A more condensed, focused and intimate PALME ME kicked off in the Dubai World Trade Centre yesterday, bringing some welcome vibrancy and noise to the Sheikh Rasheed Hall.
While, granted there were some absences from some of the industry's recognised names - attendee numbers were strong for the opening day, and -though smaller in size this year - the new compact, leaner look of the show gave the impression of much busier, focused exhibition.
Established distributors and companies such as ROBE, Clay Paky and SHOWTEX were shoulder to shoulder with the newer faces such as TW Audio and Echoe Beats - all highlighting their arsenal of products to information hungry visitors and potential buyers.
A big push of this year's exhibition has been an educational element, and this was served up particularly well in the seminars going on throughout the day. Grucci gave an insight into how it executed the 'World's biggest firework display' on NYE 2013, Tom Ralston of Eclipse offered some sage tips on briefing suppliers and contractors, and Lee Charteris of Flash Entertainment discussed how to gain international standards in events using local suppliers, joining other industry faces in voicing his support to Dubai's need to build a multi-purpose indoor venue.
" We just need to work out who the anchor tennant will be for something like that," stated Charteris when asked why he felt the Emirate hadn't begun working on such an arena yet. " think when that nut is cracked, and that concerns the growth of the industry, the growth of the population, but I think eventually it will happen - but someone just needs to work the numbers a little more."
PALME continues today with more of the same - look out for our update on Day 2 tomorrow morning...