Coverage in SADJ
Small Arms Defense Journal‘s coverage of Milipol 2013 will appear in Volume 6, Number 3
Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre, Parc des Expositions, Paris, France
70 avenue du Général de Gaulle
92058 PARIS LA DÉFENSE
November 17-20, 2015
Public security, civil defense, industrial security, and security of sensitive sites
This exhibition venue has a variety of good food options from cafes to restaurants, including a PAUL bakery and an Illy cafe. A staff favorite is Lina’s in Hall 5.
Formal business attire is recommended (suit/tie, etc.). Slack appearance at a European exhibition reduces the respect you receive. Attendees and exhibitors should look like business professionals if they expect to be taken seriously on the European market. Military should be in proper dress uniform.
Food & Drink
French food is internationally renowned, but in Paris it can be difficult to find inexpensive, good cuisine. Parisian food is very rich. Some things to try: pain au chocolat, crepes, croque monsieur, ham and cheese baguettes, macarons, cheese, and wine. Staff members love to find local creperies, especially for dessert (Nutella crepes…wow).
French, though many locals speak at least a little English, especially in the tourist areas.
Roissy-en-France is a good, safe area near the exhibition with many hotel options, but dining and entertainment options are limited, and prices can be the same (during an exhibition) as central Paris. Staying in downtown Paris requires a train ride to the show (approx. 35 minutes from Notre Dame area). Go to www.tripadvisor.com for hotel user reviews and ratings.
Power & Plug Types
220 volts, 50 cycles. European two-pin plug. Some hotels will have U.S.-style 110 volt in rooms.
Rural France is mostly safe and generally very friendly (especially the Normandy areas), but Paris is experiencing a massive amount of crime. It is best to stick to the tourist areas downtown. Some of the outlying areas can be very dangerous to tourism. There are many pickpocket incidents, so be street smart.
Style: Wearing gym sneakers, a money belt, or shorts will instantly brand you as a tourist. Stylish casual is the norm. Dress more formally for meals at nice restaurants. Language: Trying to speak a little French helps in most outlying areas, but it is the unusual Parisian who is polite to the non-French. We hate to reinforce the stereotype, but travelers should be prepared to get information on their own, and be grateful for any help. Dining: Please note it is considered impolite in a restaurant to bring the bill instantly on serving. When ready to pay, ask for the bill (l’addition, s’il vous plaît). It is not a lack of service, it is courtesy. Restaurants charge more for seated service than at a counter.
Restaurants: Look for the words “service compris” on the bill. This means a 15% gratuity has already been added. If it hasn’t been added already, about 10-15% is normal. Taxis: 1-2 Euro, if the driver is helpful. Hotel Housekeeping: 1-2 Euro per day. Porters: 1 Euro per bag. Group Tour Guides: A couple Euro per person. Private Tour Guides: Depending on tour length, about 10-25 Euro per person, at your discretion. Ushers: At the opera, 2 Euro. At the cinema, 50 cents.
Euro. For current exchange rates, go to www.xe.com.
The Metro and RER are quite inexpensive and generally reliable. From central Paris to the exhibition, take RER B toward Aéroport Charles de Gaulle and get off at Parc des Expositions. Taxistend to be expensive, but are usually easy to find. Renting a car is not recommended unless the driver is familiar with the Parisian style of driving.
The Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, etc. Research beforehand and prioritize based on your interest level. A good place to start is France’s official tourism website: www.tourisme.fr.
Military Sites & Museums
Musee d’ l’Armee is a must see for military buffs: www.musee-armee.fr. Many show attendees try to schedule an extra day to visit the beaches where the Normandy landings occurred during D-Day in WWII. There is a good private page that connects many of the museums with photos: www.battlefieldsww2.50megs.com/normandy_museums.htm.