intended message.

Taking a standard template, filling in the blanks and hitting send is easy for anyone to do; but that’s not how you grow a business. It’s crucial to put some thought into developing a solid strategy, or even better, replicate an effective process that has gained a substantial amount of traction, and make solid improvements over time.

Every email campaign should have one goal in mind: don’t overwhelm your audience with too much information. You want to create a campaign that is easy for everyone to read and navigate; as well as ensuring all the appropriate information and links are included.

The day you choose to send out a campaign can also greatly impact the amount of traction gained. According to marketers, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays tend to be the best days to send emails.

Although a template will more than likely be replicated for every campaign, emails should still look personal to the individual. Avoid decorative HTML designs; make sure emails appear to be written and sent by a real person to increase loyalty.

Subject line tips:

The subject line you decide to go with will undoubtedly be the most important part of your email. It’s just a few words; but you should dedicate as much attention and care to your subject line as you do to the email body. If it doesn’t attract interest, it won’t get opened.

  • If appropriate, use a reader’s name.
  • Make the subject line as inviting and personal as possible. The more personal the subject line, the higher the open rate.
  • Experiment with attention-grabbing questions as subject lines.
  • Always deliver in your email what you promise in your subject line.

Industry Spotlight: Networking opportunities at the FM and TSS Meet Up…

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This September, we invite you to join us for an evening of networking with a host of facilities management and security industry influencers and innovators; the perfect opportunity to catch up with your peers, meet new business contacts and network in an informal and relaxed setting.


In today’s uncertain times, we are all too aware how hectic both the facilities management and security industries are becoming, and with demanding hours and tough objectives to meet, it’s hard to not feel overwhelmed by the increasing industry developments. For us, it’s always heartening to organise meet up events by allowing industry professionals to share tips and advice for best practice; as well as promoting the array of benefits of working in the sectors.

Continuing our passion of bringing industry professionals together, the Facilities Management Forum and Total Security Summit are organising a number of networking events throughout the year. Following the success of the first FM Meet Up earlier this year, the next event will be taking place on the 21st September at the Grange St Paul’s Hotel.

Together with our partners ATEC Security, Flir Systems and Gallagher Group, we’re bringing together representatives from firms such as the BBC, Solid Management, Coach, SBEG and more, for an exclusive night of networking.  It’s a chance for senior figures from across the industries – and some of the most influential innovators  –  to get together to learn, share, network and engage in a relaxed environment over drinks and canapés.

If you would like more information on becoming a sponsor for the event, or attending the event, please contact Mick Bush on mick.bush@forumevents.co.uk or 01992 374090

 

Find out more about the Meet Up here

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