From 4-6 September, we attended the 2018 Land Forces event held at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Land Forces is such a unique exhibition experience, attracting a large range of exhibitors,dignitaries and delegations from all over the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. It was so great to see the hive of activity that this exhibition creates, giving the Army, Defence, Government, academics and industry professionals a wonderful opportunity to engage with each other, discuss ideas, and experience the new products being presented to the market.
Executive Director Industry Development
This year, Land Forces saw a significant increase in the number of exhibitors and presenters compared to the event two years ago, as well as an improved layout with SMEs and primes mixed together on the exhibition floor. The diversified layout of Land Forces 2018 created more opportunities for the primes and SMEs to meet and talk with each other, producing the perfect setting for networking and collaboration.
Land Forces is such a great opportunity for everyone involved with defence to come together, make connections, and discuss the products available in the industry. For this reason, it was great to see a significant number of Army personnel in attendance this year. This provided a rare opportunity to bring together the defence industry and the uniform personnel who personally use industry’s products, allowing them to discuss their end users’ opinions and identify areas that require improvement. DTC similarly benefited by exhibiting in Land Forces this year in support of our members. This was a worthwhile opportunity for us to speak with members about our new strategic direction, promote our services, and discuss the latest developments in industry policy.
Attending the exhibition can also be just as valuable for members as exhibiting. Having all the major defence primes in one location and at the same time means members can learn about their bid strategies and supply chain requirements for upcoming major opportunities, whilst also being able to take note of the new products and services that are being introduced to the market by competitors. Like a shopping centre for all defence participants, Land Forces allows members to shop around and learn about the industry like its being visibly represented on shelves for their convenience.
Now that Land Forces is over and we must return to work, it is easy to get caught up in emails and catching up on everything that has been missed while being out of the office. However, the few weeks following a great opportunity like the Land Forces event are critical in cementing and nurturing the relationships that have been formed. It is wonderful to be able to make connections face-to-face with people in the industry, uninterruptedly being able to discuss your organisation’s entire capabilities, but now it is important to reach out to those connections and continue those discussions. Following up with a phone call, or even an invitation for potential clients to take a tour of your organisation, is so important in making these connections worthwhile, maintaining the contacts that you’ve made and making sure you are fully demonstrating all that your organisation has to offer.
Overall, it is clear that Land Forces achieved its goal in bringing together and allowing access to important defence decisionmakers, and I am so glad we have had the opportunity to experience this mixing pot of military, government, scientific and defence industry leaders, not just from Australia, but from all over the world.