For the last few years, we have seen the footfall at CABSAT steadily increase but this year, we also saw the quality of visitors at the show go up significantly. Decision makers and industry professionals with a genuine commitment to investing in new technology were the key visitors at CABSAT 2009.
Exhibitors, therefore, felt that the show was well worth their investment and time.
There were also a large number of first time exhibitors at CABSAT this year. Their entry is a vital indicator that many companies, who are seeing their sales drop or stagnate in the West or Europe, are seeing bigger and better opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa region. CABSAT authorities confirmed that approximately 60 companies were making their first appearance at the show and among these, several were systems integrators looking to bring their expertise to the region.
While TSL stated at a conference that it was fully capable of providing consultation and services all the way from ingest to playout in the region, there were others like Thum and Systec International that were on the lookout for new opportunities in the region.
Mark Birchall, managing director of the UK Trade Fair also confirmed that the number of exhibitors from the UK had gone up by 15% from the last year. “We had about 75 exhibitors this year, and this reflects the growing relationship between broadcast suppliers in the UK and companies in the Middle East. Our UK pavilion gets bigger each year,” he stated.
CABSAT also took a bold initiative this year by launching Satellite MENA, a section dedicated only to satellite and telecom players. This gave the exhibition greater focus and ensured that visitors spent more time in the halls that were most relevant to their respective industries.
With growth bullish in the Arab world compared to worldwide markets and more suppliers, vendors and systems integrators entering the market, those offering substandard services will get weeded out if they don’t get their act together.
This year, more than ever, CABSAT reminds us that local players must be vigilant and not take their customers for granted lest they lose them out to bigger international players who are looking to expand into this region.