Big 5 Lives on

The Big 5 is over, but not its impact. Nor will its ripples fade; they will only be overtaken by the waves of the next one. The organisers must be congratulating themselves on another successful show.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  December 13, 2003

|~|big_5_logo_200w.jpg|~|Big 5 was also the event at which Construction Week was born.|~|The Big 5 is over, but not its impact. Nor will its ripples fade; they will only be overtaken by the waves of the next one. The organisers must be congratulating themselves on another successful show. Certainly, most of the exhibitors have been pleased.

The organisers have had 24 years to perfect and grow the show. And they have. Year-on-year, the construction industry’s premier event has expanded in both size and stature. This year’s show was 20% larger and occupied all eight halls and the Sheikh Rashid Concourse at the Dubai World Trade Centre complex. It has long become a misnomer, hosting seven industry exhibitions instead of the five it was named after.

Some of the exhibitors were enthusiastic enough to claim that it is not only the Middle East’s greatest, but also among the world’s largest industry shows. Exhibitors are astute businessmen, who can correctly gauge the value of participation in a show like the Big 5. They are well travelled and aware of various industry gatherings in all parts of the world. They do not come from distances as far away as Brazil if they did not believe it could be worth their while.

The construction industry, even in this digital age of miniature products, still deals with bulk items. Therefore participation in a construction show becomes all the more critical as it involves shipping huge items off to a location like Dubai, which is still not directly linked to some parts of the world, like the Americas.

The fact that 1700 participants came from almost 50 countries is a vote for the show and for the fact that it has developed as the regional platform for the industry.

Apart from the actual business generated, Big 5 has also become a forum that continues to see debutantes with new-to-market products, technologies and services. Knowledge transfer is key to growth and competitiveness and shows like the Big 5 support the growth of the economy.

Exhibitors generally come to a show for two main reasons: either to find a market for their product or to support and expand their existing operations in the show’s domestic market as well as elsewhere in the region.

Most exhibitors said the quality of visitors was very high. The show was held just after the Eid holidays. This had led some to fear lower footfall as most regional holidaymakers would have left for their home countries. Even locally, the National Day weekend starting on the 2nd December, could have affected the show. Apparently, it did not judging by the exhibitor response.||**||

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