Lifestyle - February 2016

Regards croisés Michael WEATHERSEED et Andrew MARIOTT : Créer un réseau, accompagner ses clients dans le monde, trouver une croissance ailleurs … MILIPOL nous présente son réseau composé – à ce jour – de 3 salons.

Michael, can you give us a quick overview of MILIPOL?

MILIPOL is an international professional exhibition on internal state security.

Below are some of the themes:

  • Data protection - Communications and information systems
  • Civil security
  • Forensic police
  • Peacekeeping
  • Antiterrorism - Special forces
  • Protection of sensitive and industrial sites
  • Border control, etc.

MILIPOL Paris was created in 1985 and MILIPOL Qatar in 1996. At that time, we were the only international exhibition in Qatar.
MILIPOL Paris takes place on odd-numbered years and MILIPOL Qatar on even-numbered years.

How is it possible to find out about the growth and know-how in these sensitive business sectors?

The particularity of MILIPOL is that it is organised under the auspices of the French Ministry of the Interior, in partnership, mainly, with the National Police, the National Gendarmerie, and the Direction Générale de Sécurité Civile et de la Gestion des Crises (department of civil security and crisis management). Therefore, there are not just commercial aspects to take into account for the launch of a new Milipol.
Our exhibitors have identified Southeast Asia as an area with strong business potential. In numbers: “In Southeast Asia, by 2022, the market for internal state security will have increased by 83%.”

Does this mean you created a MILIPOL from scratch?

No, we did something even better. We identified an exhibition (GSA: Global Security Asia) which has been biennial and international from the start, and with the same nomenclature as our existing network. It was created in 2005; therefore, it had extensive experience and expertise in the local sector.

The organising body of this exhibition, GSA Exhibitions, became Comexposium Singapore. The last edition will be held in March 2015, then on the 4th, 5th and 6th of April 2016, the name will change to MILIPOL Asia-Pacific and this event will become an integral part of the MILIPOL network.

The Singapore team is still in charge of organising the exhibition and works in close collaboration with the Paris team to optimise all exhibitions in the network.

In practical terms, how does an organisation become a part of an existing network without losing its own identity?

The simplest way was through the logo. We made a version of the logo that would be identifiable in the MILIPOL NETWORK, but with its own colour.

Then, we worked on the charter and on the structure of the websites to make them homogeneous for our clients (visitors and exhibitors). The content remains generated and managed locally by each team.
The price chart was also harmonised in order to make it easier for clients from Paris in Qatar, or from Singapore in Paris, etc. The online booking form will also be made available!
Our agents have been integrated into the network, and now work for all 3 exhibitions. There is real synergy and support for our clients to export their businesses, wherever they may be.

Andrew, how to integrate the MILIPOL Network while your event GSA existed for a long time? What changes for you and your teams?

The integration since GSA became part of Comexposium was relatively time-consuming  as many of our past practices had to be altered to understandably fit the current Comexposium practices and systems. 
We are only a very small team in Singapore  so this integration was not simple, however the benefits of best corporate practice are clear. 
We were just grateful that during this period which lasted several months we had the luxury of not having a show coming up as it was certainly a challenge.. 
Our re-branding of the show to Milipol Asia-Pacific has been ongoing, and won’t be over for a certain amount of time as we need to be aware that the show as it was known, Global Security Asia ( GSA ) was well known in this region, whilst Milipol is better known in the Middle East and Europe. 
Our challenge therefore is to make known the Milipol name in Asia.

Only time will of course tell how successful we have been at this however we are confident that message is an ongoing priority for us. There are also so many methods of media promotion so using the correct media to reach out is getting notoriously fickle and we also need to address our marketing and increase our digital domain focus. We are not running an identical show to that in either Paris or Qatar.  Our model is somewhat different in how we engage with VIP Delegations etc as an example. We are also aware that shows in Asia also require more Food & Beverage than those in Europe, its expected , and the offering of food goes a long way down here..

We are all extremely enthused by the opportunities that the Milipol network brings to GSA . We need to recognize and incorporate the strengths of the Milipol Network to strengthen our overall International relationships. There is much to do, and we are confident we will deliver……

Would you like to introduce the MILIPOL Singapore team?

Yes, it would be my great pleasure!

Andrew MARRIOTT
Managing Director

Sandy WONG
Project Manager

Li Ting GOH
Marketing Executive

Hai Yen VU
Admin & Operations Manager

Thanks to Michael Weatherseed, Director of the Security Division, Comexposium France