2017 Exhibition Ratings

Classification of the Fairs and Exhibitions in the Defense and Security fields for 2017
ompiled by the European Security and Defence Press Association

Fairs and exhibitions in the defence and security fields are not strangers to budget shortages in the industry.

Whereas the industry has counted on longstanding international events to leverage their communication tools and develop new businesses in the past, the constant development of Defense and Security exhibitions makes it impossible for companies to tell the difference between what’s a promising market on the longer term and what is a one-shot operation. They usually make a choice based on two types of events: The sector-specific exhibitions (only concerning certain types of product classification – this is particularly attractive for SME’s); and the major international shows, like Eurosatory, IDEX or DSEI, because of their international visibility, quality of service and delegations.

Analyzing the attendance in an exhibition also tells much about the reality of the market. Actors from Turkey, the UAE, and Asian countries reveal that the market has changed, and is now dominated by countries with lighter regulations. This allows them to sell and produce easily and conquer markets with better prices than the once dominating European countries in the field.

This reality has a direct result on the exhibitions market that needs to adapt to the new financial reality of companies and propose more innovative and fitting services at every edition to survive tough competition. The most important outcome for a successful exhibition is a foreseeable return on investment for Exhibitors.

Below is our brief review of some of the exhibitions we visited in 2017. Our opinion is based on the overall impression we had on matters of quality, attendance, and the presence of local and international media to cover them.



Le Bourget Air Show – Paris (France)

19-25 June 2017

The world’s leading air show that is still living up to its prime reputation. This edition has confirmed that the exhibitors of the Paris Air Show come mostly from the civil sectors, even though live demonstrations gives priority to military demonstrations.

Many international delegations and visitors were present at the exhibition during the whole week.

Two difficulties remain: the accessibility of the venue that makes it almost unreachable, either by public transportation or by car, and the complications of having a logistic attendance when required.


Aero India – Bangalore (INDIA)

14-18 Feb 2017

One of the key Exhibitions in the region for Aeronautics. Although the general organization and services are in progress (registration process, badge edition) and benefit from a satisfactory price-quality ratio, the number of Exhibitors and visitors have decreased, including the international press. The main attending delegations were mostly regional.


LAAD – Rio De Janeiro (Brazil)

04-07 April 2017

One of the most important exhibitions in the region, dedicated to Land forces (Defense and Security) with an important participation of international exhibitors. Most delegations were from the Latin American region, and notably, from African countries.

During this edition, we noted that fewer companies and delegations were present, both national and international. The Media Center was well organized with many local press representatives and a limited number of international media. The organization is in progress, but still suffers from the difficult accessibility of the venue.

The number of participants has dropped up to 30 % this year, probably due to the high exhibition fees. However, the show has compensated this issue with high investments that the organizers spent to invite and welcome delegations.


Maks – Moscow (Russia)

15-20 August 2017

Russian “international” air show. However, the exhibitors were mainly Russian, with a presence of companies from the former USSR bloc, reselling old or renovated Russian products. The delegations were primarily Russian and from post-Soviet countries. This could be due to the difficult political context and western sanctions against Russia, which makes it difficult for international companies to develop business. The international press was limited.


ARMY (Russia)

22-27 August 2017

The best exhibition in Russia dedicated to Land and security. Many national and regional delegations attended the event. The companies participating in the exhibition were mainly national and from the post-Soviet countries, while international presence was limited.

It was very well organized, and, in case of removal of western sanctions against Russia, this exhibition could make a serious competition to main international exhibitions.


DSEI –London (UK)

12-15 September 2017

This exhibition promotes itself as a tri-service event, but despite a few exhibited vessels, remains mainly Land oriented. Many international companies were represented during the last edition, as well as the international media. The organization was good, and national pavilions kept the same size as during the previous edition. However, the total cost of participation remains high.


AUSA – Washington, DC (USA)

09-11 October 2017

This exhibition is specifically dedicated to the US Land Forces, though having a number of national pavilions. Despite the limited presence of international companies, international delegations did visit the exhibition. The press was notably present. Every attendee could benefit from the decent organization of the exhibition and easy access to the venue. The price for AUSA is surprisingly high giving it is an association hosting the event.


Milipol – Paris -(France)

21-24 November 2017

The exhibition is specialized in security. Many international exhibitors and delegations attended the event. The exhibition had a lot of visitors.

The press centre was convenient, though the parking for the press was situated far away and was expensive. This show is defined as a security and homeland defence exhibition. A good percentage of the exhibitors present their commercial products to the defence market.


IDEX – Abu Dhabi (UAE)

19-23 February 2017

The only international level Exhibition dedicated to Land, Marine (Navdex) and unmanned systems (UMEX) in the Middle East. However, not many international delegations attended the event. Given its venue, the exhibition fails to renew itself and risks of being limited in its evolution in terms of size signs.

Despite the substantial means invested in the technical and logistical aspects of this event, the organization was not optimal, with a lot of issues with accesses and entrance badges. The event’s participation price is still excessive.


LIMA (Malaysia)

21-25 March 2017

The exhibition became very international. Various companies and delegations were present, though the latter were primarily national and regional. The edition had good international press coverage. It was very well organized.

Next edition in 2019 has all the potential to transform Lima into one of the most important naval exhibition in the Asian region.


IMDEX– (Singapore)

16-18 May 2017

IMDEX is a Marine specialized exhibition, with an average international coverage from exhibiting companies. An important presence of national and regional delegations has been reported and the exhibition was very well organized, though remaining relatively small. It had a lot of visitors.

The exhibition fees are a little over the average, given the size and evolution of the exhibition.


Dubai Air Show – Dubai (UAE)

12-16 November 2017

The only air show in the Middle East for military and civil sectors. International companies have decreased over the past few editions, including because of its new location (45-minute to one-hour drive). Delegations were mostly regional and Asian. The international press was limited but the local press was present and benefited from a very acceptable press centre. The general organization was better compared to the previous edition. The exhibition tends to become more civil than military.


EXPODEFENSA –Bogota (Colombia)

04-06 December 2017

This young Latin American exhibition showed signs of evolution and improvement. It had a real international visibility, with an important number of international exhibitors attending. Regional and international delegations also attended the event. The local and regional press were present, though the international coverage was limited. The exhibition has a good potential to compete for the leadership in the region alongside LAAD.

However, minor logistical problems, like the internet access, still have to be improved. –

UNMANNED Systems (Singapore)

18-20 April 2017

It is a new exhibition with unmanned systems specialization.

There are a limited number of delegations and international press. It was quite small in size, though it was well organized.