DISTREE Middle East will celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2014, with this year’s event taking place from May 20th to 22nd in the luxurious surroundings of the Fairmont Abu Dhabi. The three-day event provides vendors and distributors of technology and consumer electronics products with an opportunity to pre-schedule one-on-one meetings with top buyers and senior executives from the region’s leading retailers and e-tailers.
Farouk Hemraj, CEO at DISTREE Events, said: “The Middle East retail channel has undergone a rapid transformation in the last ten years. During this period DISTREE Middle East has firmly established itself as the most effective business platform for vendors and distributors looking to review, expand or launch retail routes-to-market for their products across the region.”
This year’s DISTREE Middle East will see the debut of a new Wearable Tech Zone, giving retailers the chance to meet vendors active in this new product category. Laurent Eymard, Co-Founder and CEO at RED-DOLPHIN – a community platform dedicated to wearable technology – will present some of the newest wearables set to hit the market during an interactive demonstration session.
DISTREE Middle East 2014 will also see the launch of a new Retail-to-Business (R2B) Summit. This new session, which will be hosted by ICT channel tracking research experts CONTEXT, will focus on the potential for serving micro and small business customers through traditional retail channels in the Middle East.
Hemraj added: “The Middle East retail channel is evolving constantly and the launch of the Wearable Tech Zone and the R2B Summit are designed to keep retailers and e-tailers ahead of the curve. The R2B Summit offers an opportunity for vendors with SMB-focused solutions to assess the potential of the retail channel as a route-to-market.”
The conference programme also includes a keynote speech from event partner GfK, plus a series of Retail Academy workshop sessions delivered by retail experts and channel consultants. DISTREE Middle East 2014 will also include the ’60 Seconds to Convince’ awards programme, giving dozens of vendors one minute to deliver an elevator pitch for their latest product offering, with the overall winners determined by live electronic voting.
The ‘Middle East Retail Academy (MERA): 2014 Awards’ will take place in conjunction with DISTREE Middle East on the evening of Wednesday 21st May. The seventh annual awards ceremony will recognise vendors, distributors and retailers for sustained channel excellence in the Middle East during the last 12 months.
“The MERA Awards are an important part of the overall DISTREE Middle East agenda,” added Hemraj. “The MERA team is in constant contact with vendors, distributors and retailers throughout the year, providing a detailed monthly review of channel conditions across the region.”
Positioned as an exclusive invitation only event, DISTREE Middle East attracts the senior executives and top retail buyers from across the region. The efficiency of the event format, coupled with the chance to meet senior executives from both existing and potential suppliers, makes DISTREE Middle East a ‘must attend’ event for all those involved in the retail channel.
“Retail delegates want to meet A-brands, emerging vendors and even start-ups in one place at one time – and that’s exactly what DISTREE Middle East delivers,” said Hemraj. “More than half of Middle East retailers currently believe there is not enough communication from A-brand vendors, according to the latest MERA survey.”
“Almost three quarters of retailers want to interact with both the vendor and the distributor of the products they stock. Not a single retailer is satisfied with only dealing with a distributor. In a highly competitive retail channel, the benefits of meeting top retailer executives face-to-face at DISTREE Middle East are compelling for all vendors,” Hemraj concluded.
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