How to get the most out of a Defence Industry conference.

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If you are a first time participant or feel like you’re wandering the halls without results, there are ways you can help identify the most attractive opportunities and capitalise on this huge biennial event. With international primes, Tier One enterprises, Department of Defence and supply chain heavy weights exhibiting at this exposition, forward planning can reap big dividends.

Tip 1 – Do your reconnaissance.

Pre-plan before the conference.

The ICC is in a great location on Darling Harbour with easy access to the CBD and surrounds. Almost any Sydney CBD hotel is within walking distance so don’t bring the car, it’s simply easier and more enlivening to walk to this event (or Uber if you are carrying gear).

Day One – Even with the best of planning it is hard to get time to see everything, so prioritising who you are going to see is of paramount importance.

Defence Force Expo at ICC Sydney
Floor Plan for Indo Pacific 2022 Defence Force Expo at ICC Sydney

One of the keys to success is to study the event floor plan in the weeks leading up to the event – it is comprehensive and detailed, showing the exhibitors at IP22

This provides a great insight into which organisations to zero-in on and their proximity to each other on the trade floor. Forget trying to work this out once you’re there – the size of the venue, plus the sheer overload of information and stimulation will have you walking around aimlessly and feeling overwhelmed before you’ve even had lunch on day one. Even with the best of planning, it’s hard to get time to see everything, so prioritising who you’re going to see is of paramount importance.

Tip 2 – Lock-in your targets.

Book your appointments beforehand.

By booking ahead you can secure a place at your preferred expo events. By the time the expo kicks off it can be too late to get into many meetings and seminars. The simple but effective technology is the Indo Pacific 2022 Event Program, a great resource that lists every event by day and time, who is hosting the event, the location on the floor and how to register.

Click this to download the Indo-Pacific-2022-Event-Program.pdf

The Event Program for the Indo Pacific 2022 Defence Force Expo is crucial for your planning

Tip 3 – Form your alliances.

Go into battle together.

Join the Australian Defence Alliance (ADA-VIC).

You can rely on their expertise with valuable pre- event assistance, including details of special events at Indo Pacific 2022.

As we spoke about in Tip 2, book into these events a few weeks out to avoid disappointment. The best events are often oversubscribed and virtually inaccessible if you tried to attend on the day.

The ADA can assist its members to register for introductions with overseas exhibitors and delegates or arrange meetings with other ADA members attending this event.

These meetings can be amongst the best as other ADA members can be very welcoming and responsive to meeting withADA members.

ADA CEO - Sean Farrell

Tip 4 – Intelligence gathering.

Collect it before the event.

View from ICC Sydney Defence Force Expo across Darling Harbour

The Defence Department’s Office of Defence Industry Support (ODIS) should be your go-to for defence industry information. There are ODIS advisors in every state and territory, meet with yours before Indo Pacific 2022 to gain valuable insights, tips and information.

The Office of Defence Industry Support (ODIS) is the one-stop-shop for Defence industry support and guidance.
ODIS provides a seamless experience for business to engage with Defence. It is the trusted link for Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) looking to enter or expand their footprint in the Defence industry.
The core function of ODIS, through its offices around Australia, is to provide advisory, guidance and mentoring services to SMEs.

ODIS also works with State and Territory agencies, industry associations and Defence business partners, to position the Defence industry to deliver capability that equips and sustains the Australian Defence Force.

Key services
-Specialist defence business advice, increasing the competitiveness of Australian Defence SME partners so they have the capability to integrate into supply chains and grow to become competitive providers.
-Direct linkages to Defence procurement programs through proactively identifying needs of Defence capability managers and delivery groups.
-Identify current SMEs who can meet Defence needs in the short term and assist to build the capability of Defence industry over longer term horizons.
-Direct linkages to Defence end users to support innovative industry initiatives.
-Assist SMEs to work with end users and existing Defence projects and industry programs to support greater innovative industry outcomes.
-Tailor grants to assist the development of SMEs to meet Defence requirements in the short, medium and long terms.
-Work closely with other key Australian Government initiatives that support Australian SMEs, as well as initiatives at the State and Territory Government level.

Tip 5 – Your best weapon is your Information.

Have it locked and loaded.

Again, an obvious strategy but totally under-utilised by many. The following tips are the stand-outs;

1. Have your Quad Chart printed and don’t leave that reverse side blank. Highlight your latest news and summaries from your website. Arrive in Sydney with 30 of these and return home with none. The best $30 investment you’ll make all year.

2. Have a tablet with you at all times with your website or streaming video presentation ready to go – demonstrate on the spot to defence prospects your unique capability. Forget a laptop, or even a smart-phone – the tablet screen-size is quick and easy to deploy.

View of ICC Sydney Defence Force Expo from Darling Harbour

Tip 6 – Choose your battles.

The Indo Pacific 2022 Summary.

Each day of this event is busy. Set your pre-arranged and pre-planned meetings with businesses and organisations that could assist you with your desired defence industry business and exposure to new defence opportunities.

With a little bit of due diligence and early planning and reconnaissance, you can make full use of the three days of Indo Pacific 2022 by pre-preparing who, and what, you are going to see! You’ll have surprisingly little time to browse the aisles and stands of the remaining exhibitors present.

Follow the 6 Tips above and your Expo and Conference experience will totally improve, plus you’ll have avoided the dreaded FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) by seeing the exhibitors and prospects you absolutely want, and need to see.

Drop us a line through our Contact Form below or via LinkedIn – we’d love to hear about your Expo and Conference preparation and what worked (and didn’t) for you.

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