Bilal brings a broad meetings industry background, specialising in exhibitions & event management, as well as meetings, Incentives and conferences. He has actively consulted in the business events industry throughout the Middle East. Originally from Jordan, he maintains offices in Dubai, Riyadh and Amman.
“I think having a company like GainingEdge actively engaged in the Middle East is really important for the further development of the industry here,” Mr Barmawi said. “Middle Eastern countries are diversifying their economies and looking for ways to build their knowledge and creative industries. Helping them to strengthen their association and meetings industries will form an important part of their economic development strategies going forward.”
GainingEdge CEO, Jon Sivertson, said the time is right for the company to begin focussing more attention on the Middle East.
“There are large communities of professionals there,” he said. “The more established countries have very strong medical, engineering and scientific disciplines that are historically based, but also world leading in modern terms. Other countries are seeking to build those disciplines and compete on the world stage. The region and the world share an interest in more meaningful engagement, and we want to be in a position to help Middle Eastern countries strengthen their global professional networks.”
“We feel that there is a lot more we can do in the Middle East,” Sivertson said, “and having an experienced and respected industry leader like Bilal guiding our efforts there will help us progress things a lot faster.”
GainingEdge has already had significant engagements in the Middle East. Currently, the company is supporting the Jordan Tourism Authority to help develop and strengthen its convention bureau. As part of that project, it is also helping the bureau to engage with and support the development of its national association community.
Other GainingEdge projects in the Middle East include having provided specialist consultancy services on the feasibility study for the newly opened Oman International Convention Centre and client development and training programs for the Qatar Tourism Authority. Also, the Dubai Convention Bureau is a member of the BestCities Global Alliance which is managed by GainingEdge.
Mr Al Barmawi is Founder and CEO of 1st Arabia Exhibitions and Conferences Organizers which is a leading exhibition and events management company in the Middle East. He is the advisor and consultant for the Saudi National Program, and the managing director of the Saudi Events Management Academy – Conference & Exhibitions. He has venue management experience and is the official middle east representative for Fera Barcelona. He is also the current Chairman of the Middle East & North Africa Chapter of the International Organization of Exhibition and Events (IAEE).