David Roberts, industry group manager, CABSAT, Dubai World Trade Centre, speaks to SatellitePro ME about the debut of Es’hailSat and road shows under way to promote the 2013 edition. The CABSAT 2012 edition attracted 11.483 visitors from 110 countries and hosted 840 exhibitors from 55 countries.
We are no longer just a GCC or even a Middle East show, with 110 countries represented among our visitors this year
What is the significance of Qatar-based Es’hailSat’s participation in the 2013 edition?
I think it’s a big, bold statement from Es’hailSat in that they are about to enter the market in 2013 and want everyone to know about it. For CABSAT, it is another endorsement of the growing satellite section of the show from a major new player.
It’s quite rare for a company to debut at the show with a big, 60 sqm self-built stand. In 2012, we had Paksat, and it’s great that we have another one next year from Es’hailSat. We are looking forward to receiving their stand designs so we can see what it will actually look like!
How successful was the satellite section of CABSAT in the 2012 edition?
In terms of exhibitors, it showed significant growth on the previous year, with some major brands such as Inmarsat and Paksat coming into the show. There were also some major new deals announced by the likes of Yahsat and others. It’s also becoming increasingly noticeable that satellite draws a different type of crowd to the show.
There were a lot of government and military people in attendance this year, including the Minister of Information of the Republic of Sudan, who I gave a personal tour of the satellite section of the show, on the second afternoon. It clearly shows there are some serious projects out there in parts of Africa and elsewhere, involving massive investments to overhaul analogue technology, and establish new multimedia platforms. It’s great that CABSAT is the trade platform they choose to come and source all this technology, and often sign deals during the show.
In terms of road shows and other promotions, what markets, regions and companies are you looking at for next year’s edition?
We will continue to focus on Europe, North America and Asia in terms of exhibitors, but our real focus now is extending our reach for visitors into different parts of the globe.
We are no longer just a GCC or even a Middle East show, with 110 countries represented among our visitors this year.
In conjunction with our sister show, GITEX Technology Week, we are undertaking a series of road shows in North, and sub-Saharan Africa to promote both shows.
We are very aware that many African countries are on the verge of upgrading their broadcast and telecommunications infrastructure, and so broadband via satellite is becoming the strongest option to achieve this quickly. We have also put in place a more robust and extensive network of sales agents and brand ambassadors for the show globally, which should help us take it up another notch for the 2013 edition, both in terms of exhibitors and visitors.