Attendees at London defense show have positive attitude
Moving through the multiple security check points and walking the floors at the Defense Systems and Equipment International Exhibition -- DSEi 2009 -- in London I found the mood of the attendees quite positive.
Defense system integrators and military embedded electronics suppliers all said the traffic -- while not steady -- was well focused. The atmosphere echoed many recent U.S. defense electronics shows and conferences where industry players saw the market outlook as one of steady growth -- especially compared to commercial aviation, which continues to struggle.
While European military programs do not generate the funding of some U.S. platforms many primes predict the European defense market will continue perform well.
Bob O'Meara, European marketing director for Rockwell Collins C3I Systems told me his part of the business in Europe grew from $53 million in revenue in 2008 to 69$ million in 2009 and that he expects that trend to continue.
Embedded military electronics suppliers echoed his sentiment, saying orders continue to come in from current and new European defense customers.
The only small complaint I heard was from a power electronics exhibitor who said he wished there were more design engineers floating around, but added that DSEi is not that type of show. However, he felt it important to be there from a branding perspective.
The show organizers say they had about the same attendance as the 2007 event -- the show is held every two years and always in London.
The last one I attended was in 2005 and I found this year's DSEi to be lacking in the energy of that show. However, most shows are down in traffic as companies cut back on sending engineers to trade shows due to the poor economic climate.