We held our first international exhibition in Dubai in late 2015 (October) at the Dubai World Trade Centre. This was our first move into international territory when it comes to exhibiting / tradeshows. Although we’ve done various trade shows around the United Kingdom, Dubai was on a different scale. And although we ship goods worldwide, including Dubai, we thought this would be an excellent opportunity for us to showcase our innovative apparel in a place where everyone strives to do the ‘biggest’ or ‘best’.
The routine was fairly normal and straightforward, especially as we were familiar with what was required in terms of documents. As we had a UK agency dealing on our behalf with Dubai authorities, we were lucky there was little to no communication issues. All the forms, required documents, stand artwork and PR releases were passed via email.
The UK agency also had links with major transportation companies so they got us a good rate for shifting stock, merchandise etc to Dubai via sea a month before the show. However, as we only had a small space and dealing on a b2b business at the show - we didn’t take part in this offer.
We stayed next to the Burjuman Shopping Centre and went for the setup to the World Trade Centre a day before the show officially started to set up our stand. Although the majority of it was done by our UK agents, we had to go in and get our passes and see if everything was up and running. We opted to use the Metro trains as appose to hiring a car or taxi due to the notorious congestion problems on the roads. I’m glad we did as the Metro made our life so much easier due to their being a stop right outside our hotel and on the doorstep of the World Trade Centre.
Tip: if your exhibiting at the World Trade Centre, there is a press hall allocated for press and media reps. The press hall is basically a huge room where members of the press gather to eat, relax and plan their show days. Try and find it either a day before the show and leave leaflets and any press releases so that when the press arrives, they notice you straight away and you get a better chance of finding them. It’s also a good idea to hang about and chat with anyone you see with a camera or video equipment. Don’t be shy in putting your product forward.
The first day for the show was slow, for all the exhibitors. Speaking to fellow exhibitors, whom happened to exhibit here in the past, stated it’s “normal” due to the show being for press/media only, the VIP’s attending (security was high) and due to the early start which the locals aren’t used to.
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