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30 Seconds On The Business Of… Event Management

30 Seconds On The Business Of… Event Management

Gulf Business speaks to Adrian Bell, executive director of Action Impact.

How big is the GCC’s event management sector?

There aren’t any official figures for the region, but the good news is that the local Middle East Chapter of the International Special Events Society and Informa Middle East (organisers of the Middle East Event Show) are commissioning a research paper to determine exactly that.

Within the industry, what are main areas of growth?

There’s a lot of opportunity but just a few of the buzzwords popping up both agency side and client side are the importance of “experience” and “content”. So, bringing brands to life through the application and integration of quality storytelling, beautiful content and audience participation is an area of growth and opportunity.

What are the main challenges that regional event managers face?

There are many! But if I were to focus on one major challenge, I would say time. The UAE in particular is moving at such pace that the importance of “time-to-think” gets stripped out through necessity to deliver. And that lack of time to think, to create, to innovate and to iterate can lead to disappointing results.

Is the industry heavily populated in terms of operators?

Yes and no. There are a lot of agencies here now, but I’d only regard a handful as serious players. Generally speaking, the players of quality employ talent of notable pedigree and the people at the top are active in the industry and really understand the market as they’ve done their time here. So, the good stands out from the not-quite-so-good.

Where do you see it heading in the future?

In one direction: North. The industry here in the UAE is now up there with the best in the world and consequently, finding it easier to attract better and better talent. Which only leads to better and better work.

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