Securetech, the public safety, emergency management and security trade show and conference organized by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), has been cancelled for 2016.
"After extensive consultations with our members, we have decided that, at the present time, our annual security conference and trade show, Securetech, is not meeting the needs and demands of the industry and will not be held in its current form in 2016," said CADSI President Christyn Cianfarani.
CADSI is ending the Securetech trade show after five years of effort to make it the premier showcase for Canada's security industry.
In 2011, CADSI spun the security component of the CANSEC defence and security trade show into its own showcase, with a concurrent conference program focusing on issues of importance to the public safety, emergency management and security fields. CADSI welcomed 98 exhibitors to the inaugural Securetech event.
Four years later, at its 2015 event, the number of exhibitors reached only 103. And that was after merging the Securetech show with a CADSI-sponsored military apparel showcase that had in previous years, on its own, attracted some 50 exhibitors. Meanwhile, the association had moved the event from a downtown Ottawa conference centre to the larger, more suburban EY Centre, home of the highly-successful CANSEC defence trade show.
The new venue, remote from Parliament Hill, government offices and the Ottawa downtown core, and the now-diffuse focus of the event as a partial security and partial military apparel showcase, appeared to trouble both exhibitors and visitors. Attendance declined and exhibitor dissatisfaction grew.
Adding to Securetech's imminent downfall, CADSI suffered significant staffing issues in 2015. Five months before Securetech 2015, the security manager and associate organizer for Securetech left the association. Two months before the event, the vice-president of the association and the principal organizer of Securetech, abruptly left CADSI.
With Securetech 2015 an unpleasant memory, the CADSI Board has quietly cancelled the show.
CADSI is now reassessing its role in representing the Canadian industry and its approach to trade shows. In the last few weeks, it has rebranded its CANSEC show as a "global defence and security" event, suggesting a return to its roots as a combined event.
"CADSI is in the process of evaluating how best to serve our members who are focused on the security sector," said Cianfarani, who joined the association late in 2014 after the departure of longtime president Tim Page. "We are conducting a series of roundtables across the country with our security stakeholders to shape the program for the coming years.”