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Sat 25 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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DM green guideline expected at Big 5

Simon Mellor, vice-president for the construction sector at DMG World Media talks to Shikha Mishra about how the Big 5 exhibition will be bigger and better this year.

Simon Mellor, vice-president for the construction sector at DMG World Media talks to Shikha Mishra about how the Big 5 exhibition will be bigger and better this year.

What can we expect from the Big 5 this year?

To be held at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre, the Big 5 is larger than previous years with 38,000m2 of net space. We have managed to do that because we launched a new section on the show floor which we have described as the Zabeel Galleries.

The focus will be on the challenges of green building technology, so innovations in building materials, which are typically relevant to the green building issue, will be highlighted.

This area will run the three Zabeel halls at the convention centre. These are small exhibition stands designed to allow first-timers to participate in the show. This will be an introduction to the Big 5 for these companies.

This space has been specifically reserved for UAE-based businesses, rather than being released internationally, and it will bring around 500m2 of additional space to the show and about 99 new companies.

What will be new for the PMV show?

Also new for 2008 is the proximity of PMV to the main event. Last year when PMV was launched, it was the biggest new show to be launched in the Middle East.

This year we have moved PMV to the outdoor exhibition area adjacent to Novotel Hotel and it will be spread over 15,000m2. The PMV show was held last year at the Airport Expo and the transition of traffic between the two venues wasn't ideal.

This year it is a walk across the road, so we are expecting a significant amount of the Big 5 visitors to be attending the PMV show and vice versa. The combined space of the two shows unquestionably makes the Big 5 and PMV the largest trade show in the Middle East.

Will Big 5 have related conferences or other associated events?

This year we are going to launch the technical conference which the Big 5 has not had previously. It's a modest start for us - it will be a one-day event featuring 11 international and local speakers.

The focus will be on the challenges of green building technology, so innovations in building materials which are typically relevant to the green building issue will be highlighted.

It will be held at the Monarch Hotel adjacent to the trade centre on November 24. One of the most exciting announcements that we have to make is that during that programme, the keynote speaker will be the director-general of Dubai Municipality who will release and launch its green building regulations.

This year we have also introduced the issue of safety and public health, particularly within the construction industry. We have set up a series of workshops with the British Safety Council (BSC), who are well-established in the Middle East and have a great international reputation as credible independent trainers.

BSC will conduct a suite of workshops where visitors can gain valuable professional training and development on a range of topics related to safe business practice and management of health of workers within the construction industry. They will offer live training on-site every day while the exhibition is runnin.

In addition, we are also launching the Gaia Awards in association with Construction Week. These awards have been designed to give visitors to the show an opportunity to see products that are related to green building challenges.

We have 27 short-listed finalists who will be awarded one of four green classification medals; green medal - finalists, commended products - bronze medal, highly commended - silver medal and most valued product - gold medal.

We will formally release the top finalists on November 5 at the Construction Week Awards ceremony.

Visitors to the show will see the Gaia imagery. Each of the 27 companies will be given transparencies or floor tiles relevant to their brands and as people are walking around the show, they will be able to see the winners and find them.

It's a showcasing exercise and the idea is to create a green trail of products on the show floor, rather than a conventional awards show where there is no physical connection with the product.

With this exercise, people actually get to touch and experience the product, meet the people responsible for it, and they have five days to do it.

We will present certificates to the winners on November 22 at a ceremony during the show.

What about related traffic and parking problems at the event? Will the situation be better this year?

We were in attendance at Cityscape 2008, and we have made our notes and observations. Dubai has gained its success and branding through its trade shows.

What is hugely important for us as organisers is that visitors and exhibitors who come into Dubai for these shows have a positive experience, whether it is with the hotels, airlines or the traffic.

The engineering and public works sector in Dubai are consistently challenged, and as residents of Dubai, we understand that problem.

But visitors don't understand the situation. So this year, we are working on a number of innovations to try and mitigate the impact construction work will have on the event.

As our show increases in size, and we bring a completely new show into the immediate proximity of on-going construction work, we are working closely with the venue and the authorities to manage the process as best as we can.

What turn-out can we expect from this year's show?

The Big 5 has a reputation as a business show. What makes it truly unique, and one of its major success factors, is that people come to the show to spend money and buy products.

Its success lies in its relationship within the GCC and the Mena region, and it is becoming more international. We have seen a growth in attendance over the last two to three years from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and India, and they continue to be focus markets for us.

We are expecting more than 50,000 visitors, 3000 exhibiting companies and about 15,000 products at the show.

The needs of the industry are changing, and the focus is now on environmental best practices in terms of construction and refurbishment of buildings.

The decree from HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to move towards green buildings is backed up with our activities with Dubai World Trade Centre, and we anticipate that we will go even greener, starting from this year.

Curriculum vitaeSimon Mellor, vice-president of construction for DMG World Media Dubai Ltd.

His responsibilities include managing all current and construction-related conferences and exhibitions in the Middle East, as well as any existing and future development in the industry.

Prior to relocating to the Middle East, he was based in Canada for three years working with DMG World Media, co- managing the Canadian and North American oil and gas portfolio. This covered a broad range of national, North American and international oil and gas events, including on-shore, off-shore, specialised and non-specialised energy related products.

He has been a director of DMG World Media in the UK in the five years prior to moving to Canada, during which he was responsible for various divisions of its business-to-business media portfolio.

He has been involved in the media industry for 19 years.

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