“We believe we captured the right balance between a truly focused trade show and highly successful sports & entertainment events for the public”, said Ms Virginia Kern, Chairman of Fairs & Exhibitions Ltd, who managed QSi in partnership with Qatar National Olympic Committee.
Visitors to the show during the last day numbered 999 bringing the overall total registrations for the 4 day expo to 6,880. Ms Kern pointed out that “its not really the volume of visitors to a trade show that matters, but the quality, we’re very pleased to say that QSi has had both”.
“During the exhibition we have been honoured to receive many VIPs, Ministers & dignitaries. Today we received His Excellency Sheikh Hamed Bin Jasim Bin Jaber Al-Thani, Qatar’s Foreign Minister. Ministers from other departments such as education, interior and civil service have also been to QSi. All were very interested in what they saw at the exhibition. Sheikh Fawaz Mohammed Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s President of the General Organisation for Youth & Sports also visited on Thursday”.
On Wednesday Mike O’Brien, the UK’s Foreign Office Minister responsible for the Middle East, came to the exhibition. His first stop was the trade Partners UK where he talked with Embassy officials & members of the BCCB Trade Mission currently visiting Qatar. Mr O’Brien said that “with Qatar hosting the Asian Games in 2006, we recognize the huge potential for British companies seeking business opportunities”.
AC Milan visit QSi
AC Milan’s Rivaldo & Rui Costa added celebrity to the last day of the exhibition by touring exhibitor stands and attending a press conference. The respective Brazilian & Portugese football superstars went on from the show to join their team-mates in a friendly match v. the Qatar National team.
As a mark of appreciation for the efforts put into the exhibition by exhibitors, QSi hosted the Best Stand awards. Guy Taylor at the QSi press office said that “the quality of the stands was excellent and it was a hard job judging. In the end we identified 4 categories including international, local, innovation & design. UBI France, Trade Partners UK, Al Obeidly Group and Regency Pools were nominated winners”.
The awards were presented by the world’s quickest long distance runner, Haile Gebreselassie, who had only the day before broken the world’s best time for running 10km and himself won a million dollars in the process.
Guy Taylor said that media coverage of QSi was one of the main reasons for the success of the whole programme, “the local press & media in Qatar had been very supportive during the entire week, we have had great coverage locally and internationally, with many of the events being televised live to audiences across the world”.
“QSi was set up to promote Qatar as the sporting centre of the Gulf region and to draw attention to the business opportunities which surround the country’s successful bid to host the Asian Games, our friends in the media have helped us achieve this goal”, said Taylor.
Ms Kern said that the organisers were already planning a follow up show likely to be held in the spring of 2004. “We are discussing dates with our partners at QNOC and will plan the next events to reflect the development process of the Asian Games. We must also listen to our exhibitors needs and look at the international calendar of sports events and exhibitions, so March or April 2004 seems a good target”.
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