On Tuesday evening, the “Organizers” Voluntary Group hosted the executive manager of Saudi Exhibition and Convention Bureau (SECB) , Eng. Tariq Abdul-Rahman Al-Essa, to talk about the opportunities and challenges in the Saudi meetings industry in an open meeting attended by (130) investors and organizers of conferences and exhibitions in the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Riyadh. Such meeting was coincided with the launch of the Group’s account on Twitter (@ORGANZERS_KSA).
Eng. Al-Essa has presented an analysis of the opportunities and challenges in the Saudi meetings industry at three levels: the institutional, the industry and the environment surrounding the industry. He stressed that the Kingdom is qualified to be one of the world leaders in the meetings industry by 2030 via taking advantage of the future opportunities, represented in the Kingdom's Vision 2030. Also, the Kingdom is qualified to be one of the world leader because of being a member of the “G20” and implementing airport expansion projects and other promising projects. Moreover, the Kingdom has launched initiatives in which the meetings industry plays a key role, such as “Saudi Arabia Muslims’ Destination” and “Hajj and Umrah Performers Service”. Last but not least, the Kingdom has ambitious youth who are considered the future leaders of the Saudi meetings industry.
Al-Essa pointed out that it is important to consider several angles when dealing with the meetings industry and maximize the value added resulting from this industry through the positive impacts of this economic, tourism, knowledge, environmental, social, cultural, health, media, security and political industry.
Al-Essa added: “To be one of the world leaders in the meetings industry in 2030, there is a need for government support and funding to boost the institutional building of the Saudi Exhibition and Convention Bureau (SECB), sustain education and training in the industry, facilitate the entry procedures of international business tourists, establish national companies to organize big events, establish cities for exhibitions and conferences at the airports (Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam), and implement the Red Sea Project, economic cities, and large-scale projects adopted by the country such as NEOM, Qadiyah, Red Sea, Okadh and Al-Ula, as well as the exploitation of government assets for the meetings industry. "
Eng. Al-Essa stressed that the Saudi meetings industry is one of the potentials for achieving the Kingdom Vision 2030 and a key supporter of its initiatives. It is important for this industry to target the economic sectors such as mining, logistics, space science, renewable energy, tourism, sports, culture and entertainment. Also, it is essential to have a strong funding for the activities of marketing the Kingdom as a destination for holding business events. He added that the Supervisory Committee of the SECB, chaired by HRH the President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, pays great attention and follows up at all levels to make the meetings industry a major pillar of the national economy.
After that, Eng. Al-Essa opened the door to the questions of the attendees, which were dominated by the concerns of the organizers, the provided support programs, the presentation of proposals and ideas for developing the organization of exhibitions and conferences in the Kingdom, as well as the possibility of hosting and organizing many international events in light of the available potentials. The meeting came up with recommendations to benefit from the “Organizers” Voluntary Group as an organizing network in activating the role of the Saudi Association of Exhibitions and Conferences, which was founded in early 2017.
It is worth mentioning that the Diwaniyah of the “Organizing” Voluntary Group is one of the voluntary initiatives of an ambitious youth comprising 240 officials in the regulatory authorities. It aims to enhance communication between the organizers and to develop the organization of exhibitions and conferences in the Kingdom. Its Board of Directors consists of Khalid Al-Baz, as its executive director, as well as the membership of Nayef Al-Karashmi, Abdul-Aziz Al-Ajaji, Salman Al-Atawi, Reem Al-Sewed, Bassam Al-Shaddadi, Bandar Al-Hazmi, and Ibrahim Al-Shirida.