Balkanalysis on Twitter Briefing with Ioannis Papakonstantinou, Vice-President of HELEXPO, June 2011

Thessaloniki, Greece– On June 3, 2011 Director Chris Deliso conducted a briefing with Ioannis Papakonstantinou, Vice-President of HELEXPO, the major Greek trade fair organization. The briefing was held during the Athena 2011 Defense Conference sponsored by the Hellenic Ministry of Defense and Greek General Staff, which brought together a wide variety of international military personnel, civilian experts and academics for a four-day event in which the significant issues of the day were discussed.

For the briefing, Mr Papakonstantinou provided an overview of the many and varied trade fairs held at this, the region’s largest such venue annually coming from a wide range of industries. Special attention was placed on the upcoming 2012 Defensys  (Thessaloniki International Defense & Security Exhibition) which will be held from October 28-31 2012, in commemoration of the liberation of Thessaloniki 100 years earlier and the national holiday of resistance to invasion in World War II.

This trade fair, which was held under a different name in Athens until its inaugural run in Thessaloniki in 2010, comprises a wide range of specialized defense companies active in all spheres of the defense industry from around the world. The 2010 event drew over 9,300 attendees, 162 companies/exhibitors, and featured official military delegations from 48 countries. The massive preparations for such an event, Mr Papakonstantinou, were undertaken and achieved within only six months.

Due to the successful experience of 2010, HELEXPO planners are confident that the 2012 event will be even more successful. Mr Papakonstantinou attested that the present goal is to see both the number of exhibitors and attendees roughly double, which should be attainable, considering the abundant time left to prepare and increasing focus on security-related issues in the wider Mediterranean.

In consideration of global economic constraints, he noted that fees for exhibitors will be reduced by about 15% to 550 euros per m2. Further, companies will have the opportunity to hold their own educational forums and round tables at which they can highlight their products and services.

As in 2010, the event will feature high-level private forums at which the most pertinent defense issues affecting the region and wider world can be discussed. As in 2010, the event will be held under the auspices of the Ministry of Defense.

HELEXPO is the largest regional trade fair, located in the center of Thessaloniki, near famous landmarks such as the Arch of Galerius and White Tower. Every year its expansive fairgrounds, which include 17 pavilions, conference centers and other facilities, host around 23 large events across all industrial sectors. The largest is the Thessaloniki International Fair , which will be held this year from 10-18 September.

Defensys (Thessaloniki International Defense & Security Exhibition) is a major trade show and conference covering all aspects of the defense industry. Previously held under a different name in Athens, it has been held since 2010 in Thessaloniki at HELEXPO. Organized by the Hellenic Ministry of Defense, the event is to be next held from 28-31 October 2012. Attendees benefit from seeing the latest defense technologies, products and services on the market, while exhibitors can directly target the most relevant consumers and defense entities at the same time. Further opportunities for gaining insights on emerging security issues and networking with a variety of security-sector officials, analysts, academic and private-sector leaders provides a key feature of added value for the event. is an American research and analysis firm that provides dedicated coverage of the Balkan and Eastern Mediterranean regions, in areas ranging from politics and security to economics and culture. It draws on the expertise of its broad network of field analysts and reporters representing a number of various countries and professional backgrounds.

Balkanalysis Briefings is a regular series in which correspondents of, sometimes in affiliation with partner organizations, engage with representatives of companies, governmental institutions, non-governmental groups and other organizations professionally involved with the Balkan and Mediterranean regions in order to gain insight into issues, trends and other factors affecting present and future developments in the area. This process contributes to better analytical and prognostic research, allowing to better serve its readers, while also providing Briefings partners an opportunity to make their products, services and goals better and more clearly known among those most actively involved with the region.

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