UAE Conferences and Events – A wealth of networking opportunities

If you are considering establishing a business in the UAE, attending an industry conference or exhibition could give you the important information and contacts you need to make the next step. Industry leaders from around the World and across a myriad of industries come to the UAE to share information and make connections.

But how do you maximise your business opportunities during the conference season? The business set up company, the PRO Partner Group offers their guidance. Here are their ‘Top 10 Tips’ on how to maximize your business opportunities through conferences and events:

Top Ten Tips

01. Find out which conferences are happening in your industry

Find some good websites which list those all important conferences, happening in the region. Here are some places to get started:

Index Conferences and Exhibitions Company
The Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition
Events Eye - Trade Shows in UAE
ADNEC - Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre
World Future Energy Summit Jan 2018
Conal Conference Alerts
10 Times - Global Trade Shows and Conference Listings

02. Set Appointments

Each exhibition and conference organiser will publish a list of exhibitors and presenters. Identify companies and individuals important to your business and set appointments in advance with key customers or contacts. If you are exhibiting, make sure you invite potential customers to your stand and consider running a sales promotion such as a give away, competition or unique seminar to boost numbers, create a buzz and attract more people.

03. Bring Branded Collateral

Make sure your marketing material and brochures are looking good. Branded giveaways are always appreciated and a good opportunity to get your brand in front of clients in a memorable way.

04. Prepare an Elevator Pitch

You should have an ‘elevator pitch’ ready for impromptu meetings so you make the most of any opportunity. If you are an exhibitor, it is important that the people on your stand are well trained, able to engage clients and friendly (read our blog on Business Etiquette in the UAE for a few tips). Most visitors are short of time, so make sure you can communicate your business’s key selling points quickly.

05. Share Insights

Not only are conferences and exhibitions an excellent time to meet people and network, they are also a good place to learn from the best in your industry or field. Divide and conquer if you are attending with co-workers. Make sure everyone takes notes and shares ideas and insights with colleagues each day or at the end of the event. In the Middle East it is important to learn as much as you can about the key people and decision makers in your industry and use this information in your business planning.

06. Consider Speaking

Well before the exhibition or conference the organisers are putting together the programme and looking for speakers. By contacting the organisers and suggesting an interesting or industry leading topic you may make it onto the programme. If you are looking to set up in the UAE, this could be a great way to raise your profile as a leader in the field and provide opportunities to get in front of the right people in your industry.

07. Consider Sponsorship

Sponsorship is a good way to raise your profile. There are usually opportunities for sponsorship at varying price points and this would provide a way to get your brand in front of your industry peers and potential customers. An additional benefit might be an invitation to receptions, press events or seminars.

08. Tweet and Defeat

Social media is a great way to create a buzz around your stand or attendance at an event. A good idea is to start by adding comments and retweeting from the event’s Twitter feed. If you are an exhibitor, you could also live stream interesting events from your stand or record interviews with clients. Keep your social media up to date with pictures and information from the conference and key insights from the speakers. Write a blog post about the event and make sure you share with new contacts or clients you meet.

09. Network Like Crazy

Much of the business of a conference or exhibition is done away from the exhibition hall or podium. Conference dinners or social events run by Embassies, business or trade groups provide an excellent opportunity to meet people and develop a solid base for a business partnership. Make sure to check out what events are being run as part of the conference or exhibition program and register well in advance.

10. Make Sure you Follow Up

After the conference or exhibition, follow up with all the people you have met. If you are flying in to attend, it may be worth staying a few extra days to follow up on leads and arrange extra meetings with key contacts you make. Send out follow up emails and LinkedIn requests and make sure to enter relevant business card information into your CRM system. It might also be a good time to share key insights with your colleagues or sales team about what you learnt attending the conference or from your customers at an exhibition.

What next? Time to start your business in the UAE?

Traveling to the UAE for an industry leading conference or exhibition can be an important first step in setting up a business in the region. After making key contacts in the industry, speaking to the experts at PRO Partner Group about capitilising on these opportunities is a logical next step. If you are in the region for a conference or exhibition make an appointment with PRO Partner Group at the same time to discuss how you could gain access to the valuable and growing business opportunities in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Qatar and Oman.

Specialists in the Region

James Swallow is Commercial Director of PRO Partner Group. PRO Partner Group specialises in providing foreign investors with a seamless and financially efficient way to set up a business presence in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Qatar and Oman. Contact James direct on james@propartnergroup.com or call a member of the team on:

T: +971 (0)4 456 1761 (Dubai)
T: +971 (0)2 448 4810 (Abu Dhabi)
james@propartnergroup.com
www.propartnergroup.com