Orlando defense firms return to ‘dynamic’ I/ITSEC

A look at a color-coded map of the I/ITSEC show floor distributed by the Orlando Economic Partnership shows quite a bit of Orange on it.

That’s the color that designates a Central Florida-based company.

Although post-pandemic uncertainty in some international and U.S. companies helps partially explain the high rate of local booths, it’s still a good sign that Orlando’s tech community is adopting one of its most-important industries.

“The exciting thing is seeing more local companies that are here building really exciting technology,” said Daryl Roy, CEO of 3D Media. “Whether it’s hardware, software or auxiliary pieces of technology, to see so many with great ideas at this level makes me pretty proud of this ecosystem.”

3D Media is one of the region’s most-recent success stories, having expanded its business into Orlando in April.

At the time, Roy said he wanted to bring the company closer to the region because of its robust ecosystem.

This week, his company gets to see that depth for the first time in person.

“It has been dynamic,” said Roy, whose company did attend the virtual I/ITSEC event last year. “We have seen a broad range of attendees, whether its potential partners, clients or those who want to learn more about the technology.”

The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference, commonly referred to as I/ITSEC, draws some of the world’s largest businesses.

Although the conference was held virtually last year, in 2019 it drew more than 17,400 registered attendees to Orlando.

That number will likely be smaller this year but those in attendance have said the meetings have been more productive.

“You can’t believe how much you miss it until it’s gone,” said Henry L. Phillips IV, director of learning technologies for SoarTech, which has an office in Orlando. “There really is no replacement for this experience and the importance of being with all of the right people.”

Perhaps more to the point, the appreciation level for what has become a longstanding trade show has shot up because of a one-year, COVID-drirven hiatus, some said.

“People are not taking this trade show for granted,” said Dawn Haulter, global marketing manager for Orlando-based The DiSTi Corporation. “It’s a lot more people talking business. It has made people appreciate these types of events.”

Orlando Tech News