Paperworld goes east
We’ve had Germany, China, even the US. Now it’s time for the Middle East or, to be more precise, Dubai. OPI gives a flavour of what we can expect from the new addition to the Paperworld brand
Paperworld Middle East will be the first show of its kind to be introduced to Dubai. Held at the same time as Playworld Middle East, a show for children’s toys, games and lifestyle products, from 7-9 March at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, this addition to Messe Frankfurt’s portfolio will focus on the same product groups as the well-established Paperworld Frankfurt event.
The time is certainly ripe to introduce the OP industry’s premier tradeshow to the Middle East, a growing trading platform for the industry. As an example of the size of the region’s sector, according to recent market research, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) paper industry has a market value of about $700 million per year. Breaking this down, UAE accounts for more than $400 million of this, with Saudi Arabia accounting for another $220 million, while Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman account for approximately $65 million between them. With these figures, a focus on this part of the world seems imperative.
What’s on offer
As OPI went to press, the final exhibitor list was not available as companies were still signing up. However, according to Messe Frankfurt, products from more than 30 different countries will be on show, including all major stationery exporting countries. The show’s official partners – Pelikan, LAMY, Schneider, Acme United Europe, Hallmark, Poxos and local stationery manufacturer Farook – demonstrate the international interest it has had so far.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Epoc Messe Frankfurt, says: "Having the right partners is a crucial element for launching an exhibition and we are grateful for their support. Having done a lot of research into the sector, we identified a niche in the market and decided to bring this branded exhibition to the Middle East region."
One of the show’s focus areas will be back-to-school (BTS), a product category that is just as important in the Middle East as it is in many other countries, often reinforced by elaborate BTS promotions. In 2010, it is estimated that total spending on school and college students was $55.2 billion.
Says Pauwels: "Back-to-school has become a major promotional tool in the Middle East. Paperworld Middle East will feature a wide collection of school articles including drawing materials, writing instruments, folders, school bags and exercise books while Playworld Middle East will present children’s lifestyle products including school furniture, clothing and accessories, and sports and playground equipment. All of these products, which feature heavily in the back-to-school category, are expected to be big draws for visitors to the co-located trade fairs."
Another feature of Paperworld Middle East is Remax. Growing from the success of the inaugural combination of Remax and Paperworld in Paperworld Frankfurt 2010, the Middle East show is taking the same route. As Europe’s biggest trade fair for printer-accessory recycling, Remax focuses on a subject that is of increasing economic and ecological significance for the imaging segment.
Speaking of the decision to include Remax, Pauwels adds: "Our partnership with Remax is a significant step for us and shows the confidence this well-renowned trade event has in the success of our new show. Remax also represents an important standpoint for us as it believes in, and actively encourages, recycling for a greener environment. Epoc Messe Frankfurt is equally exploring different channels in which to conduct greener business. ."
Whether the Paperworld model, which has been so successful in Frankfurt and Shanghai, will flourish in the Middle East is yet to be seen, but it looks set to be a packed show. And with rumours of further Paperworlds around the world, there seems to be no limit to the
length of the tradeshow organiser’s arm. n