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18 September, 2005

Futuristic festival of un-fun

A featherlight date souffle, like foaming-creme-brulee flavoured with rich syrupy dates, is an excellent reason to long for the arrival of Ramadan, when it will make its debut in the Ritz Carlton's Ramadan tent.

The other, even better reason to long for Ramadan is that its arrival heralds the end of yet another GITEX. This annual hell-fest of tech, IT, and related cybercrap is suffered by hacks, PR bunnies, IT geeks and weary retailers alike, and is enough to make anyone revert to slate and abacus.

If only GITEX could be biennial, like the superb Dubai Air Show, with its fantastic fighting aircraft and thick-necked foreign military.

Or even better, bicentennial: meaning no one would have to endure it more than once in their lifetime - which is one time too many for most.

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Blogger Poshboy said...

and then Campaign chips in saying that "DEsign and Advertising agencies all are fighting for the lucrative IT business".

I had not noticed actually myself and non of our new business people seem to have been fighting for any IT business...

and then the added bonus of GITEX... no taxis... bit like the last DSF... and the great idea of putting it out of town so all the taxis just sat up there in Global Village.

Rather have the traffic myself so at least u can get a taxi!

19 September, 2005 02:10  
Blogger secretdubai said...

The best (=worst) aspect of transport to last year's Global Village was that you couldn't exit and go South back down Emirates Road. Instead, you had to drive about 50km in the other direction nearly as far as National Paints Roundabout, and do a U-turn. It was utterly cretinous.

19 September, 2005 02:16  
Blogger Poshboy said...

....and the thing I still do not understand were those VIP Global Village passes.

I do actually think that they must have issued about 500,000 of them as you still had to walk about the distance of a small marathon to get in the place after parking.

19 September, 2005 02:27  
Blogger redstar said...

Hear hear. Gitex is awful. None of the vendors want to attend, but have to. Serious IT stands are placed next to people selling Plasma TVs and blank CDRoms. Everyone jumps the taxi queues whilst some guy blows into a whistle, shouts in Arabic, smokes a Marlboro and generally does nothing to manage the situation. Grunting 'IT Managers' point at complex systems at ask 'how much this? You give good discount?' in astonishing manifestations of the Gulf's IT ignorance.

An utter, utter waste of time for everyone except taxi drivers, the friendly ladies of Bur Dubai's nightspots and their clients who are spending a week's holiday in Dubai, paid for by the vendors bidding for their next pointless upgrade.

19 September, 2005 07:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last year's Gitex was an irony. As some of you know that attendees can register online, and then turn up at the trade centre to find out that one has to re-register and queue so that a customer service person re-enter their details onto a computer, so much for reduction in deplication of effort by IT. As most things in IT, the system for entering attendees data broke down, so it took about 45 mins just to register. This year I am going to read the markitechture that is placed in the local papers, and shop on computer street and Al Ain Plaza as most of the people will be swarming at Gitex shopper, but you still get the same discounts as Gitex Shopper.

19 September, 2005 10:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gitex can sometimes be disappointing. There are no great leaps in technology every year. The trick is to choose which stands you want to visit...ain nobuddy pointin a gun at yer head askin ya ta visit the blank CD wallahs.

Access? Pedestrian underpass in front of Crowne Plaza takes ya to the other side. About a 15-minute walk to the halls. Escape again the same way.

Global Village? The El Condo family had no problem. DM public transport from Satwa to GV main gate (and back) was safe, easy, comfortable and convenient. Nice buses, co-operative drivers. Dh 4 per head, sometimes free ride for kids (driver's discretion if above specified height).

Happy travelling.

19 September, 2005 11:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Ramadan, Wish it could be atleast 5months in a year. This time we will build a Tent from Date leaves!

Have already started the work... justing waiting for for the plasma tv and the showtime sports

19 September, 2005 12:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another layer of pity please for us innocents who work at the Trade Centre and have nothing to do with I.T. whatsoever. During GITEX getting into the complex and finding parking is even more laughable than usual, especially since the destruction of one of the main car parks. As for DSF (Double Standards Festival??) I must say that I had no trouble getting in or out of Global Village but I'm not going to tell you why for fear that if I share my arrival/parking tips it will take me three hours to get parked next year!!!

19 September, 2005 12:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Will it be the World's Largest Date Leaf Tent?!

19 September, 2005 12:08  
Blogger black feline said...

a tent from date leaves? what's the catch? a tent from that will be interesting and it mega for the special touch...

19 September, 2005 12:48  
Blogger said...

Being would have to be the World's Largest Date Leaf Tent. If it is not logical, it is consistent :-)

19 September, 2005 16:39  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Ramadan.....ah, memories of doing sweet FA in the office for 6 hours and lying by the rooftop pool in the afternoons.

This Ramadan will see me trudging through the snows of central Russia for 2 weeks. It'll take me until Eid to thaw out.

19 September, 2005 19:46  
Blogger moryarti said...

Ahhhhh... GITEX, my 7th as an exhibitor - oh god i pray to thee will this ever end?!

To spare some pain for those unfortunate exhibitors, I have listed down some of the typical visitors that, no matter what you do, will make it to your stand.

For illustration purposes only, the following are the most common categories:

1. The ‘know_it_all’ visitor: This visitor's typical hobby is to ask questions that he/she already knows the answers to. The visitor will do his/her best to highlight any fault in your presentation and point it out to you. You usually find them Stand-hopping, traveling light and alone.

2. The ‘Don’t_know_at_all’ visitor: These are people who just happened to drop by the hall thats industry is far-away from their's. They would ask you general questions like.. "so tell me what is Microsoft!"

There are ones who could genuinely be interested in what you have to say, but in reality, they lose interest in your demo in less than 35 seconds. Though, they manage to keep an interested-look, but can’t wait till you shut up for them to head to the next random stand.

Both types tend to be polite, nod their heads a lot and are more receptive side of the conversation.

3. The ‘Out of Towner’ visitor: Most of them are from our of town IT companies that are looking around for what’s new, possibly fishing for new partner or just visiting GITEX to ‘impress’ there customers back home. Don't waist your time on them.

4. The ‘Brochure/freebie Collector’ (my favorite): These are ones who have nothing to do but collect brochures and freebies (giveaways). More often you find them in packs of 2 or 3s, they casually dressed and are overloaded with plastic bags and folders. In most of cases, they are not senior employees, so again, don’t try to impress them.

5. The Undercover Competitor visitor: Although unlikely, but it could be very possible that an overzealous competitor decides to drop by your stand in an attempt to "find more about what you are doing".

This person would be in the form of 'The know_it_all' visitor, they wear someone else's badge, pretend that they ran out of business cards and introduce themselves as Mr. Hue Jorgan or Ms Amanda Kiss.

19 September, 2005 21:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not from dates, i meant from the leaves of Palm tree. but mark my words it will be the biggested tent in the Area!

19 September, 2005 22:08  
Blogger redstar said...

Nicely summarised Moryarti!

My favourites are the guys laden down by literally hundreds of free pens, caps, t-shirts, etc. They have no interest in any of the stands, they're just on a mission to collect as many free squeezy balls and novelty branded paper clips as they can. I'd love to see their houses. They are doubtless fully furnished by branded giveaways, with wife and kids proudly dressed from head to toe in corporate clothing.

I was told that one of the main reasons Gitex and other exhibitions started to levy an entry fee was to stop labourers coming in to get hold of free pens and clothes.

20 September, 2005 11:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite possibly true, Redstar....u wuz told, wuz u..?

All the labourer would have to do is walk up to the sweet lady dressed in red, fill in a form stating his name, designation, industry category, purchasing authority, etc., hand over his business card and hey presto! he'd be an official Gitex business visitor.

Alternatively, he could pre-register online, and bring the print-out with him, along with his business card...that way he could save standing in line.

Looks like the Dh 20 charge has put an end to all that...

20 September, 2005 16:03  
Blogger Jassim said...

Labourers have business cards?

20 September, 2005 16:10  
Blogger moryarti said...

I lost count of the number of times i used someone else's business card to get into an exhibition .. no one really checks :)

20 September, 2005 18:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's pretty candid, Moriarty, but more importantly, it points to a certain brazenness and disregard for expected standards of personal honesty that comes easily to people of a social class that may fit your profile....

I don't mean to be rude or offend you, but what you are clearly saying is that you wantonly and intentionally cheated and got away with it. You had no problem with it. And your social status enabled you to carry it off without detection or arousing suspicion.

A labourer would simply not be able to do that, even if he was lucky enough to chance upon someone's business card that just happened to by lying on the ground. In your case it's quite possible you had a business card of your own, but it did not fit the required industry category, so you resorted to this measure. Even with (someone else's) business card, a labourer would have trouble fooling anyone into thinking or accepting that he was a bonafide business visitor. So we're really flogging a dead horse with this subject.

The pertinent question is: are the pen collectors there to soak up technology developments or to collect free pens? And is the Dh 20 (now 25) entry fee the right way to address the problem?

GITEX is open until 7 pm on weekdays, so to actually attend, most visitors, if not delegated by their companies, would have to take time off from work to do so. This implies a certain interest or commitment. Their business cards (we shall accept as bonafide in view of the discussion above and regardless of the dishonesty of a few) correctly identify them and their designations, positions and heirarchical levels within the organisation. It is up to the organisers whether to permit or refuse their entry. The acceptance and issuance of a badge to a visitor indicates that the exhibition organisers consider the individual as meeting their criteria.

Now I have a simple sugesstion to deter "pen collectors" that doesn't involve leying an entry fee on every single person who attends the exhibition. It is as follows:

a) Stop giving out pens.

b) Stop giving out T-shirts.

c) Stop giving out "freebies".

Believe me, it could work.

Overcome by the insatiable urge to give away something to somebody (and later complain that you gave it to the wrong person)? Try this:

a) Keep the "freebies" out of sight.

b) Maintain a pleasant and inviting disposition when someone approaches your stand.

c) In the event that the individual engages you in conversation and you are able to determine and satisfy yourself that the subject is a possible source of major business to the firm that you represent, reach under the counter at some appropriate point and ply him with the freebie.

I trust that my suggestions are not too far-fetched and outlandish to be acceptable.


22 September, 2005 14:21  
Blogger black feline said...

all these cheap freebies are passe...when we did our exhibition in a little island in asia...we sponsored a titanium golf set..drop your namecards and come back later for the lucky dip..we have bona fide biz people.
Alternatively, we had hired respectable ladies in beautiful swimsuits and boots for our previous shows..again a big draw and hit!

22 September, 2005 21:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

....second one sounds good....

....take it your visitor profile wuz mostly MALE....

24 September, 2005 18:24  

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