Amidst a once-in-a-century global COVID-19 pandemic, with the West Coast of the U.S. suffering historic wildfires while the East Coast and Midwest have been simultaneously assailed by hurricanes and other wild weather events, leaving economic, physical and emotional devastation in their wake, between mid-2019 and this summer, an idea was generated by a team of business development strategists at Reed Exhibitions.
With the trade show industry scrambling for its own survival, Reed Exhibitions has launched a new brand: Natural Disaster & Emergency Management (NDEM). NDEM is establishing an online community via NDEM Digital, and will produce its first NDEM Expo in 2021. It is devoted to the preparation, response, and recovery of physical and human assets of public and private organizations, while focusing on public and life safety.
The NDEM Expo and NDEM Digital brand is a comprehensive trade event and year-round digital platform dedicated to helping organizations gain knowledge, discover tools, and connect with the professionals to ensure that organizations are prepared for the uncertain future, all while maintaining operational continuity and ensuring public safety in an ever-changing world. Both the digital and on-site event programming are, in part, being organized in partnership with the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, which works to understand and improve the nation’s capacity to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.
The first edition of NDEM Expo will take place November 17-18, 2021 in conjunction with the International Security Conference & Exposition (ISC) East at the Jacob Javits Center, in New York City. NDEM Digital, the accompanying year-round resource for safety and security professionals, kicked off this October with the Prepare. Respond. Recover. Podcast. The podcast is now available for download on the NDEM website, on all major podcast platforms, and at www.sitchradio.com.
“The Northeast is a natural key spot given challenges with storms, flooding, power outages, heat waves and more, and with us flipping the script and establishing the digital community first, we will also be focusing on audience and community engagement with other key geographies including the Gulf of Mexico states, and Western Region fire and earthquake hot spots,” Will Wise, Group Vice President Security, Public Safety, Transportation, and Casino Gaming, Reed Exhibitions, explained.
The spark for the new brand was ignited during a Reed employment engagement program called Accelerate. “Once a month, all-day sessions lead to the development of new event ideas,” said Jon Fontane, NDEM Event & Brand Director.
The digital community is being established first — focusing on audience and community engagement with all key stakeholders. “We’re flipping the script from the traditional trade show approach: we’re going to do digital engagement first and follow with the in-person event later,” Fontane explained.
Disaster preparation and emergency management is an integral part of any corporate strategy and these days, organizations literally have to walk and chew gum at the same time as they ask: How resilient is my organization? Are we prepared to face the challenges presented by a multitude of disasters that are occurring regardless of COVID-19?
“There is a lot of pent up demand to do face-to-face again; people are anxious to get back to it,” said Wise. “Essential services, security, and emergency management professionals are on the front burner. There is training that is needed.”
In addition to inherent demand, Wise and Fontane have been encouraged by the positive reception they have received from potential sponsors and exhibitors. “I’ve had a lot of intro calls and while there is still uncertainty and ambiguity about what will happen in the world due to COVID-19, there is a lot of interest and the results and solutions will reveal themselves over the next year. For the event, it is a natural extension to be co-located with ISC East and New York City a prime location for its launch,” Wise said.
This new brand is especially relevant in today’s COVID world. “The launch of the NDEM Expo and Digital brands could not be timelier for the industry to use as a valuable resource and source of collaboration,” Fontane added.