With the Middle East Event Show remodelling for 2014, Team TMN caught up with Exhibition Director Richard Brook, to find out what we can expect from the region’s most anticipated events industry exhibition…
When is the Middle East Event Show 2014, and where will it be held?
This year the Middle East Event Show will be taking place at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, and it will run from May 20 – 21, with the seventh annual Middle East EVENT Awards taking place on the evening of the May 21.
Tell us a bit about the concept behind the Middle East Event Show…
The Middle East’s event industry is ever expanding, basing its foundation on entertaining and bringing new and innovative concepts to the region to cater for the masses. With this in mind, this year we’ve decided to take the show and give it a whole new look, feel and focus. We’ve listened to what the industry has to say and have put together an event that focuses on knowledge sharing, education and networking. For the first time, the event will consist of six different, dynamic zones each addressing a specific business objective:
The Link offers a dedicated meeting space and is made up of meeting rooms, corporate hospitality and networking lounges. The dedicated areas can be used to not only showcase products, but to invite and host top clients for the afternoon.
The Showcase is the events main floor space, where visitors can come and see an impressive list of exhibiting companies showcasing their products and services. This year we have a wide range of industry sectors represented such as venues, technology providers, AV/equipment rental, as well as entertainment and event agencies.
The Know encompasses our conference programmes, and has been rebranded this year for the first time as MKTG Live. It provides marketing professionals with the platform to learn, deliberate and debate amongst the most influential industry leaders.
The Deck is a dedicated outdoor space, and something that we are introducing for the first time ever. With so many events in the UAE happening outside during the cooler months, we thought it made sense to offer the industry somewhere they could promote their products in the environment that they’re designed to be used in. The products being showcased on The Deck will vary from outdoor furniture and temporary structures to the truly wild n’ wacky. Definitely one to watch.
The Hub and EVENT Central is a Middle East Event Show take on ‘mingling with the industry’. It is a fully operational restaurant where the industry can take a break, grab a bit to eat and some drinks, network with industry leaders and work on building further connections (and ultimately solid business leads) with fellow industry peers.
How does the event differ from other event-industry related exhibitions in the region?
The Middle East Event Show is one-of-a-kind in the MENA region. There are other shows that focus on meetings, and meeting space, but the Middle East Event Show is the only one dedicated to Event Management, AV Rentals, Event Rentals, Event Technology and Catering Solutions, among others.
This will be the first time the Middle East Event Show is held in the JW Marriot Marquis. What was the reason behind the move?
The show was previously held at the Dubai World Trade Centre. We felt that holding it in a space that is not only trade focused, but has a trade feel to it, did not work with the essence of the show. The decision to move it to the JW Marriott Marquis allows us to be more flexible with the way that we connect our visitors with the product and service suppliers that they want to meet. At the end of the day it is not an exhibition, it’s an event created solely for the event industry, and not only will people be able to see products and services in action, the move means that they can also benefit from expanded content sessions and informal networking.
What can we expect from MKTG Live?
MKTG Live’s digital marketing conference, DIGICONF, will have a heavy focus on social media this year, and also deliberate on the trends expected to pop-up throughout 2014. It will also cover a wide range of topics from content and cross-channel marketing, to CRM and gamification.
The conference is set to welcome some of the region’s most prominent industry experts, such as Nicolaas Langereis, Director Social Media, MENA, Starcom Media Vest; Ibrahim Ahmed Elbadawi, Managing Director, Exantium and Former Senior eGovernment & Social Media Consultant, e-Government; and Tom Burrell, Head of Social, CRM & Analytics, LBi MENA.
Another new feature to take the stage at this year’s MKTG Live is the Digital Marketing Training Course. Allister Frost, Founder of Wild Orange Media and former Head of Digital Marketing Strategy at Microsoft, is known for his high energy, visually impactful talks and presentations. He will lead a concentrated two-day course that will focus on digital marketing knowledge and skills. The course covers a broad range of topic areas from how to develop your overarching strategy to hands-on implementation techniques for business success.
What can you tell us about the Middle East EVENT Awards 2014?
Hosted this year by Phil Jupitus of Never Mind the Buzzcocks (a popular UK panel show), the awards will take place at the JW Marriot Marquis.
The awards are our way of giving back to the industry. The deadline for nominations has actually just passed and we received a record amount of submissions this year for the 20 categories, each designed to showcase the diversity and excellence of the events and suppliers operating in the Middle East’s event industry. The categories range from Best Exhibition – Trade or Consumer, Best Events Venue, Best Meeting or Conference, Best Festival to Employer of the Year, Young Achiever and Outstanding Contribution to the Middle East Event Industry. As you can see we try to cover all aspects of the event industry to ensure that everyone gets a fair chance to be rewarded for their efforts.
We have also introduced a new category this year – Outstanding Brand Activation Event. This award is designed to recognise an outstanding brand activation event that created effective touch-points between the brand and consumers.
How can we attend the Middle East Event Show 2014?
The event is free to attend and is open to the public. Visitor pre-registration is open and can be found at – www.me-eventshow.com/register
What do you think the future holds for the events industry in the region?
With EXPO 2020 firmly in sight the regions event industry is going to be in the spotlight. Suppliers of products and services will be challenged to push the boundaries to deliver some of the most spectacular and successful events in the world! The Middle East Event Show is here to help – introducing local and international suppliers with the buyers that need to impress.
For further information, visit www.me-eventshow.com