Almost two-thirds of visitors to Middle East Electricity 2003, the Pan-Arab electricity and power generation trade show, said they were looking to contract with new suppliers at the exhibition. The details emerged from an independently audited post show report, which also stated that 99 percent of exhibitors said their sales expectations were met or surpassed.
Some 11,037 visitors from 71 countries attended the first annual edition of Middle East Electricity, which ran at the Dubai International Exhibition Center in January. Visitors, of which 32 percent came from outside the United Arab Emirates (UAE), spent almost two days at the show, which featured 539 exhibitors on 261 stands and nine pavilions and represented
The independent survey also revealed that 85 percent of visitors were directly involved in purchasing products and services at the show. Some 61 percent were prime decision makers. A total of 72 percent expected to do business at the show with an existing supplier, 61 percent looked to do business with new suppliers.
"The turnout at both exhibitor and visitor level more than justifies our decision to evolve this important forum into a yearly event," said Sarah Woodbridge, exhibitions director, Power and Energy Division, IIR Exhibitions, organizers of Middle East Electricity.
"What is particularly encouraging is that 80 percent of exhibitors have reserved space for next year's event, and repeat bookings are always the surest sign that the show is generating real business results." The geographic spread of visitors unearthed an increasing number of attendees from Iran and neighboring Kazakhstan.
Visitors voted their prime areas of interest as lighting (34.6 percent); transmission and distribution (28.54 percent); wire and cable material (24.1 percent); power generation (23.73 percent); cables and flexibles (23.56 percent); electrical motors and generators (22.78 percent) and installation equipment (21.74 percent).
Other categories, which fell beneath the 20 percent market but were still in high demand, were control and instrumentation; test and measurement equipment and systems; equipment and components; electronic components; computer software and new and renewable energy.
"These results, voting lighting as the top area of interest, vindicates our decision to introduce a dedicated industrial and commercial lighting arena to the show's profile. This is the first specialized area of its kind at any show in the region," explained Woodbridge.
Other vertical arenas to be introduced at Middle East Electricity 2004 will include power generation and new/renewable and sustainable energy. "We constantly monitor the regional industry and the market and where we can identify specifically strong or emerging demand, we move to ensure visitors can easily reach particular industry players through vertical arenas," said Woodbridge.
More than three-quarters of visitors (78 percent) said they identified new, interesting products at the show. Some 43 percent said they decided on new suppliers and 36 percent requested quotations or specifications. Almost a fifth (18 percent) requested a follow-up sales visit while five percent confirmed an order on-site.
Exhibitors to the 2003 edition said that in the main (76 percent) they exhibited to seek out new business, and a huge 80 percent said they experienced an immediate increase in business prospects while exhibiting. Another trend to emerge at the show was exhibitor-to-exhibitor
marketing. "Quite a few OEMs present approached us to include their products in our range," said Anita Mathews, Development Manager, Danway, UAE.
Other prime factors influencing decisions to exhibit were: to support local agents and clients, to gain a foothold in the market, to source agents and distributors, to monitor competitor activities and to gain short-term sales.
"Only 15 percent actually exhibited to gain a short-term advantage which shows a true realization in the market that the Middle East is a long-term proposition and now needs a solid approach of commitment," said Woodbridge.
"Certainly, the industry at large appears to accept that this region is one of the most valuable in terms of power generation, distribution and utility progression. Put into perspective, conservative industry estimates have put power investment needs in the six Gulf countries alone at $130 billion in the near term."
Surging populations, a renewed thrust towards privatization and a determined political and private sector will to build a solid indigenous industrial base is fuelling power demand throughout the entire Middle East and its neighboring North African region.
"Saudi Arabia, which has seen an 18-fold increase in energy demand since 1974, leads the investment league table, followed by the UAE. Saudi Arabia's power sector will require $115 billion investment over the next 20 years, which will nearly treble its generation capacity," said Woodbridge. A total of 648 visitors to Middle East Electricity 2003 came from Saudi Arabia.
Analysts say that elsewhere in the Gulf energy demand is growing at between 7-10 percent per annum, way beyond the global average of three percent. "It is this growth that attracts many companies to Middle East Electricity. It was also a key factor behind our decision to take the event annual," said Woodbridge.
Long-term Middle East Electricity exhibitor - the UK's Lucy Switchgear - ranked the show as the "best industry event in the region." Its Director Peter Lymer said: 'If you want to break into the Middle East, or increase regional business, you have to be at this show." Middle East Electricity 2004 will be held at the DIEC from February 15-18. — (menareport.com)
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