The 9th International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF) was sponsored by the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation under the auspices of the Ministry of National Defence on April 27-30 2009. The show was held the Tuyap Fair, Convention and Congress Center in Büyükçekmece-İstanbul, Turkey, and had record turnouts. The attendance was recorded at 42,789 visitors, of which 1,878 were from other countries. The majority in attendance were Turkish military and procurement, and the foreigners were typically influential buyers and end users from over 96 countries. There were 464 exhibiting companies from 45 different countries. This, the 9th IDEF, shows remarkable growth from the already well attended earlier shows. For example, the 5th IDEF in 2001 had 256 exhibitors from 30 countries, and official delegates were only there from 30 countries compared to the 2009 total of official delegates from 67 countries. That is a significant growth, and the exhibitors who attend can expect not only to reach the Turkish military market, but many of the shakers and movers in the international scene. Exhibition space, the “footprint” of the show, also increased by almost 30% from the 2007 show, to 20,000 square meters.
SADJ had a booth set up in a corner of one of the main buildings, and the thousands of magazines that we brought were quickly snapped up by attendees and exhibitors. This, along with many conversations that we had with attendees, indicated a strong interest in small arms by many, and the flow of influential delegates gave us quality time with many of the people we had wanted to meet with. That’s high praise for show management for bringing these quality delegates to the show and getting them out onto the floor meeting people.
Istanbul is an exotic city, with millennia of non-stop historical importance. Centrally located to the crossroads of the Mideast, Asia, and Europe, Istanbul is the ideal location for IDEF. Visitors to the city can expect to not only do business at IDEF, but to also experience an amazing place. The Grand Market (Bazaar) has been in continuous operation since the 12th century, with its covered avenues and many shops dating back beyond current memory. This sprawling city has thousands of places for the attendees to explore, and we recommend planning for several extra days in the area to do so.
IDEF receives our highest marks for a military show that features weapons. The show was well designed, the attendees flowed through the entire show, management went all-out to ensure that the exhibitors had their needs filled, and the attendees were the targeted group. Almost everyone we talked with was planning on setting up and attending at the 2011 edition of IDEF.