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Efforts pay off at GITEX 2019 (VIDEO)

Click to play video Efforts pay off at GITEX 2019 (VIDEO)

Efforts pay off at GITEX 2019 (VIDEO)


Occupying nearly every hall of the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and now in its 40th edition, GITEX Technology Week is without a doubt one of the biggest exhibitions to be held in the Middle East region and the show is now well under way. But while it might have the benefit of scale on its side, the exhibition is most definitely not aimed at the classic audiovisual market. Despite this, there has been a small and loyal contingent of pro AV companies supporting GITEX for several years now.

Yet when those AV companies have to make so much noise just to make themselves stand out against the multitude of disparate tech companies also vying for attendees’ attention, Pro AVL MEA was keen to find out whether their efforts were paying off.

‘We’re always trying to find new shows that allow us to increase our visibility,’ explained Taiden’s Ilyes O. ‘We used to do InfoComm MEA before it stopped, and we decided to shift to GITEX for the first time last year, in particular because many of our customers and distributors were asking us to be here. There are a lot of government institutions attending and we’re seeing a lot of demand for conferencing products because this sector is so complimentary to others that would traditionally exhibit. The strong demand and valuable feedback from visitors last year really encouraged us to come back again.’

GITEX used to take place alongside the Middle East and Africa’s regional InfoComm exhibition. Those days have come and gone, but it turns out that the companies supporting GITEX typically aren’t doing so because they hope to meet an ‘InfoComm attendee’. The allure of GITEX is brand new faces, from entirely different sectors for which AV is increasingly playing a part. And from comments that Pro AVL MEA heard on the show floor this week, these conversations can be far more valuable that one might imagine.

Riedel's Ahmed Abdel Wahab and Dipesh Makwana are exhibiting at GITEX with Venuetech for the first time
Riedel's Ahmed Abdel Wahab and Dipesh Makwana are exhibiting at GITEX with Venuetech for the first time

‘We first started getting involved with this show seven or eight years ago because of the InfoComm show,’ said Sennheiser’s Ryan Burr. ‘At InfoComm MEA we saw footfall and a type of customer that we’d never seen before, because historically we’d stuck to the pro AV or broadcast-type shows. And because we were so successful in gaining new touch points with customers at that first show, we decided to stick with it – always with our partner Venuetech, who has a far larger presence here than just us. Historically, the customers we meet here have been people we don’t normally have communication with, and we’re really able to discuss the way our products can help them in the different type of projects they’re working on. As long as we keep meeting customers like this, we’ll keep exhibiting.’

Saying that, Burr noted that while there was once as many as 12 or 13 AV distribution companies that once exhibited at GITEX, this has now shrunk to just a handful.

Justin Joy from Peerless AV
Justin Joy from Peerless AV

While Shure MEA is no stranger to GITEX, Shure’s José Rivas attended on behalf of the manufacturer for the very first time and was struck by how busy it was and the enthusiasm on the show floor. ‘We’ve been incredibly busy with leads from qualified people,’ he noted. ‘It’s been amazing for me to see how many new customers and new leads we’ve got at this show, and how connected those opportunities are with what we’re doing here from a collaboration solutions point of view. The main thing that’s impressed me with GITEX has been the diversity of the offering.’

While a couple of AV companies present at last year’s show had chosen not to return, clearly feeling that the effort and expense was not translating to worthwhile business, those that continue to support the show couldn’t be more vocal about the potential opportunities it offers. It seems that those that like GITEX, really do like and value the exhibition.

GITEX Technology Week continues until Thursday 10 October 2019.

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