Richard Morgan, SDSC-UK's President, provides an insight into why SDSC-UK is unique in the Defence & Security event industry
Interview with Richard Morgan, President of SDSC-UK
by Seb Newton of Canny Comms, SDSC-UK's Official PR and Comms Partner
Q: Tell us a little bit about the origins of SDSC-UK
A: The journey of SDSC-UK began when I ventured to Hereford in my role as a partner within Harrison Clark Rickerby’s Law (HCR), aiming to establish a new office in a promising market. I soon came to realise that Hereford was home to a vibrant community of former Special Forces personnel-turned-entrepreneurs with cutting-edge military innovations. This led to the formation of the Three Counties Defence and Security Group, which in turn led to the Three Counties Defence and Security Expo (3CDSE), and eventually SDSC-UK.
Q: How did SDSC-UK evolve into what it is today?
A: We were determined to provide value to these businesses. In the middle of a sleepless night, I conceived the idea of a defence Expo. Though I'm an enthusiastic amateur without military experience, we rented the Courtyard Theatre in Hereford. Through the tireless efforts of SDSC-UK’s CEO, Anna Roby-Welford, we reached the venue's maximum capacity and scaled up over the years, until we were welcoming 1500 delegates and over 120 exhibitors.
After several years of increasingly successful shows, we decided it was time to relocate to a purpose built venue, better placed to accommodate the companies and delegates attending from across the country. That’s what drew us to the Telford International Centre (TIC). With its excellent geographical position, transport links, and facilities, we knew we had picked the ideal location.
Q: What makes SDSC-UK unique?
A: SDSC-UK stands out by bringing together a diverse range of industry players, from IT and comms companies to drone technology innovators and autonomous vehicle specialists. What makes us truly distinctive is our unwavering focus on the special user group, offering a platform where they can meet, collaborate, and innovate.
This year, US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) will be making a very exciting announcement about the Innovation Foundry. This is an initiative launched in collaboration with MOD, intended to build key relationships with entrepreneurs and technology developers. If this is something that might appeal, I strongly suggest coming and seeing what they have to say.
The specialist focus of the event also provides unique perspectives that you are less likely to see at other locations. For instance, this year one of the major themes of our day two conference will be lessons learned from the war in Ukraine. I am really looking forward to hearing the varying perspectives from the fascinating speakers we have lined up.
Q: How does SDSC-UK contribute to collaboration and innovation?
A: SDSC-UK's mission is to create an environment that identifies and fulfils business and networking opportunities across many industries. We work closely with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), providing a platform for the MOD and industry to engage directly. Over the two days we can have up to 250 senior MOD personnel on site talking to our exhibitors and delegates, developing an intimate understanding of each other’s needs.
We've also expanded our reach to the US military, allowing UK businesses to showcase their capabilities. The result? Over $1.5 million in new contracts with the US Department of Defense (DOD).
Q: What benefits and takeaways can attendees expect from SDSC-UK?
A: Attendees experience a unique atmosphere where decision-makers and industry leaders converge. The quality of conversations and negotiations on the exhibition floor is unparalleled, owing to the intimate nature of the venue.
It can get pretty busy at the event too. I have heard more than once from exhibitors who would have liked to see a panel or a briefing, but they simply weren’t able to get away from their stands in time, owing to the level of interest they were seeing from attendees! That’s quite a good ‘problem’ to have if you ask me, and I think it speaks to the intense nature of the event.
Q: How can businesses become sponsors or exhibitors at SDSC-UK?
A: We welcome anyone interested in sponsorship or exhibition to get in touch with us. We offer a range of packages depending on your needs and requirements. Simply visit our website at www.sdsc-uk.co.uk, or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
As you can see, SDSC-UK isn't just any event; it's a catalyst for innovation and collaboration. It provides a unique platform for businesses to connect, learn, and grow, while contributing to the advancement of specialist capabilities across multiple industries.
As Richard says, 'don’t miss out, sign up today!'