Q&A: Shaun Ormrod, CEO, World Defense Show

Q&A: Shaun Ormrod, CEO, World Defense Show

With DSEI 2021 at EXCEL London wrapped up, we caught up with Shaun Ormrod, CEO of the World Defense Show, to discuss worldwide defence trends and understand the ever-changing landscape that challenges professionals in this sector. Following DSEI, all eyes will turn to the first ever World Defense Show, scheduled to be held in Riyadh in March 2022.

One of the themes at DSEI 2021 was ‘Information Exploitation’ – please tell us more about how the information/cyber threat landscape continues to change, and how governments and organisations can adapt to keep ahead of the trend.

In my 20 years of trade show experience, I have seen the evolution of new themes and topics be introduced to key industry events. What is special about World Defense Show is that the core proposition of the show is interoperability. It is not just a theme but the whole premise of the show to integrate the industry across all traditional defense domains through new technologies and interoperable cyber security systems.

Key show features like an interactive Command and Control Center, alongside live equipment displays and demonstrations, will offer real-time insights on latest products, technologies, and trends in the market. To further support, Industry Insight Sessions into the future of defense will cover topics like, Technology Advantage and Collaborative Strategy Making. Additionally, World Defense Show’s tailored programs – like Meet the Buyer and Meet the KSA Government Program – are in place to promote the necessary information-sharing and international collaboration required to adapt to these trends.

Can you give us some early indications of what the key themes will be at the World Defense Show 2022?

As an event centered around the future of defense, World Defense Show will look at the current industry landscape and prepare for how mission critical solutions will look like in 20, 30, 50 years’ time. This event is dedicated to interoperability across all domains: air, sea, land, space, and security.

A key theme at the inaugural World Defense Show will be to demonstrate how defense systems can work together and how cross-border collaboration in the development of interoperable solutions can help address some of the biggest challenges facing decision makers in today’s world, showcasing interoperable defense systems in action through a series of simulations, displays and live demonstrations.

How does Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 tie in with the inaugural World Defense Show?

As part of the Vision 2030 ambition, Saudi Arabia plans to localize 50% its defense expenditure and significantly grow local capabilities by the end of the decade. By giving international defense players unprecedented access to key decision makers within the Kingdom’s industry, World Defense Show will serve as an optimal meeting environment and catalyst for local entities and international industry players to explore valuable partnership opportunities.

How do you intend to deliver the show’s Naval Demonstrations in Riyadh, a city over 400km from the coastline?

World Defense Show will be held at a purpose-built venue, spanning 800,000 sqm, allowing exhibitors to showcase their products and defense solutions through live displays and demonstrations. Using the latest AI and VR technologies across product displays, the show will demonstrate how naval systems can feed into other domains to exhibit interoperability and integrated mission critical maritime solutions. These cross-sector systems will be featured through state-of-the-art virtual simulations at World Defense Show’s bespoke ‘Command and Control Center’. Maritime professionals will have the opportunity to witness simulations realise integrated solutions.

Which emerging technologies do you think will be most beneficial in the defence industry for years to come?

The emergence of new innovative system integration technologies will continue to disrupt how the defense industry operates. World Defense Show is the platform to work with these developments as we continue to promote collaboration and interoperability. The strength of tech-powered defense will heavily rely on the level of interoperability it provides. Therefore, we believe; the defense industry of tomorrow will be shaped by the interoperable systems of today.