Popular awards programme recognises exhibitor creativity and investment in five independent categories; judging panel of top industry and design professionals select the most eye-catching and innovative stands; winners are now being put to the public vote for the People’s Choice Award
The hotly anticipated winners of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2016 Best Stand Awards were announced at a photo-call on the show floor on 27th April.
The four-strong panel of judges had toured more than 423 main stand holders across 10 exhibition halls covering the full spectrum of the industry to find those with the biggest ‘wow’ factor. The winners are as follows:
Best Stand Design: The Address Hotels + Resorts
Best Stand for Doing Business: flydubai
Best Stand Personnel: Nassima Royal Hotel
Best Stand Feature: Etihad Airways
Best Stand within the Travel Tech Show at ATM: Amadeus IT Group
The judging panel comprised a line-up of top industry and design professionals: Leo Fewtrell, Managing Partner, Gulf Reps; Fiona McAndrew Sharp, Sales & Marketing Director, TTN; Nicholas Hall, Managing Director, Digital Tourism Think Tank and Bruce Martin, Managing Director, Ginger Juice.
“We enjoyed seeing all the new ideas and even more creativity on the show floor this year,” said Nadege Noblet-Segers, Exhibition Manager, Arabian Travel Market. “These awards reflect the huge effort, investment and thought that go into creating and manning exhibitor space that is a reflection of a brand.”
The judging criteria for the Best Stand Design award focused on identifying an eye-catching stand with a creative design that made the best use of available space and attracted a high level of visitor traffic.
“The Address Hotels + Resorts stand stood out thanks to its hotel-like feel, good food and engaging video screen, as well as an impressive scale model of the area,” said Martin. “This is a brand new build being showcased at ATM, which demonstrates a notable investment from their side.”
“We are pushed by His Excellency Mohamed Alabbar, our chairman, to be the best we can be and we take this direction very seriously,” said Chris Newman, Corporate Director of Operations, Emaar Hospitality Group. “The concept for the stand was created not just from a visual perspective but we wanted it to be workable, serving good food and offering our guests a lifestyle experience. Winning the award is a fantastic achievement.”
The winner of the Best Stand for Doing Business needed to create a busy B2B atmosphere and present a well-planned and easily navigable layout with a good presentation of the stand and its services.
“The flydubai stand offers everything you need from a low cost carrier,” said McAndrew. “It showcases every aspect of what the product is about, with its business class seats on display, an informative interactive route map, friendly staff and a great space upstairs for meetings.”
“I would like to thank everyone who has put the time and effort into bringing to stand to where it is today,” said Hamad Obaidalla, Chief Commercial Officer, flydubai. “The pressure is now on us to win this award every year.”
The award for Best Stand Personnel is an especially important accolade considering hospitality is a people business.
“Nassima Royal Hotel stands out for its attentive service,” said Fewtrell. “The staff all have big smiles and, when they saw me approaching, made eye contact, engaged with me from the get-go, offered me a coffee and looked extremely happy to help. It’s clear the staff have a desire to assist and inform their guests. They know their product extremely well and did a great job of informing me about it. Their overall approach personifies great customer service.”
“We are very proud to win this award as it is the first time we are exhibiting at Arabian Travel Market since the rebrand,” said Pinar Kirlar Kaya, Marketing & Communications Director, Nassima Royal Hotel. “We have put a lot of effort in and it is great to see it paying off. We pride ourselves on providing excellent service and this award is a great refection of that.”
The Best Stand Feature award was awarded to the stand that has an innovative ways of drawing in visitors.
“Etihad Airways’ live cooking concept is a hit,” said Hall. “There are a number of excellent chefs demonstrating how to cook with simple ingredients, including local produce and using some innovative techniques. Live cooking is nothing new but the way they have executed it, with two cameras – one looking down on what the chef is preparing and one that provides a live streaming service that people can log into from anywhere in the world – is especially engaging. While I was on the stand all the chefs assembled for a team photograph which demonstrated the huge effort the company has made to bring this feature to life.”
The award was accepted by Haitham Hasan Al Subaihi, VP UAE Sales, Etihad Airways.
The Best Stand within the Travel Tech Show at ATM specifically highlights the importance of technology to the industry.
“It was a difficult choice this year but Amadeus excelled as their mood wall concept is unique and really well thought through,” said Hall. “For the mood wall, there is an artist drawing a reflection of the interviews taking place on the stand. In order to do this, they are handing guests iPads to fill out a short quiz that assigns you to one of nine different profiles, such as entrepreneur or scaled business, for instance. After a further video interview to find out how the guest associates themselves with this profile, the insights are then visualised on the wall. Ultimately, this tool helps them create a deep understanding of their customer. Amadeus also has a large vertical picture frame that hosts an iPhone screen that is connected to Apple TV showcasing live product demos – another strong concept that people are very engaged by.”
“This is our fourteenth year of participation, and this recognition comes from a great team effort,” said Ehab Yasin, Regional Marketing Manager Middle East and North Africa, Amadeus. “We are very proud and now we want to win again in 2017.”
The winners are now being put to the public vote for a chance of walking away with the People’s Choice Award. Calls for votes will be made via social media, with the winner announced by noon on 28th April.
Launched in 2015, the Best Stand Awards were created to recognise the design creativity and business-friendly appeal of exhibiting companies’ physical presence at ATM.