The three-day biennial event, held from 4-6 September, was the largest exhibition ever held at the Adelaide Convention Centre and attracted a record 15,331 international, national and local total attendances, up from 13,450 in 2016. This year’s event also provided a great boost to local hotels, delivering 25,000 visitor bed nights.
The State Government, in collaboration with the Adelaide Convention Bureau and Adelaide Convention Centre, has launched a competitive bid to host an expanded Land Forces 2020.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway said Land Forces provides enormous economic advantages to the state and is an exceptional opportunity to showcase the best of Australia’s defence industry to the world.
"Land Forces is a strategically important event for South Australia as it provides the opportunity to showcase the state’s world-class defence industry and strengthen ties with global industry leaders," he said.
"We were delighted to work closely with the Adelaide Convention Bureau and Adelaide Convention Centre on delivering this year’s successful event.
"Adelaide is the ideal location for this extremely important industry conference and trade platform.
"South Australia has a strong and capable defence industry, as well as a growing space ecosystem, underpinned by innovation and cutting-edge technologies."
A total 624 participating exhibitor companies and 74 delegations from 36 countries attended the event. Visitors included 31 foreign service chiefs, 19 Australian military delegations including Chief of Navy and Chief of Air Force and 11 from nation departments of defence including seven from overseas.
Adelaide Convention Centre General Manager Simon Burgess said Land Forces 2018 received positive feedback from organisers and attendees alike, and was yet another example of a major event made possible by the Centre’s recent expansion.
"It was our absolute pleasure to welcome Land Forces back to Adelaide last month, and specifically to the Adelaide Convention Centre. At over 20,000sqm, it was our largest ever exhibition, and provided a wonderful showcase of the Centre’s capabilities and our team’s expertise in successfully delivering complex events," Mr Burgess said.
"A record-breaking event, the exhibition measured 30 percent larger than in 2016. It was also fantastic to see record exhibitors and attendees, including strong international representation, which speaks to Adelaide’s great destination appeal," he said.
Adelaide Convention Bureau CEO, Damien Kitto, commented, "The scope of opportunities for local companies to liaise in ‘their own back yard’ with visiting global businesses on trade and investment should not be underestimated and would not happen on such a scale without South Australia playing host to an event the size and stature of Land Forces."
"The Bureau is proud to have played an important role in bringing the event here. The innovation and technology showcased during the event provided an exceptional setting for local and global industry to do business and form lasting relationships in a city that, whilst smaller in size, has big city infrastructure.
"Further afield, the spin-off meetings showcased the city’s offering for hosting business events in a variety of locales and pre and post event touring excursions to a number of South Australia’s unique tourism regions provided delegates with an authentic Australian experience. We trust the Land Forces visitors enjoyed their visit to South Australia we look forward to welcoming them back again with friends or family."