As it’s a new year, we’ve asked our reps to give us the lowdown on what’s happening in their regions. This month, we hear from Megan Macleod (our Middle East Rep) in Bahrain.
“My prediction? 2013 will be the year of the app in our region. When we started out a couple of years ago, Apps were pretty much unheard of, so our role was to help people understand what all the fuss was about. Last year we saw something of a tipping point in the GCC countries with a growing number of organisations in fields as diverse as banking, education, consumer brands and entertainment creating apps, stimulating much wider app usage and understanding of what they can do..
Last year we partnered with the Social Media Club (Bahrain), which is doing a great job of driving the awareness and uptake of social media in the region and better connectedness at events. The knock on effect is increased app usage and also an noticeable jump in the number of courses and qualifications being offered on integrating and leveraging social media introduce and technology into events to improve interactions and revenues!
Frequent use of QR codes in advertising has dramatically changed awareness levels, meaning exhibitors can see what’s in it for them if they use ShowGizmo’s automatically generated QR codes to build leads.
Live Stream is becoming more popular and I believe the trend towards hybrid events and live streaming options will continue this year. With some countries in the Middle East suffering internal conflicts, this helps in securing global speakers who don’t necessarily have to come here to be involved.
For a long time BlackBerry has been by a long way the most popular smartphone in the region. This is changing with Android phones such as Samsung Galaxy and HTC becoming really popular and more people are using iPhones — a real bonus for app suppliers as they do justice to the full feature set!
Despite the increasing volume of exhibition space in the region, PR, marketing and events budgets in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia (and to a lesser extent in Qatar, UAE and Kuwait) were slashed in 2010 and are only beginning to improve. So we’re very excited about 2013 and looking forward to mobilising many more events in the region this year.”