Posted by: englishdubai | October 25, 2008

GITEX Survival Guide


GITEX in Dubai is a chaotic time. Traffic around the World Trade Centre area gets even worse than usual. Hotel rooms get really expensive and restaurants in the evening get crowded. In fact on the Thursday of the closure of any large exhibition I would avoid being the Sheikh Zayed Road or getting a cab entirely. I head numerous horror stories of two hour trips from Mall of the Emirates to the World Trade Center, stuck in a gridlocked Greens for 45mins or just being stuck on the SZR and missing ones flight.

I spent well over 70 hours last week at the GITEX show from stand setup on the Saturday to tear down on the Thursday. It was tough work but worth it at the end. For the long duration of this trade show your body gets shocked for the first couple of days due to the countless hours stood up and then seems to adjust to it. As an exhibitor here are my top tips to survive the busy five days:

1. Arrive Early – parking is easy any time before 9am and for my money the paid parking out the front of the halls or the multi-story was worthwhile. The free parking in desert is a long hot walk. (Insider tip: 50AED to valet at the Fairmont and a short walk across the pedestrian bridge is a good back up plan)

2. Comfortable shoes – hours on your feet and long walks between stands makes them a necessity

3. Make friends – the exhibitors nearby provide welcome distraction during the quieter moments

4. Hydrate – the cold AC really dries the air out in the halls

5. Have fun – we had a presentation area and I guess GITEX brought out my inner showmanship talents. I really enjoyed presenting with a wireless mic.(I might need to find some better jokes next time though)

6. Give-aways and Hostesses – great to attract people to the stand, meaning more people to talk to thus making the time fly

7. Business Cards – bring a lot, then double it. I easily gave away over 200 in the last week.

8. Decompression Chamber – or in our case Lotus One. A bar where we could have a few drinks after the show closed to recount the days experience with the team and let the traffic die down a little

At the end of it all I was exhausted but I left with a feeling of accomplishment. We had great teamwork and we easily exceeded the goals we set in the meticulous planning over the last months. Tradeshow’s like this come around once a year for good reason – it takes about that much time to recover!

I am sure I will be back for 2009.


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