DISTREE Middle East sets new attendance record at tenth anniversary event

4227The tenth annual DISTREE Middle East retail channel event finished in Abu Dhabi on 22 May 2014. This year’s event gathered together more than 560 senior executives from 37 countries, including representatives from 80-plus brands and distributors selling into the regional retail channel. DISTREE Middle East provides the most efficient business platform for technology and electronics brands to launch, build or manage consumer channels in the region.

Farouk Hemraj, CEO at DISTREE Events, said: “More than 2000 pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings have taken place between delegates during the last three days. It was the largest DISTREE Middle East to date and planning is already underway for 2015. We would like to thank all the delegates that attended this year’s event and helped us celebrate DISTREE Middle East’s tenth anniversary.”

“DISTREE Middle East unites a powerful business community encompassing retailers, e-tailers, distributors and vendors. We expect many new channel agreements to develop from this year’s event and many new technology and electronics products to find their way onto the shelves and e-commerce sites of top Middle East retailers,” Hemraj added.

DISTREE Middle East 2014 was supported by Platinum Sponsors Huawei, Belkin Linksys and Quantum; Gold Sponsors ACME Distribution, Dell, Grand Stores, Hisense, Manhattan, Max Electronics and XTOUCH; plus Silver Sponsors Energy Sistem, GCT, Genius, Mercantile, Prestigio, Seagate, Souq.com, Strontium and TDK. This year’s Technical Sponsors were Dell, Jurassic and Ricoh.

The conference and Retail Academy programme at DISTREE Middle East offered insight and data from leading research and analyst houses including Event Partner GfK and Content Providers Blue Print Execution, Context, Jigsaw Business Solutions, Navo, Pumpkin Consulting and RED-DOLPHIN.

This year’s event included a keynote presentation from Dr. Rudi Aunkofer, Global Research Director IT, GfK Retail & Technology. There was also an increased emphasis on new and emerging product categories including a Wearables LIVE demonstration session at the event.

Nilesh Khalkho, CEO at retailer Sharaf DG, who has attended every DISTREE Middle East event since its launch, said: “The DISTREE Middle East team ensures that the event is interesting for us. It is worthwhile taking a few days out of our busy schedule to attend because it gives us insight into trends and helps us to create our strategies for the future.”

Jack Lee, Senior VP at device vendor XTOUCH, said: “We are a young brand and DISTREE Middle East provides us with the opportunity to form a closer connection to the channel and the retailers. Because retailers understand their markets, this event gives us the opportunity to get a better insight into what the consumer is looking for. DISTREE Middle East has been a solid, results-driven show for us.”

Michael Luke, International Sales Manager at consumer products vendor Parrot, commented. “When we first came to DISTREE Middle East seven years ago, we were an unknown brand. Today, thanks to this event, we are a recognised brand. We return each year to touch base with our retail partners and to establish new ones. This year we wanted to introduce our new range of mini drones and we have had a very good response from the channel.”

This year’s DISTREE Middle East also included the popular ‘60 Seconds to Convince’ awards programme where dozens of vendors delivered a one minute pitch for their latest product in front of all participating retailers. BEM won the Best Design category for its Wireless Kickstand Projector with 38% of the final vote. Promate’s Double won the Best Innovation category securing 44% of the final votes. The Best Presentation accolade was picked up by Jurassic Distribution for its pitch of the Pelican Pro Gear Vault Series.

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