So, there we go… DSEI 2017 is over. Only another 714 days till the 2019 event! DSEI is a huge exhibition, the largest Defence sector show in the world, and there is a lot of money spent on impressive stands by all the leading global defence companies. The Show lasts 4 days and, to be honest, we can understand why but unfortunately our experience suggests that is at least one day too long. The Friday of the show this year was very quiet – probably the quietest exhibition show day we have ever encountered, which is a shame because it tends to take the gloss off the whole experience. It is a significant undertaking for many companies to exhibit at DSEI and so many will be keen to maximise the opportunities it presents. But for us, this year, 3 days would have been plenty.
Visitor numbers on the first three days were good, if not spectacular, and we enjoyed our fair share of interest (based on those around us). It was Norco’s first time to exhibit and we focused our stand on our satellite and radome capability, along with our recent success with work boat projects and our expertise with flight simulators. Interestingly it was a smaller product – camera housings – that actually generated the greatest level of interest which certainly supports the notion of having examples of products on the stand for visitors to touch and feel.
As with all trade shows, the real success of DSEI will be measured in a few months time, when we have followed up the enquiries received and can assess which of those we can convert to sales. Trade shows of course also offer the opportunity to gather market intelligence on the market sector and on your competitors, to gauge where and how you fit into the market. From that perspective, we were able to identify that we are well placed in our ability to offer the defence sector an alternative to more traditional manufacturing materials and that our capability in large composite structures enables us to stand out among our competition. Initial impressions therefore are that DSEI for Norco was definitely worth doing and has helped us establish a stronger presence in the Defence sector.