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PALME Middle East celebrates tenth anniversary

Lisa Carter
PALME Middle East celebrates tenth anniversary

The PALME Middle East event has been hailed a major success, following a repositioning of the trade show.

Two important strategic decisions by Informa Exhibitions, organisers of this month’s PALME Middle East in Dubai, ensured that the economic recovery now underway in the UAE was fully represented on the trading floor at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre. At the same time it enabled the three-day trade show to celebrate its tenth anniversary with style and swagger.

With a healthy and rapidly expanding event industry in the region, they took the decision to co-locate PALME Middle East alongside the Middle East EVENT Show — topped off with the popular and prestigious Middle East EVENT Awards on the second night, fully capitalising on the synergy that this provided.

Although Dubai remains an essential hub for commerce in the technology industries, in recent years business has migrated further into the GCC and beyond, building an expectation among exhibitors for a greater outreach.

Informa responded by undertaking a complete refocus of its visitor profile — drawing from the Near East and North and Central Africa, as well as the Gulf territories. In fact some of the high rollers at this year’s show came from as far afield as Nigeria. As Gordon Cooper, director of power generation suppliers SES (Entertainment Services) stated: “Where else could you meet people from Iraq, Nigeria and Afghanistan all in one room?” 

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On the stand of his distributor RFW Trading he received an order for AED100,000 from a Nigerian production house — part of “at least AED 250,000 worth of business we will write directly from the show. We have had a fantastic three days and this has been the best PALME ever for us,” he declared.

Another who was delighted to meet Nigerian customers was Extron Electronics’ senior sales manager for the Middle East, Ali Al Daghistani — since his region has now expanded into Africa, and they were pleased to see visitors from across the continent.

Although a byword in commercial integrations and switching they received major interest from rental companies for fibre optic and twisted pair extenders for transmitters and receivers, as well as dealers consulting on how to implement complex installation projects.

PALME Middle East was formally opened by His Highness Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who engaged in animated discussion with a number of exhibitors as he and his entourage undertook an official walkabout.

In particular, the opening day PALME Middle East Lighting Solutions Conference was declared a success by chairman George Katodrytis. 

Conference Producer Natalia Kaila said she was delighted by the response. “Moving the exhibitor led sessions to the show floor in particular has been a big success, and we can clearly see this reflected in the attendance.” 

Everyone seemed united in believing that the perceived economic recovery in the region would presage greater things to come. This feeling was summed up by Glen Kershaw,  sales manager of GSL Professional. “It’s looking really positive again for PALME after the economic downturn in the region over the last few years. The market is definitely recovering and we are showing 18-20 per cent increase in business in the first quarter.” 

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Tags: PALME 2012

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