InfoComm MEA shows signs of improvement
UAE: Despite the usual complaints, there was a largely positive feeling at the end of InfoComm MEA. Exhibitors felt there was a gradual increase in numbers, with each of the first three days feeling better than the last. But the most important thing was the quality of visitor who came through the doors.
‘The show is good, we have seen the right contacts,’ noted Analog Way’s Franck Facon. ‘We have a few leads, but they are good leads. The quality is here.’
‘For us it has been a very good show,’ agreed Venuetech’s Nour Assafiri. ‘To be frank, there is no quantity, but there is quality. We have improved our relationship with some people, and met new people too. We have been busy all the time. There are less visitors but they are good quality.’
This was a common feeling across the show floor. Visitors were looking to source new equipment for projects and as such, leads were generated and business was done. ‘We’ve been busy and seen the right people,’ said Taiden’s Nicolas Mreches. ‘There are concrete projects coming through and we have the right technology for those projects.’
‘The few people you do see are high quality,’ agreed DAS Audio’s Jack Palacio. ‘There are systems integrators, there’s some international business here as well, which is very good, but you don’t need to hang around for five days.’
As always, this view about the length of the show was widely supported by exhibitors. ‘I think there is a very good three-day show desperately trying to get out of this five-day show,’ smiled L-Acoustics’ Peter Owen on the Delta Sound stand.
‘Really I think this is a three-day show,’ agreed QSC’s Glen Harris on the SGTC booth. ‘The last couple of days have been quite good, the first couple of days were quite slow, but we have got a couple of good strong leads to follow up on. It’s a show we want to support and will continue to support either directly or through our distributor.’
‘I think the show’s been very positive. It’s definitely shown progress from last year,’ noted Mark Ullrich from Symetrix which had used the 2012 event as its launch pad into the region. ‘I think the show’s a little long, there’s some space in between the meetings, but it’s just part of the way business is done here.’
As had been the case for the first two editions, there were once again calls from exhibitors to target the five-day issue by partnering with a different show. ‘It would be great if they partnered with another show like Palme, Cabsat or Intersec. Four shows of the same type in a year are too many,’ said PV Davis from VV & Sons. ‘The show was good for the last three days, but I still feel five days is too long.’
There is a general feeling that exhibitors at InfoComm MEA would be better served if the hall was within the main body of Gitex. ‘The only thing I’d like to see is it moved within Gitex so people walk through,’ noted Harman’s Dave Budge on the GSL stand. ‘It does feel a little ghettoish, but not as bad as it has done in the past. We’ve seen a steady flow through of people. There is quality and it isn’t the same faces which has been very good.’
People are aware that the five-day issue cannot be solved whilst staying with Gitex, so need to start looking at other solutions to ensure they have the best show possible. Some did this by making sure they invited consultants and systems integrators while others chose to have separate booths within Gitex itself, or choose to be at Gitex rather than InfoComm MEA.
The likes of Wyrestorm and iMerge could be found on the Monster Middle East booth in the corridor outside halls four to eight. While Ateis Middle East took part of the Dubai Silicon Oasis booth. However, the majority of exhibitors that chose Gitex over InfoComm MEA could be found directly opposite. Panasonic, Belden, Christie and Shure all had stands in Hall three.
‘I think the main purpose for us coming here is to catch different customers. Consultants have been coming by the stand, but so have people like universities who we might not have seen at a dealer trade show,’ said Christie’s Simon Smith. ‘From what I’ve heard this year, InfoComm has been a better show this year than it was last year. I think it does also help this show as probably some of the trade that we see is as a result of them coming to InfoComm and from there into here.’
One of the most interesting stands to find at Gitex was NMK’s Shure and DIS booth. The distributor had decided to split its presence across both shows and felt this helped it get the best out of the show. ‘I think the Gitex booth has been really interesting for us because it introduced us to a lot of people who we never really knew. However, it is also important to maintain relationships with those who you do know and InfoComm obviously did that for us,’ reasoned NMK’s Chicco Hiranandani. ‘The guys at Gitex have told me that they’ve met more end users, so that could be a good thing because when it comes to specifying things they know the brands and where they can go for them.’
The general sense of positivity at InfoComm was helped by the organiser taking on board criticisms from previous years and acting on them. The signage in the corridors around the World Trade Centre was better and the barriers between the halls had gone, encouraging people to move between the shows.
There were still calls for improvements to the marketing of the show within Gitex and the organiser does have some important issues still to solve. But the overall response suggests it is moving in the right direction.
A full review of InfoComm MEA will be in the January-February 2014 edition of Pro Audio Middle East.