Successful debut event
If one or two people had been somewhat sceptical prior to the first ICCX Middle East, these "doubters" were taught a lesson. Even in the days leading up to the event, the high number of pre-registrations sent out a clear and positive signal. The ICCX Middle East, which took place on 26 and 27 November 2017 at the Sharjah Expo Centre, made a barnstorming debut with what turned out in the end to be 950 participants, all from the concrete and precast industry. ICCX, by the way, stands for International Concrete Conference & Exhibition, an event that has been organised throughout the world for many years by ad-media GmbH (publishers of CPI Concrete Plant International). Typical of the ICCX, but a first for the United Arab Emirates region, was the exclusive alignment of the exhibitors and visitors to the concrete and precast industry.
Construction projects with an investment volume of 3.1 billion US dollars are currently planned or in progress in the GCC region, providing ideal prospects for the concrete and precast industry and thus for such a trade event.
The ICCX Middle East 2017 – the first of its kind – was opened by His Excellence Marwan Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of the Sharjah Investment & Development Authority (Shurooq) and also took place under the patronage of His Excellence Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO of the Sharjah Expo Centre.
"We are proud to have hosted the first ICCX Middle East at the Sharjah Expo Centre. The ICCX, which specialises exclusively in concrete and precast concrete products, is the first trade event of its kind in Sharjah and enhances the wide variety of offerings at the Sharjah Expo Centre. The UAE have a strong cement industry and demand will remain lively in view of the increasing number of infrastructure projects. The event is a blessing for local and regional players, who as a result can acquire new technologies, products and solutions", said Saif Mohamed Al Midfa, CEO of the Sharjah Expo Centre.
Strong co-operation for a strong event
The first ICCX Middle East in Sharjah was organised by ad-media GmbH in co-operation with the German Emirati Joint Council for Industry & Commerce (AHK) with the support of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The ultra-modern venue, the Sharjah Expo Centre, sits in a perfect location between Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Sharjah International Airport (SHJ), both of which can be reached in 15 minutes by car.
Conference programme with 16 lectures
The conference programme covered topics that are relevant both for concrete manufacturers and for all players in the regional concrete and precast industry. The conference programme was assembled in consultation with the local industry and reflected current topics that are particularly relevant to the Middle East region, both from a technical point of view and in relation to marketing possibilities for modern concrete structures.
In their lectures the experts from Germany, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Switzerland dealt with topics as diverse as precast concrete elements, sustainability, the longevity of structures, high-performance concretes, 3D concrete printers, quality control, a new generation of paving stones, nanoparticles and geopolymer concrete. The participants followed the programme attentively and left the event armed with new findings and food for thought.
Trade exhibition with participation of the local industry
In the trade exhibition at the ICCX Middle East the visitors met the leading suppliers to the concrete and precast industry from numerous countries all over the world. Not only machine and plant suppliers, but also consultancies exhibited at the ICCX Middle East in order to present their products and services to the visitors.
A special feature of the ICCX Middle East in comparison with ICCX events in other regions was that the local concrete industry also presented itself at the exhibition and showed its portfolio of already implemented or planned projects. This widens the value chain of the ICCX visitors, from machine and plant manufacturers to producers and project developers, who have recognised the advantages of the precast construction method and are planning with precast concrete elements for new projects, in particular with a view to the forthcoming Expo 2020.
Ideal combination of trade journal and trade conference
By virtue of focussing the contents exclusively on the concrete and precast industry, the combination of the CPI journals and the ICCX events has created a network in which the quality of the trade information in combination with personal contacts is unique worldwide.
At the end of the second day of the trade event, therefore, the visitors, the exhibitors, the speakers of the conference programme and the organisers were unanimous in declaring that the trade event had been a resounding success and that it was also an ideal and professional platform for discussion and networks. The ICCX Middle East is precisely the event that the industry had wanted – organised by professionals for professionals. The feedback from the visitors was unanimous in that point.
The second ICCX Middle East will take place once again in late November. The doors of the Sharjah Expo Centre will then open once again on 25 and 26 November 2018 to offer the ICCX Middle East 2018 the appropriate setting. The preparations for the event are of course already in full swing so as to be able to meet the high expectations once again.
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