Every November for the past six years, the two-day Best Defence Conference has attracted some of the most influential players in the defence procurement industry. It consistently provides an intimate forum for Canadian companies to come together and learn about the state of Canadian defence procurement, and upcoming supply chain opportunities. The general consensus among attendees is that it is an ideal place to make connections; something that is much more difficult at larger events.
Over the years the conference has grown through word-of-mouth, and boasts an average of 350 attendees. Some of the major players that regularly attend the conference include companies such as General Dynamics Land Systems Canada, Lockheed Martin Canada, The Boeing Company, Mack Defense, Kongsberg Protech Systems, IBM Canada, Babcock, and Davie Shipyards (Federal Fleet Services).
A key component of the conference’s success is that representatives from these and other companies are actively conducting business at the event. In some cases, these transactions and exchanges resulted in key business partnerships being formed between companies that, for whatever reason, had been unable to connect previously.
The Best Defence Conference came about through the consistent dedication of Heather Pilot, who built her entire career in international marketing and economic development (particularly foreign investment and business development), working diligently to reach out to companies across Canada and form lasting strategic partnerships. Her ultimate mission is to get the various companies and provinces within Canada to cross-pollinate ideas and advanced technologies in an effort to be more competitive on the world stage. She believes that the main ingredient of greatness and economic success is derived from cooperation and interdependence.
The conference that was held this past November featured panels which focused on many of the hot-button issues that the defence industry is facing today. For instance, cyber-security has been a growing concern among many in government and the private sector, and the Best Defence Conference tailored its offerings to include some more specialized panels such as the Future Warfare Capability Requirements, and the Future Technology Trends & Existing Gaps sessions. When combined with the Technology Showcase, the conference really resonated with the audience. As technology plays an ever more important role in our world, it is up to initiative such as the Best Defence Conference to show how to best utilize or adapt to these changes.
Best Defence will take place November 1-2, 2017 at the London Convention Centre in London, Ontario. For more information contact Heather Pilot, President, Pilot Hill Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of Heather Pilot.
Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the NATO Association of Canada.