Big 5: Enhanced visitor engagement in 2016

Josine Heijmans, event director for The Big 5, discusses the biggest construction trends of 2016, and explains how attendees can get more out of this year’s show

Josine Heijmans is event director for The Big 5 2016.
Josine Heijmans is event director for The Big 5 2016.

The Big 5 2016 is expecting more exhibitors than ever before, according to event director, Josine Heijmans.

Despite a challenging regional construction environment, Heijmans says that the Dubai exhibition will continue to grow, with both new and returning exhibitors showing strong support for the event in its 37th year.

What’s more, Heijmans is confident that The Big 5 2016 will feature a healthy mix of industry leaders from both the regional and international construction sectors.

“International companies are looking at the [Middle East] region more than ever before,” she explains. “[This trend is demonstrated by] our exhibitor base.

“With The Big 5, we want to provide a platform for the industry, setting targets for each edition in order to deliver a top-notch event for our visitors each year.

“While the event acts to support participating exhibitors to do business, network, and create new contacts, it also offers a platform for visitors to get the latest on market trends, key challenges, and ways to overcome them,” she added.

The Big 5 2016 will also witness the introduction of five dedicated product segments, which have been designed based on input from exhibitors and visitors alike (page 10). Heijmans elaborates: “Cataloguing products into specific sectors will help visitors find what they are looking for faster and more efficiently.”

Two key product sectors that will be placed under the spotlight this year are smart technologies and sustainability. Demand within both sectors is growing at a rapid pace in the GCC. Increasingly, regional construction professionals are looking for novel ways to develop smart cities and improve green building techniques. What’s more, the drive for sustainable construction practices is expected to grow significantly in the Gulf during the coming decade.

Within this context, The Big 5’s Gaia Awards, which have been revamped to offer visitors the chance to vote online for their favourite sustainable products, have seen applications increase to 420 entries this year, compared to 250 in 2015. Heijmans continues:“Our aim this year is to have visitors engage in the decision.”

Collocated with Middle East Concrete and PMV Live, The Big 5 2015 saw record-breaking numbers, with 3,104 exhibitors from 67 countries, across 113,526m2 of floor space. Heijmans is confident that The Big 5 2016 will build on the exhibition’s strong heritage.

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