Event organiser demand drives Abu Dhabi MICE success

ibtm arabia pod meeting
Abu Dhabi’s constantly evolving infrastructure, value for money and support mechanisms for event organisers mean the Emirate is proving ever more popular with MICE industry professionals. Testament to this is the fact that a raft of new exhibitors have signed up for the first time to ibtm arabia 2017, the Middle East’s leading one-to-one event for the MICE industry, which takes place in Abu Dhabi, UAE, from 7 – 9 February.

Shinu Pillai, Exhibition Director, ibtm arabia, commented: “Such is the growing popularity of Abu Dhabi as a destination for corporate events and incentive experiences, that we’ve had some extremely high profile brands sign up as exhibitors for the first time, including, amongst others, Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Jumeirah, The Rezidor Hotel Group and IMG Worlds of Adventure. Returning exhibitor numbers are also growing year-on-year, in part given the extremely high calibre of new Hosted Buyers our event attracts each year.”  

ibtm events was among the first to host an exhibition in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in 2007. In 2014, 327 events took place in the facility and the number continues to grow each year. Abu Dhabi broke into the top 100 ICCA ranking for the first time in 2012, having been placed 234th the year before, and continues to rise.  

Shinu continues: “Abu Dhabi is a destination which is constantly evolving, with a huge level of ongoing investment and development meaning that new venues launch every year. For event organisers and meeting planners, there is always a new and exciting venue to consider. The world is intrigued to see the Middle East with their own eyes - no other destination on earth has been built from scratch in 50 years – with 80% of the region’s infrastructure less than two decades old.”  

A major benefit to Abu Dhabi as a location is that it is extremely well connected globally, via Etihad and other premium airlines, and has world-class airport facilities which makes the beginning and the end of a delegate experience in Abu Dhabi second to none.  

Commenting on events in the region, Shinu continues: “There is sometimes a misconception that there is a lot of bureaucracy involved in organising an event the Middle East, however in our experience there is an excellent support mechanism in place for event organisers, headed by Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau and, on a wider scale, by Abu Dhabi Culture & Tourism Authority (ADTA), with whom we have partnered for a number of years.  

“Ensuring attendance at a show in the Middle East is as productive as possible requires real local expertise. There are regional nuances when it comes to doing business in the region that it is essential to acknowledge and adhere to.  

“There is huge importance placed on networking and building a relationship ahead of having formal meetings. To ensure that we give our attendees at ibtm arabia the very best and most effective environment for doing business, we created  a one-to-one ‘pod’ format for our event which, combined with ibtm events’ bespoke ‘matchmaking’ software, creates a personalised diary of 100% mutually matched pre-scheduled appointments for each attendee. This means that time is focused on meeting with people with whom there is a very high chance of doing business.”  

The overall agenda of ibtm arabia is deliberately structured to facilitate relationship building, with nine networking events held over the three-day-event, kicking off with a ‘Discovery Day’, which allows our Hosted Buyers and exhibitors to get to know each other whilst exploring the local culture in an informal environment before meetings commence. The day begins with a keynote educational session which acts as a forum for attendees to debate and discuss key industry issues, innovations and themes.  

Shinu concludes: “In such a dynamic industry, it’s essential that we keep things fresh and exciting for our attendees. Abu Dhabi’s ever evolving offer ensures we are able to do just that, resulting in the long term success of the event.”

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