Arab Health

Ryan O’Lynn | 20 Jan 2016 | Trade Show

It feels like only yesterday we were all starting back to work after the Festive break here in the UK. Trying to re-engage (force) mind, body and soul into waking up daily at 7am and spending most of the first day back in the office trying to make headway through an intimidating email inbox!

However back we are and January 2016 is an exciting month as it involves OCO Global travelling to Dubai to attend Arab Health.

“The Arab Health Exhibition & Congress is the largest healthcare exhibition & medical congress in the Middle East. Second largest in the world”

The show itself takes place from the 25th-28th January at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre. Arab Health is now a sell out in terms of exhibitor space meaning that the 2016 exhibition will showcase more than 4,000 companies exhibiting their latest innovations, products and services to an estimated 130,000 healthcare professionals attending from 163 countries.

Impressive indeed – albeit not surprising. The show itself hosts strong company representation from across the Globe including numerous business delegations organised in part by Economic Development Organizations (EDOs) who are able to assist and help with operational support on the ground providing advice, support, directions and for the lucky ones WIFI access.

I wrote about these types of delegations in last month’s blog and I am a firm believer that companies who are interested in exporting into new markets should be reaching out to their local EDO to understand what type of export assistance is available to them.

It is hard not to sometimes get swept away with the potential of trade opportunities which may exist in new territories. However such is the sheer scale of the event it is important not to overlook the opportunities to connect with existing suppliers/distributors/end users who are also attending the show. Take the United Kingdom for example. A strong representation of companies from the UK will be in attendance at Arab Health so it is pertinent to check beforehand who from your domestic market who you already deal with is attending the show – it’s a great way of catching up with existing contacts all under one roof.
It is also this principle which underlines the measure of success for this show. In our case the preparation started in September, the planning in October, the initial company outreach commenced in November and is carried through to the show date.

Speaking to all exhibitors would be impossible therefore a successful approach to this type of event relies on the following questions being answered.

  • What do I actually want to achieve?
  • Who specifically do I want to speak with?
  • What do I want to speak about?

If you can answer these 3 questions clearly then you can start to reduce the 4000 strong exhibitor list into something more manageable. We start by categorising the companies we’d like to meet or introduce to a trade company and build out a shortlist of companies that would be beneficial for us to engage with.

The top 20 potential End Users you could speak to, 20 existing suppliers, 20 potential distributors for example and again these can be cross referenced by location and territory.

Ultimately preparation will be key. You can always make an unexpected business connection at a show who is a great fit regardless but effective time spent “working the show before you work the show” offsets the risk associated with not meeting someone randomly!

OCO Global set off for Arab Health this weekend with approximately 100 pre-arranged meetings spanning trade & investment for our clients and will have a long list of companies we want to try and engage with at the show in addition to this.

OCO Global have invaluable internal expertise which can assist with this type of international export development. There are multiple routes to market whether it be conducting initial market research on a given market, or conducting a service to identify and approach a potential partner for your needs, right through to providing insight and assistance on how to set up and invest in a new market should that be the direction you are heading.

If you would like to meet with OCO Global at the show please feel free to email me at and I will be happy to arrange a time to touch base on your company plans for the future and provide an outline of our work.

Get in touch today!