A few hours to inauguration: the word from the boss

By Paolo Valpolini

We meet Gen (ret.) Patrick Colas des Francs, the Eurosatory General Manager, who is close to inaugurating the sixth exhibition under his lead.

“We have a very nice event ahead of us, with 1,813 exhibitors, a third hall added to the usual two, dynamic demonstrations that widened their scope including not only industry but also national defence and security forces, so we are pretty happy of an exhibition that is growing and that is nowadays the world leader in its domain.”

From your control tower what is still left to do?

“We glue the carpet in the night between Sunday and Monday, we will be here at 3 AM in order to be ready to open the gates at 7 AM tomorrow morning.”

Yesterday I was talking to some exhibitors who told me that at Eurosatory they feel at home; how do you manage to cope the dimension of such an exhibition with that home feeling felt by your customers?

“The most special thing of this exhibition is that it is organised by the GICAT, which is an grouping of industrials, this it is organised by industrial for industrials, this is why they feel at home; we are not here to make high revenues, we reinvest most of our incomes to increase quality, to allow to entrepreneurs and visitors who come to Eurosatory to do business in the best possible conditions.”

Let’s come again back to numbers, what do you expect in terms of attendance for Eurosatory 2018?

“We expect 227 delegations, but I will able to tell you how many have really attended only next Friday, we estimate that between 55,000 and 57,000 professional visitors will cross the gates of Eurosatory in the next five days, so we are very optimistic that the show will go on smoothly, as it has acquired a solid reputation.”

Can you comment on the changing between the first edition organised by yourself and the one that is about to start?

“In the six last editions we nearly doubled the number of exhibitors, we developed the exhibition into new field of interest, due to dual-use technologies we widened the scope adding security to defence, and we now deal with all technologies for both public and private security, and this is what makes the coherence and the strength of our exhibition.”

Looking ahead, what can we do more in 2020?

“We can further increase quality, do a better job, be as comprehensive as possible: when somebody boards an aircraft in Australia or in Korea and comes to Paris for Eurosatory he deserves to find all related technologies, so we must be vigilant to be sure that all technologies related to defence and to security are exhibited by a number of companies. It is a very difficult job but it is this that allows us to have a comprehensive exhibition in terms of technologies.”

Thank you, and see you next Friday!