Opinion

A luke warm reception

CMME is a supporter of trade events – they are and always will be a fantastic way to make new friends and drink copious amounts of luke-warm coffee. The team especially loves seeing new machinery and equipment at these shows. All this and more was in abundance at last month’s InterMat Middle East.

This is being re-stated because within minutes of arriving at InterMat Middle East, CMME was notified by someone at the event that last month’s preview issue had not been warmly received by those involved in the show. That it was too critical and hostile.

Describing an event as a solid representation of the machinery industry and praising its array of new equipment and conference is a positive observation – not a criticism.

Noting the footfall was disappointing and that exhibitors told CMME that they moved from one event to another because of it and a variety of other reasons is reporting. That’s our job.

The magazine would also not align itself with an event it does not believe in, hence our participation as a media partner for this year’s show. This was a decision chosen despite being disappointed by the last one.

For the next event, CMME is more than happy to give our feedback and suggestions for improvement. The magazine will also welcome any comment or reply from the organisers.

On the note of feedback, I must say it was highly commendable and refreshing that the press release that followed the show had exhibitors quoted as saying that there was a lack of quantity when it came to visitors at the show. There was – they said – quality when it came to those that turned up.

Our own research showed that there were others who also said they got some good leads from the show – so clearly it has some possible role to play in the market. I’m just not sure whether the construction industry knows what it is yet.

My worry is that it is caught in a bit of a vicious circle situation after its third edition. The show could do with more visitors to create a buzz, it needs more exhibitors to attract more visitors, more exhibitors would come if there were more visitors, and so on and so forth.

As I say in the review, InterMat Middle East looks more like a big name with a small show with each iteration. For those of us that appreciated seeing Cifa’s new pump, Bobcat’s new telehandler, Shantui’s UAE range, and much more, that should be a slightly depressing fact. We may have one of the world’s biggest machinery show organisers bringing an event to our doorsteps, but after a third, thinly attended edition, it is still unclear whether we’re ready to let it in.

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