“We are coming to the expo because the whole world is in one place,” once said Laura Faulkner, UK commissioner general and project director for the UK pavilion, Expo 2020. With worldwide mega-events, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is gaining global prominence.Both EXPO 2020 in Dubai and the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 are highly anticipated events. But what is the effect of these mega events to the region, and why be a part of it?
With the theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the talk of the town (or world) is and has been on Expo 2020 for quite a few years now. When Expo was majorly discussed amongst business and technology enthusiasts, FIFA World Cup was a trending topic amongst everyone.
Technology is a big component of events (especially in the current scenario with the pandemic digitising everything), and it offers opportunities to the industry in the region. It can also help improve operations and expenses while improving the tourist experience. According to research, UAE’s spending on information and communications technology (ICT) alone is expected to reach $16.7 billion this year, a year-on-year increase of about 2.5% compared to $16.3 billion a year ago. When mega-events provide overall technology development in the region, Expo 2020 plays a more important role as it lets showcase the solutions and services as well.
These Mega events provide an opportunity to test and push all aspects of the technology sector, including the limits of technology and what it can accomplish, as well as how people work and interact. “Middle East wasn’t considered a leading actor in the worldwide technology environment. The chance for advanced technologies originating from the region to be utilized in such global events illustrates the Middle East’s developments within the sector and bringing it out of the shadows. Being able to prove that the Middle East is taking the lead in digital transformation enhances the region’s image. It opens up new opportunities for innovation and emerging businesses,” said Ehab Kanary, CommScope Infrastructure EMEA, Emerging Markets Sales VP.
Mega-events are also powerful venues that enable technology innovators to reach a broader range of multidisciplinary target audiences. They happen to become a strategic partner in the process, whether they be vendors, business partners, direct customers, or gaining awareness for a brand. Mega-events also provide a valuable chance for potential buyers to grasp the items in their hands and experience them firsthand, touching and feeling them in real-time before making a final decision. Immersive experiences are important and frequently turn out to be the deciding factor in purchasing decisions.
Amine Sadi, Regional Sales Manager Channel Sales, MENAT, Milestone Systems said, “The events themselves represent important users of premium technologies but also a unique chance to showcase it. The events have to differentiate from former ones and technology is a way to optimize operations, enhance security, provide a unique experience and showcase capabilities.”
Though these are normally considered as a breakthrough point for hosting countries, it also pays huge advantages for participating countries. Exhibitions are aimed at businesses and people interested in a specific sector, and it attracts a wide spectrum of experts. It provides a steady stream of eager consumers.
“As the first event of this scale to be held in the Middle East, Expo 2020 is expected to attract millions of international visitors to Dubai. A key advantage for Panasonic is that we have successfully supplied a wide range of innovative solutions, technologies and products for other major global events such as the Expo Milano 2015 in the past. Panasonic supplied over 640 visual systems for more than 40 pavilions, operating 15 hours a day over six months,” said Hidetoshi Kaneko, Director and Division Head – System Solutions and Communications, Panasonic Marketing Middle East & Africa FZE.
These events are also opportunities for channel partners to cash upon. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for partners to demonstrate their talents and knowledge. They are resourceful provides cutting-edge technology which can be well utilised. Any solution provider can reap the advantages of these projects, acquiring experience in executing those one-of-a-kind projects and installations, as well as prestige for being chosen as one of the top technology companies to showcase their technology and services at this event.
Shane Grennan, Regional Channel Director for Enterprise and Alliances at Fortinet Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan, said that channel partners can play a part, develop their expertise, show their culture, gain the experience and recognition, and use that for the future. He added, “In such a huge project there will be people who are less rigid and focused on the end goal of the Mega event, it is these resellers who will attract positive attention and can use their contribution to the event to improve their business going forward.”
Partnerships are necessary for sustained success in today’s competitive industry. Our area business partners may take advantage of a variety of extra benefits that will help them stand out in the high-demand environment that Expo 2020 will provide.
“Optimizing benefits from mega-events can be limitless if we channelize our resources strategically. Everyone from technology operators, management systems, vendors, direct consumers to B2B accelerators; mark their presence and they are all potential customers. When channel partners work towards providing meaningful communication between themselves and their target audiences through such platforms, it can evolve to become a great collaborative experience,” said Bob Aoun, Regional Sales Director for the Middle East and Africa at Poly.
Technology appears to be pushing every industry with its mind-boggling advancements due to its quick capacity to get things done. The most recent advancements in the events industry have been driven by technology. Mega Events are pushing the region’s technology market to a whole new level and will continue to do so.