GITEX 2007 a great success, says DWTC

Early timing did not negatively impact outcome of the show, says director general of organizers behind the event.

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By  Michele Howe Published  September 13, 2007

The 27th edition of GITEX, the newly named GITEX Technology Week, was a "great success", Helal Al Marri, director general of show organizers Dubai World Trade Centre declared yesterday as the show drew to a close.

Admitting that initially organizers saw the show as a "bit of a challenge" this year because of its earlier time slot - the event was brought forward to accommodate a dental congress in October - Al Marri said that from the feedback gathered so far the show had been well received.

"This was not an opportune time for us, but 95% of our exhibitors were extremely supportive," he told press in a debriefing session. "We're not going to repeat this time of year," he added, however.

"We've been lucky," he said. "The new format, the support of our exhibitors, all ensured that debate and discussion around the industry have continued. The feedback has been very positive."

Overall visitor numbers have not yet been tallied up, but Al Marri said that by the end of Tuesday, the penultimate day of the five-day event, numbers were on par with last year. More than 133,000 people attended the show in 2006.

Footfall was particularly high on Sunday and Tuesday, he noted.

The new format of the show, the region's largest annual technology event, had worked well, he commented, enabling more companies to take part in the show and for the event to have more focus.

Feedback from exhibitors on the new organization was also on the whole positive with many commenting that there seemed to be more serious visitors this time.

"This year the new section was better," Jamal Abdulrazzak, marketing manager with GET Group, a second-time exhibitor at the show, told "Visitorwise it was good. Our target was government and we met a good number of these people. We will definitely be coming back. We have already booked space for next year."

Commenting on the different sections of the show, Al Marri said the reaction to the new Priority Club at GITEX Business Solutions was positive, with some 2,000 executives attending, and the Global Conference programme had also been a hit.

Both initiatives were something the organisers planned to build on, he said, with more focus to be put on "workshops, power lunches and sessions where people are really talking about their business issues".

"We don't want to do some big summit where people come because they feel they have to be there. We want to try and take a more humble approach where [the show] can grow over time. We feel that that is what the industry wants and that is what they are going to support," he said.

The second edition of GulfComms, the dedicated communications element of the exhibition, had also had positive feedback with many visitors coming specifically for that part of the show, he added.

Next year's show will open 19 October, Al Marri said.

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