Exhibition News May 2019 - Page 15

International One of the main challenges in the planning stage was the time frame. Twelve months is not a long planning cycle, especially for a launch show of this size and it was the first exhibition the Egyptian Armed Forces had ever done. As a part of our working process, we maintained a personal presence in the regular intensive planning meetings (mostly in Arabic), which meant a huge amount of travel and effort for the Clarion team. What were your expectations for the event and were they met? We were tasked to deliver 10,000 visitors and 300 exhibitors across three exhibition halls. In addition, we were asked to develop an attractive VIP programme that would bring together global leaders. The patronage of the event was awarded by HE President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his confirmed attendance heightened the need for the event to be perfectly delivered. As the event approached, we were required to extend the show floor in order to accommodate demand for last-minute exhibition stands; we actually sold over 300sqm of space in the final two weeks before the show, mostly to Egyptian companies. Our final attendance numbers reached 30,141 people across three event days. With such numbers, we surpassed the goals for the event and reached our objective to develop an event that would leave a strong legacy for future editions. We have already announced an extended floor plan for EDEX 2020 and the exhibition will run over four days instead of three due to the demand. EDEX was the largest launch in the 72-year history of Clarion Events. This achievement sets the event as key moment in our company’s history. Equally impressive, the event has already been confirmed on the launch edition to be the largest defence exhibition in all of Africa and one of the biggest in the world. What made the event special? We provided a platform for companies to access the Egyptian market in a way they couldn’t before – face-to-face. The event provided a unique opportunity to assess the extent to which specialised Egyptian defence manufacturers could compete in international markets and allowed exhibitors to assess the marketability of their products. Aside from the KPIs we exceeded, the fantastic feedback from exhibitors and the huge number of visitors queuing out the doors; the thing that made the event most special for me was the pride of the Egyptian people. From the Minister of Defence right down to the most junior officer there was unadulterated joy and pride in what had been achieved. The event concluded with a huge firework display to the sounds of the impressive Military Band, leaving a lasting impression for attendees. The effort put in by everyone was reflected in the success of the show, and this was a very special feeling. EN May — 15