Would you consider the Gulf Coast region as an emerging or mature market for tradeshows? How has the tradeshow industry grown in the region over the years?
The Gulf is an emerging, but well-established, market in the events industry as it is still growing.
Recently, the Middle East meetings and events industry is becoming one of the fastest growing business tourism generating regions in the world. Abu Dhabi has shown its intent to become a Top 50 destination for the MICE industry within the next five years by opening a convention bureau.
In neighboring Dubai, the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has almost doubled its meetings capacity in a bid to keep pace with demand from MICE clients.
How does Reed play an active role in promoting the region as a destination for tradeshows and conventions?
GIBTM is currently our only meetings and incentives show in the region. One of the benefits of attending GIBTM as a Hosted Buyer or Hosted Media is that we organize trips and post-show tours to showcase the region as a MICE destination. International attendees are seeing the Middle East for themselves firsthand and discovering the opportunities that are here.
Other than the United Arab Emirates, how are other nations in the region embracing MICE events?
Elsewhere in the Gulf, major infrastructure projects are underway, including the expansion of Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre (RICEC) where demand for events from an ever-wider range of business sectors is increasing.
As the leading platform for the incentives, business travel and meetings industry in the Middle East, GIBTM, now in its seventh year, is of great importance to the MICE market in the region. The show, which attracts in excess of 2,400 industry professionals annually, is the only event of its kind in the Gulf region.
How does the hosted-buyer format benefit the Gulf Coast region exhibitors at GIBTM?
Last year, we saw more than 270 Hosted Buyers attending GIBTM from across the globe, who undertook some 7,672 pre-scheduled appointments. This year, we expect to see an increase in international Hosted Buyers.
What changes or additions have been made this year to increase the effectiveness of GIBTM?
This year, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of European exhibitors attending the show; their presence on the show floor has quadrupled since last year with no less than 17 European destinations and companies participating. In order to support this increase, we have introduced a specialist European exhibitor pavilion and European ‘Market Focus Spotlight’ networking session.
How does the Educational Program at GIBTM and the release of the seventh GIBTM Middle East Meetings Research study complement the exhibition aspect of the show and shed light on the region as a destination?
We have lots of great additions to the Knowledge Hub section of the show this year, many of which have been selected to enhance the experience of being in the Middle East. The program will deliver real life case studies, strategies for leveraging social media and new technologies designed to inspire meetings industry professionals and provide an opportunity to discuss their insight and examples of what is working and ‘what’s coming next’ in the meetings and events industry.
Anyone interested in learning more about the GIBTM 2013 Knowledge Hub education program should visit www.gibtm.com/en/Education.
*Answers provided by GIBTM Exhibition Manager Lois Hall