VIV MEA has far exceeded expectations in its first edition as the new regional trade fair from VIV worldwide to serve the poultry, dairy and aquaculture industries from the Middle East and Africa to Turkey, Iran and the countries of South-Central Asia.
Held in the United Arab Emirates Feb. 15-17, the inaugural VIV MEA recorded an audited total of 6,336 visits by people from 109 countries to meet exhibitors from more than 279 companies at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
VIV worldwide manager Ruwan Berculo of organizer VNU Exhibitions says, “When we announced the launch of VIV MEA, we said we expected the first show to have approximately 200 exhibitors from all parts of the world, presenting their products and services to about 4,000 of the region’s top decision-makers and buyers. We have been proved right about the global origins of the exhibiting companies and about the high quality of the visitors, but the size of the attendance has been much more than we could ask for an event making its debut. This also shows in the high preliminary satisfactory rates: visitors score VIV MEA 2016 with a 7.8 and exhibitors rate the show with an 8.
“It has been a major vote of confidence from the people of the animal protein industries in the region, who have quite clearly welcomed VIV MEA with great pride as a regional show that has also instantly become a major international hub. Despite the political instability and turbulence in some areas of the Middle East and the current economic uncertainties in the region caused by low oil prices, the leading food producers have demonstrated by their attendance in Abu Dhabi that they remain determined to look ahead and inform themselves about the latest innovative and advanced techniques from around the world.
“In addition, the undoubted success of VIV MEA is a testament to the family feeling between the industry, our organization and the buyers and sellers of the business internationally that we have all joined hands together in creating such an important new event.”
Approximately 80 percent of visitors came from outside the UAE, Berculo reports. They represented countries covering the Middle East, considerable parts of Africa and locations in and around India. Numbers from individual countries in the northern areas of the African continent were especially strong for places such Egypt, Sudan and Nigeria. Many other visitors arrived at the UAE venue for the show from the neighboring Gulf states and Saudi Arabia.
“Almost all of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa already hold their own local show on agriculture or animal production, yet VIV MEA 2016 has managed to attract business leaders from throughout the region because of its special mix of global suppliers, innovation and information,” Berculo comments. “The success of our show was helped further by having an accompanying conference program of a considerably higher quality than would be found normally at more local events.
“It gained, too, from being co-located at the ADNEC exhibition centre with the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture. Visitors from both sides took the opportunity to look at the co-located events, as a way of adding even more value to their time spent in Abu Dhabi. These visits are in addition to the 6,336 original VIV MEA visits.
“Another extremely positive aspect for the first VIV MEA has been that its timing has coincided with the recent opening of more flexible international trading relationships with Iran. We were visited by several hundred Iranian poultry and feed producers who confirmed that the new business environment means they will want to invest and grow.”
VIV MEA delivered fully on its promise to be a niche animal proteins event for all industry leaders with a strong emphasis on poultry meat and eggs, but also offering an extended coverage into dairy milk production and aquatic farming. Visitors and exhibitors have already suggested how future editions of the event might be enlarged, such as by having an increased focus on the added-value downstream areas of further processing, marketing, branding and product safety.
“VIV MEA returns in February 2018,” Berculo confirms. “As a consequence, we now have an excellent show to alternate with VIV Asia in Bangkok as a regional hub platform taking place every two years.”