Was it just the rain that kept crowds away from Cabsat?
UAE: The opening day of Cabsat saw rain lash Dubai, but was this a cause for people to stay away? It would be hard to deny that the opening few hours of the show were quieter than many would have liked, but the question is was the weather to blame or is this just a sign of the regional broadcast industry?
There has been a malaise around the local broadcast market in recent times with many projects put on hold. However, there was much anticipation ahead of this year’s Cabsat following the reported release of this pressure. The first few hours provided the quiet start that exhibitors did not want, but the crowds did eventually make it through the doors. The question remains though, was it the early morning rain that kept people away? Or is this just what we should expect from Cabsat now?
As other shows taking place simultaneously in Dubai’s World Trade Centre proved, the rain was not enough to deter a significant number of visitors from getting to the site during the morning. Yet it still felt like it took a long time before Cabsat became busy.
Perhaps it is the lack of new launches that caused the slow start? While there are plenty of ‘new to the Middle East’ products on show many people will have already seen these at other events around the world. Previous editions of the event have included world premieres and it is this opportunity to see something first that encourages people through the door.
This being said, there is still plenty for visitors to the show to experience. The conference sessions have been regularly busy and industry networking events have proven popular. Equally, many exhibitors have created environments where they can show important concepts such as Avid’s 9.1 demonstration area, Yahsat’s virtual reality space launch and the upstairs room taken by ETC to highlight the differences in its LED light engines.
Many had questioned whether uncertainties over entry to the US would have encouraged a larger crowd to head to Cabsat instead of NAB this year. But there was little evidence of this effect on the opening day of the show and as always much of the talk was what people could expect to see in Las Vegas in a few weeks.
Cabsat is unquestionably still the largest of the Middle East’s audio technology shows. It pulls in both the largest audience and the most exhibitors. If this event with all its strengths can struggle to attract the hoped for interest from the local industry, it poses a number of important questions for other events in the region.
Cabsat continues at the Dubai World Trade Centre until Thursday March 23.