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Purpose-built to meet the needs of the international events marketplace, cutting-edge, show stopping technology has always been at the heart of the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC). Take the Pentland Suite - revolving auditoria that can transform a space of 1,200 seats to three smaller, fully-serviced suites in under four minutes. It's an engineering solution as elegant as it is simple. And with speaker support, simultaneous interpretation, and even pyrotechnics all on hand from a production team dedicated to their stagecraft, the EICC is purpose-built to make your event one to remember.Investing in excellenceGuaranteeing the highest quality presentation requires continuous investment. So far in 2010 the EICC has already spent £150,000 on new modular aluminium staging, and introduced HD cameras to its TV resources. A significant figure, certainly, but something the EICC feels can only benefit its customers in value, quality and innovation.The high cost of one-time-use stage carpentry has also been eliminated by introducing the modular staging that can create a performance or display space in a fraction of the conventional build-time. Furthermore, with modules as compact as 1m squared, combined with circular staging options, no design concept is off-limits. Finally, for the finishing touch, staging surfaces can be fitted with branding panels featuring client corporate branding, or coated with a printed film for a high gloss studio appearance.The EICC wow factorTo complement the new modular staging the EICC has also made investments to upgrade its already remarkable projection system. Upgrading the Barco Encore Controller SC to the latest High-Definition version means that the EICC can offer its clients the highest specification in-house video projection capability of any UK congress venue."Every investment in new kit is significant, but unless you realise a return for your clients in terms of successful and sustainable events then you are missing the point," explains Kenneth Boak, head of technical production at the EICC.The EICC's technical wizardry is tested and enhanced every year, when the venue hosts some of the best dance, comedy and musical performances on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This August the EICC welcomes back the 35th Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival as well as dance from New York, theatre from London's West End, and headline comedy, including the Amnesty International, "Stand Up for Freedom" event."Whatever the subject matter, from Antarctica to Zoology, we can make your event the most enjoyable ever for you and your audience," explains Kenneth. Anytime is showtime at Edinburgh International Conference CentreFor more informationEdinburgh International Conference CentreThe ExchangeEdinburgh EH3 8EEt: +44 (0)131 300 3333f: +44 (0)131 300 3030e: sales@eicc.co.ukw: www.eicc.co.uk

September 2010 Conference+Meetings World www.c-mw.net7FEATUREFirst half 2010 performance resultsreleased recently by venue operatorand events organiser, Dubai WorldTrade Centre (DWTC), report a year-on-yearvisitor growth of 13 per cent, topping lastyear's 12 per cent increase. DWTC says visitor traffic at its venuessurpassed 630,000 in the first six monthsacross exhibitions, conventions andconferences. "The sustained pace of growth of ourevents business portfolio is evidence of the'real' value that international businesses andregional buyers derive from participating attrade shows in Dubai," says DWTC chiefexecutive, Helal Saeed Al Marri. "Ourvenues have continued to attract the idealprofile and scale of top-tier visitors from theMiddle East, North Africa, CIS and theIndian sub-continent, driving tangiblereturns on investment for exhibitingcompanies - consequently enabling ourorganisers to grow their shows into trulyglobal sector leaders. DWTC's half-yearperformance is a robust indicator of thegrowing confidence that organisers andleading international associations have inDubai's proposition as the platform for tradewith the region."The 59 exhibitions and conferences in thefirst half drew 22,000 companies from over85 countries, claims the DWTC, a trendthat: "reinforces the role of the eventindustry as a key contributor to Dubai'seconomy".In healthcare, DWTC has hosted 12 majorDubai on the rise?Dubai suffered huge financial shock in 2009, with the emirate scaling back construction plans andrequiring financial back up from its big brother, Abu Dhabi. International events sands appear to berunning in favour of the Dubai World Trade Centre, however, which posts visitor and delegate growth.Helal Saeed Al MarriGulfood 2010 recorded a 22% growth in visitors shows to date in 2010, attracting over133,000 visitors and over 5,000 of theworld's leading healthcare manufacturers,wholesalers and distributors. Arab Health2010, the largest healthcare exhibition inthe Middle East and the second largest inthe world, grew by 20 per cent to occupythe entire exhibition space at the DubaiInternational Convention and ExhibitionCentre (DICEC), including the 25,000sqmprovided by the new Sheikh Saeed halls. Gulfood 2010, meanwhile, recorded a 22per cent growth in visitors over 2009. Eight new global congresses will be hostedby DWTC during 2011 and 2012, includingthe International Public Transport Congress,the International Bar Association Congress,the World Diabetes Congress and the WorldCardiology Congress - the last of which waswon against competition from Singapore,Kyoto and Cape Town.Dubai, says Al Marri, is also becoming adestination for regional launches andpremieres: The 18th Dubai InternationalBoat Show, held in March 2010, saw 15global launches and 25 regional premieres,with 700 companies participating.New additions to the first half of DWTC's2010 calendar included congresses withinaviation, ICT, trade and healthcare, drawingover 90,000 new visitors and delegates.Among the new events hosted so far thisyear were the China Homelife Show,Commercial Vehicles Middle East Show, theObstetrics and Gynaecology Exhibition andConference, the Dubai International PeaceConvention and Microsoft Tech-Ed.The future DWTC conference calendaralso includes the 30th Anniversary of GITEXTechnology Week. A Global Leaders'Summit and a new conference programmewill be a big part of the October event.Al Marri it as a priority for the DWTC andthe events industry to increase itscontribution to Dubai's GDP and stimulateregional investment. "Our decision to invest in facility expansionwith the Sheikh Saeed Halls last year was toensure that we delivered the optimal hostinginfrastructure for Dubai," AlMarri notes."We are pleased that this investment hasenabled us to cater for the expansion needsof the mega events in key sectors this year." DWTC's hospitality division also reportsstrong results for the first half of 2010,catering for half a million guests acrossevents, including 179 weddings. DWTC was built 31 years ago as agateway for trade to the region and Al Marrisays it continues to support Dubai's Strategic Agenda, as laid out by Dubai'sruler and UAE premier and vice-president,His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin RashidAl Maktoum. Al Marri is confident DWTC is on track toattain its goal of "becoming the world'sleading destination for major events".The sands certainly seem to have shiftedin a little over a year. Sustainable progress or a temporary mirage? Time will tell."Fifty-nine exhibitionsand conferences in thefirst half reinforce therole of the eventindustry as a keycontributor to Dubai'seconomy."