The global disruption caused by COVID-19 didn’t stop the Abu Dhabi Convention & Exhibition Bureau from preparing for the return of events to its city. The organization used this downtime to reassess its strategies, analyze industry trends, and identify opportunities to ensure readiness for the return of business events in the near future.
The city of Abu Dhabi has been recognized for its efforts in containing the spread of COVID-19. The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi has created the Go Safe Certification program, an initiative to standardize the levels of health and safety in all tourism and hospitality venues in the city. A few elements of this program include creating temperature check stations, implementing an enhanced schedule of cleaning and sanitizing public spaces, and social distancing courses. Nearly all venues in the city have become certified Go Safe — including 100 percent of hotels, major tourism attractions, and shopping centers — adding to visitor confidence and encouraging activity in the tourism sector.
The Abu Dhabi Convention & Exhibition Bureau (ADCEB) hopes to build on that confidence as it prepares to welcome back events. In order to equip itself to handle meetings of the future, the bureau enrolled staff in PCMA’s Digital Event Strategist course. As a result, the ADCEB was able to more clearly understand the unique needs today’s event organizers will face. It took that information and worked closely with its partners — including local venues, hotels, organizer partners, and the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre — to develop services, offerings, skills, and capabilities to ensure it has everything needed to align with the latest business trends.
One of those major trends is the rise of hybrid events. The ADCEB is taking many steps to ensure the city is ready to handle the technological requirements that come with digital events. It has worked to establish robust internet availability and has trained its partners to become familiar with the various platforms used to host hybrid events. Additionally, the organization is working on programs to measure the impact of digital events in the city.
The bureau values its relationship with PCMA, particularly the cutting-edge knowledge the organization provides and the manner in which it keeps the industry connected. At this year’s PCMA Convening Leaders, ADCEB is one of the Network Thought Leadership partners and sponsored the session “Leading through the Fog of the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Additionally, it will be presenting a destination showcase and participating in the Business Events Strategist Community Group.
“Joining the PCMA Convening Leaders as an official network partner this year was a brilliant opportunity and one of great importance,” said Mubarak Al Shamisi, Abu Dhabi Convention & Exhibition Bureau director. “With the industry starting to recover, the event is a great occasion for businesses and industry professionals to learn about the direction the sector is heading in for the coming year. At ADCEB, we value the importance of knowledge sharing and advocate for events and platforms that support the wider industry. Abu Dhabi has been building on its base of skills and research strength to grow key sectors of the economy. And connecting with partners and global counterparts on such occasions plays a key role in our ability to progress. We look forward to our participation and have no doubt that all attendees will benefit from this significant platform.”
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