Airside International talks to Daniyal Qureshi, group exhibition director for show organiser Reed Exhibitions Middle East, about what we can expect from this year’s Airport Show in Dubai
Q: The Airport Show held in Dubai in 2016 seemed as well attended and as busy as ever. What were the numbers?
A: Airport Show has become the largest and the most sought-after event in the aviation industry and an ideal B2B (business-to-business) platform for companies to showcase aviation-related products and services.
The show has been recording a strong year-on-year growth, the result of growing interest in this region from the global aviation industry and, importantly, the dedicated platforms that Airport Show offers to its exhibitors as well as the choice of participants.
There has been a double-digit increase year-on-year in space bookings for the 2017 edition, which will take place on 15-17 May at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
In 2016, the show had a participation of over 318 exhibitors from 55 countries and 7,166 attendees, compared to 290 exhibiting companies from 32 countries and 7,120 attendees in the previous event.
Q: Of course, there’s much more to a successful show than just numbers; what would you say were the big successes of the 2016 event? Did you receive plenty of positive feedback on the show?
A: The dedicated platforms such as ‘Business Connect’, the focus on the latest technology in aviation and the choice of exhibitors are among the many reasons that make Airport Show a must-attend event.
The Airport Show was a resounding success in 2016. In our post-show survey, over 91% of exhibitors said they were likely to recommend Airport Show to colleagues and 85% of them agreed that Airport Show is a must-attend event.
Exhibitors see it as the most important airport-related event in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where they have the opportunity to meet executives from airports and aviation authorities, airport consultants and contractors from the MENA region, in addition to participating in a number of educational platforms, such as the CAPA Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF), Women in Aviation conference and Innovation Podium, which provide in-depth information about the industry.
Exhibitors also appreciate the chance to meet with the local and international media who extensively cover the Airport Show.
Q: What’s the floor space going to be this year, and how does this compare to two years ago?
A: The Airport Show was spread over 10,000m2 in 2015, a figure that has increased to over 11,500m2 this year.
Q: How will you build on the success of last year? And what new features will form part of this year’s Airport Show?
A: To ensure that we cater to the growing needs of the aviation industry in today’s dynamic business environment, we keep adding new and exciting features to the show.
The show will cover seven sectors: Airport Build and Installations, Airfield Construction and Installations, Airport Operations, Airport Security, Airport Technology and IT, Ground Support Equipment and Services, and Air Traffic Management, while the 2017 event will also offer dedicated Airport Security and Air Traffic Management Zones, in addition to Business Connect (pre-scheduled meetings).
Airport Security will take centre stage at the Airport Show 2017, featuring a host of exclusive benefits for global airport security vendors such as showcasing cutting-edge technologies from around the world, an exclusive ‘Business Breakfast’ session for vendors to network with key regional airport security officials and a Hosted Buyers programme, guaranteeing pre-scheduled meetings for exhibitors with regional security buyers.
The Air Traffic Management Zone will showcase an entire spectrum of air traffic control (ATC) technologies and solutions, and exhibitors will get to discuss the challenges and opportunities, best practices and technologies for the fast-expanding industry as well as meet the key decision-makers from across the region’s ATC authorities.
Over the years, Airport Show has expanded and now caters to the requirements of diverse segments within the industry. Business Connect, for instance, through pre-scheduled meetings with key officials from regional airport authorities and contractors of mega airport projects, makes participation in the show highly rewarding for our exhibitors.
In addition to Airport Business Connect, which has been running for the last several years, we have Africa Business Connect and ATC Business Connect, which we launched last year, while we are introducing Airport Security Business Connect in 2017 to ensure attendees have targeted opportunities to achieve their event objectives.
The show will also feature World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo Middle East (WTCEME), the region’s only dedicated event for the travel catering industry and CAPA Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF), organised by CAPA – Centre for Aviation, as co-located events.
Q: The Airport Show in Dubai is one of the benchmark shows for this market space; can you summarise why you think it is such an ongoing success?
A: The Airport Show has clearly established itself as the top aviation industry event on a global level. Its success is largely due to the unwavering confidence and strong growth of the Middle East’s aviation sector.
Growth of the aviation sector in this region has outpaced global growth, especially in terms of number of passenger numbers and the Airport Show, with the support of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Airports, Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, dnata and a host of regional airport authorities, provides an effective platform for suppliers and buyers to develop new partnerships.
We expect this to continue in the long term and our strategy is to continuously work toward enhancing this show, bring additional features that can offer a highly rewarding experience to exhibitors, supporters, stakeholders and participants alike.