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By Howard Wheeldon, FRAeS, Wheeldon Strategic Advisory Ltd.

03 Jun 13. Organised and run by Clarion Events and universally recognised as the as the world’s largest defence and security exhibition the biennial Defence & Security International (DSEI) brings senior international trade and military experts from across the entire supply chain into an optimal business environment. The 2013 show which runs from September 10th to 13th at ExCEL London will not only be the largest in the long history of the event but it has already attracted a record number of international exhibitors.

As the premier UK based defence and security event DSEI has enjoyed a long and very successful history. DSEI 2013 is expected to break all previous records both in terms of attendance number of exhibitors. The DSEI 2011 which had been held in September of that year was visited by senior military and other key personnel from 121 nations. This included 75 official delegations and the event attracted exhibiting companies from 46 different countries including an international compliment of 30 national pavilions representing countries from North and South America, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Pacific Rim.

Leveraging on the success of the previous show I am told that the number of national pavilions so far confirmed for DSEI 2013 is already close to 40 including first time appearances from Brazil, South Korea and Chile. The additions of these national pavilions has coincided with significant effort by the DSEI organisers to engage directly with government buyers and decision makers in a variety of key growth markets such as these. The organisers are confident that this will result in strengthened international attendance by senior representatives from a diversity of nations, including Australia, Brazil, Chile, India, UAE, Israel, India and Malaysia.

As a place to do business, to network, to show or to officially launch new a product to defence and security market buyers or to use for identifying new business opportunities DSEI is unsurpassed. There are many shows around the world but in size, scope, venue and professionalism nothing DSEI is the business. These are difficult times particular in the defence arena and while many countries in the Middle and Far East, India and South America are still increasing the amount that they spend mature western nations have been forced to cut back.
In the US the effects of ‘sequestration’ cuts on defence spend are intensifications and this has forced US defense companies to extend the focus on exports in order to help sustain order books. Major defense primes such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman are long established exhibitors at DSEI and they are now being joined by others that are focusing more on export potential.

DSEI 2013 is expected to attract in the region of 30,000 visitors from established and emerging defence and security markets around the world. Much attention has been paid by the organisers to encourage better visitor interaction with the important SME community. Within six themed zones visitors will be able to meet UK SME’s and view their associated products either in a static display or in a realistic demonstration setting. With the number of SME exhibitors significant up on DSEI 2011 the structure which is primarily designed to help them together with the much enhanced seminar programme has gone down well. Focus areas include but are not limited to the Air Display area, Land Capability Showcase, Medical and Disaster Relief Zone, Naval Zone – the latter to include visiting warships and waterborne demonstrations – plus unmanned systems.
As already mentioned the increased number of international exhibitors showing is hugely important and its recognition of how important the DSEI event is perceived around the world.

A typical example of a company bringing innovative ne

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