By Sean Williams
It’s often debated, much of the time in convention centre cafes, just how important trade shows are.
It’s often debated, much of the time in convention centre cafes, just how important trade shows are. Do they really provide value in terms of exposure to the right people, and money coming from expo-led deals? Some can be argued either way, but the coming months bring a trio of events crucial to the development of the Middle East’s digital media industry.
MyContent is an vibrant marketplace for exciting new brands. With advertising revenues and locally-based production houses and broadcasters popping up across the region, this year’s edition should be one of the best yet. CABSAT & Satellite MENA needs no introduction. Last year the behemoth racked up 700 exhibitors, with over 9,000 attendees per day, and this year is set to follow suit. Digital Broadcast will be there each day soaking up the atmosphere, with the show’s climax surely our very own Digital Studio Awards.
Yet the IPTV Forum Middle East & Africa, at which many of you will be reading this very letter, could be the most fruitful of this year’s harvest. IPTV is going through nothing less than an explosion in the region right now, with efforts to mobilise and monetise networks at every level of the value chain. It will be a chance for professionals to iron out business models, approve new projects and push the IP ticket.
Not only does the forum represent Middle Eastern businesses and technologies in fine health, but there is a palpable sense of excitement at widespread efforts to increase broadband and FTTH penetration throughout the region, with specific emphasis on the GCC. The UAE is leading the way in this respect, but Qatar is speeding up its push for access, as is Saudi despite its obvious geographical drawbacks. Just as well, as these projects will slash the times it takes for businesses to make money in the region.
Mobile platforms will be a huge talking point to, as firms rush to become market leaders on the iPad, BlackBerry and beyond. Don’t underestimate the power of the trade show. Especially not this month.
Sean Williams, is the editor of Digital Studio.