Although I thought it could be bigger, but the internet show in Abu Dhabi was good enough for a small B2B event with some big players like Yahoo and Google.
There were some service providers such as outsourcing companies which help in design and development (especially from India), however, the majority of exhibitors were related to the online advertising industry. This includes: advertising networks, SEO and social media marketing, traditional and social advertising campaign monitoring companies, etc…
Few other companies presented their products as a Saas service such as e-commerce platforms and media publishing tools.
In parallel to the free-to-attend exhibition, the organizers held the paid Social Media World conference in the same hall. It was mainly focused on how corporations can promote their products and services through the social media, so marketing managers from different industries were sharing their experience in social media marketing.
Actually they had 3 small conferences, two of them had free sessions where mainly sponsors were addressing the attendees about latest developments in their companies, and the third one was the paid social media conference! I didn’t like this setting, because I was interested in some of the parallel sessions but I had to choose only one to attend!
Honestly I miss few things in this event that I’ve considered a must for any Internet related event, such as a free wi-fi connection, Twitter screens to see what people are saying about the event while being there, video streaming or at least recording, to watch the sessions later online, and as an investor, I miss the web entrepreneurial spirit! It was all about corporations and traditional service providers.
Overall, it was a good get-to-gather for in the internet industry people, where you catch up with almost everyone. I was planning to meet few people after the event, but we were all there so we had our meetings during the event.
I wonder why we travel for a 2-day exhibition but not for a 2-hour networking event, while all events in the internet industry turn out to be simply “networking” events!! This would really save the exhibitors and the attendees lots of money.