Web-enabled Gitex increases efficiencies and ease of use

This year's Gitex show is truly Internet enabled as its organiser, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), has increased its own efficiencies and made life a whole lot easier for exhibitors by moving processes online.

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By  Peter Conmy Published  August 30, 2001

This year's Gitex show is truly Internet enabled as its organiser, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), has increased its own efficiencies and made life a whole lot easier for exhibitors by moving processes online.

This year, exhibitors have been able to take advantage of the Gitex web site's news automation system. The recently developed application allows users to access the exhibitor news section, using a login name and password for security, and update their news as and when necessary. In addition, the modified online presence lets exhibitors mine the site's information more effectively due to a freshly installed search engine technology.

This new feature is just one of the many that the organiser is undertaking. Also in the pipeline is a download section where exhibitors can download the materials they need in order to participate in the show.

"We are currently working on a project to make the site more convenient for the exhibitors by adding a feature that will allow exhibitors to download key exhibition documents, such as application forms and the exhibition manual, from the website," explains Wahid Attalla, general manager, DWTC.

The news update and download features are designed to complement the site's existing information. Attalla explains that exhibitors, many of which come from abroad, use the site as their main reference point for information on Dubai.

"The GITEX site provides all the basic information about the show and the various aspects of exhibiting in Dubai such as stand costs, information on travel, stay, restaurants and car rentals," he says.

As the show draws ever closer traffic is expected to increase dramatically. However, Attalla explains that this is not a problem as DWTC has the bandwidth to handle it. "We use high bandwidth connection to the servers and the 50 G/Byte connections can handle a large number of visitors to our sites," he says.

The site, which was designed in-house but is hosted in the US by Infocom and managed remotely, using versatile and secure software, is not just for the exhibitors however.

Attalla explains that sales and technology has come together to help the organiser market the exhibition more effectively on a global scale.

"Working in collaboration with our web designers and communications specialists we have developed a marketing system that integrates information technology with traditional sales approaches. We are anxious to maximise the use of information technology and online marketing to further extend our visibility in international markets and are moving forward in this direction," explains Attalla.

In addition, internal initiatives such as workflow integration, the integration of existing systems including the front office management system (FIDEIO) with the accounting system, and the introduction of a purchasing system have all increased efficiencies.

The company's latest engineering system, MP2, is a versatile tool that has brought about enormous cost savings in job orders while the accounting system has bought DWTC in line with the latest technologies.

Efficiencies are also being increased through the company's external online initiatives. It has tied itself to Tejari.com for its purchases and its web site based e-commerce initiatives.
Much of the inspiration for the company's online initiatives stem from the 'e' drive of the Dubai government.

Attalla explains, "we are fully committed to the e-government initiatives of the Government of Dubai."

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