I'm in Philadelphia for a few days on the ASIS International media tour in preparation for the annual conference that will be held here in September.
On the first day, we visited the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where the ASIS show will be held. We sat down with Doug Chen, the center's director of security services, and Kenneth Matty, its VP of security services, to hear about the challenges of securing a large convention space. Chief among the challenges is managing the numerous protests that pop up around the center depending on which large convention is taking place. The center hosts several major conferences in the life sciences area, Chen said, which includes such flammable topics as stem-cell research and animal testing. There are more than 300 cameras protecting the roughly 1 million sq. ft. of space, Chen said.
When the ASIS show arrives in September, which Chen doesn't believe will attract any major protests, it will bring as many as 25,000 people to the city for several days. The event will have a $50 million economic impact on the city, we were told, which may explain why everyone is treating us so nicely.
I'll follow up with more reports from my time here, including from tours of the Comcast Center and Federal Reserve.