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Sun 1 Oct 2006 04:00 AM

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Baby products set for centre stage

Companies involved in the Middle East’s baby products sector are due to converge in Dubai’s World Trade Centre from December 14 - 16 for the annual Mother & Baby exhibition. The event is mainly a platform for producers of FMCG products aimed at babies and their mothers to reach their target audience of families in the UAE.

The event, which is in its third year, is expected to attract some 25,000 visitors and 120 companies involved in the baby sector, including producers such as Nestle, Gerber and Unilever, and retailers including Mother Care. Companies at the event will be showcasing about 150 brands collectively.

Companies involved in the sector view the event as an important opportunity to showcase their products and communicate with their key target audience, Shannon Norris, events director at The Main Event, the organiser of the show, told Retail News Middle East.

“If you have a product like Dove or Nivea, what’s been proven is that sampling is one of the best ways in which to encourage purpose and then gain loyalty, and what the event does is provide a platform for these companies to talk to their consumer on a one-to-one basis and then they can get feedback from them, and talk to them about the benefit of their product,” she said.

“In terms of the visitors, the majority are consumers. About 23% are trade professionals and that could be anything from someone who is a distributor of products looking for new product coming in, such as a product from Europe that is new to the region. Or it could be a professional, someone who works in maybe health or education.”

Norris added that while the event serves a number of industries, the biggest section of visitors is the general public, which accounted for about 76% of visitors at last year’s event. Meanwhile, about 24% of visitors to the event were trade professionals.

Parents are attracted to the event to see the latest baby products, gain information, and also to entertain young children, according to Norris. Indeed, the event has a number of attractions to draw families with young children. At this year’s event, one of the main attractions for children will be Barny, a popular purple dinosaur character. Norris said Barny is ideal for the show, because it is popular with children from two years old to six years old and is also considered educational. Other attractions at the event will be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cabbage Patch Kids and Carebears. There will also be attractions for parents, including fashion and beauty items for women. Norris confirmed that there will be at least one care manufacturer present, showcasing child safety seats and family friendly aspects of their vehicles.

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