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SHOW Issue 8 | 201163More theatre was available at Royal Victoria Docks outside Excel. Special forces hovercraft and mini surveillance helicopters making daily passes for an action-hungry crowd, set against a backdrop of fi ve warships and one of the UK navy's brand new Type 45 frigates.The increase in theatre owes much to Clarion's appointment of Duncan Reid - the show's new event director - from UBM. He was also behind the inclusion of a dedicated vehicle park in Excel's south hall, displaying tanks and tracked support vehicles. I saw these vehicles again moments later in the media lounge as BBC News 24 reminded me that I probably spend more time looking at this equipment than I give myself credit for. With Arab Spring and ongoing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, confl ict is big business. Which raises another question: are there any buyers whose business cards won't be accepted at this event? On the day I attended, two exhibitors were ejected from the event for displaying equipment that contravened human rights statutes."These are not offensive systems, they're about saving lives," another exhibitor explained. "How the end user deploys it is their business," he added, before announcing proudly that his fi rm doesn't do business with Middle East countries. But not in accordance with any political agenda. "We're a small company and it takes huge resources to enter those markets." Another exhibitor, manning a stand that sold minefi eld clearance solutions, told me his company would entertain selling its defence solutions to any reasonable bidder, but where there was a question of suitability, it would simply consult the Ministry of Defence before signing anything."In any case, DSEi is really more of a shop window than a genuine buyers market for us," he said. "It's like the lottery - if you don't buy the ticket then there's no chance you will win."And win some did. While I was there a local outfi t struck a US$31m deal for weapons training systems with the Australian Defence Force and another, Avon Rubber, won an order for $19m of gas masks from the US Department of Defence. It's a lucrative show and Clarion knows it, running the smaller Counter Terror Expo series in London Olympia in April, a show that makes its debut next year in Abu Dhabi and Washington. Stands were closing when I left. It had taken a long time to cover the exhibition, which uses all 100,000sqm of Excel and is the biggest of Clarion's defence events. On my way to the train, a police offi cer stopped me and urged me to remove my visitor's badge. "If you wouldn't mind sir." The incident caught the eye of a fellow visitor who gave me a knowing wink. "The protestors are harassing visitors on the trains - you blend with everyone else if you lose the badge," he said, clutching an armful of glossy weapons catalogues. EW's favourite exhibitor catchlines from this year: . 'First they fiii red us; then they hired us' - Glock. 'When failure is not an option' - Gore . 'Any theatre. No drama' - TMV. 'Lightguard; Anything else is just a shot in the dark' - CTC Defence. 'Delivering on target, time after time' - GoodrichAbove:Earth mover: Just one of many defence and security vehicles at the showAbove and bottom left:Walking the aisles at DSEi; a demonstration of vigilance on the open seas