International A landmark achievement Thomas Gaunt, managing director – Clarion Events Middle East, on the EN Award-winning launch of the Egypt Defence Expo How did the idea for Egypt Defence Expo (EDEX) come about? Launching EDEX was a collaborative effort that took a few years in the making. We gradually developed a relationship with the stakeholders who attended Clarion’s other events in the region and wished to replicate the success of our other shows in Egypt. EDEX was a new launch event idealised as an opportunity for Egypt to demonstrate their capabilities and also offer Egyptian companies a platform to showcase their equipment and services to an international audience. 14 — May What were the reasons for choosing Egypt? With over 1.3 million military personnel, Egypt is the largest military power in Africa and one of the leading forces worldwide. These impressive statistics made it the ideal host for a defence & security exhibition, in addition to the fact that the geographic location of the country lends itself to business in both Africa and Middle East. What was the partnership like between Clarion and the Egyptian Armed Forces? The show was held under the patronage of His Excellency, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, The President of The “EDEX was the largest launch in the 72-year history of Clarion Events” Arab Republic of Egypt and The Supreme Commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces. This official support allowed the Egyptian Armed Forces to work closely with us in identifying the technology they wished to see, identifying their priorities with regards to the VIP delegation programme and gaining support from their senior military leadership. The level of government engagement also meant that the media coverage was huge. This was an important event not only for the industry but for the country. What was the process of preparing the show for launch?