Success of Middle East Coatings Show leads way to future of face-to-face events

10 October 2021

Compelling content and pent-up demand for face-to-face events drove 3200 people to September’s Middle East Coatings Show (MECS), held in Dubai.

While other shows have cancelled or postponed, MECS has delivered three fantastic days of education, business and networking featuring more than 250 brands from 24 countries. For organisers dmg events, MECS also delivered three important lessons.

"Face-to-face is the future,” said Matt Denton, President of dmg events. "The enthusiasm we saw for the return of our established brand – MECS is 27 – clearly shows how important that human connection is for business.”

Denton said content and targeting were also key. He cited the success of MECS’ Business Presentation Hub as an example. The feature gave visitors the chance to improve their understanding of a range of topics relevant to the coatings industry, while being able to ask questions and interact with the speakers.

"Knowledge and personal connection are a powerful pairing to which our visitors responded strongly,” said Denton. "We also confirmed digital technology, which people have become familiar with through our virtual and hybrid events, will be a great support to our traditional activities.”

Denton sees these lessons being applied consistently as dmg events adapts its large-scale regional trade shows to the post-pandemic environment. Beyond the major regional shows, which have loyally served their regions for decades – The American Coatings Show, European Coatings Show, ChinaCoat and the Middle East Coatings Show – Denton believes more local shows will emerge, offering highly targeted solutions in important growth markets.

"The result will be greater return on investment for exhibitors,” he said. "Our event calendar will adapt to address this new demand.”

Calendar changes include MECS returning to biennial editions after 2022, rotating with the European Coatings Show. dmg events local offices will produce focused events in Egypt and Saudi Arabia in 2023, which will also become biennial. The Asia Pacific Coatings Show(APCS) will continue to rotate between the two key markets of Indonesia and Thailand, with the next edition in Jakarta in September 2022.

A final addition to the calendar will be the launch of Coatings Collectives, which will build on dmg events experience and success with HI Design events and the iMedia Summits in other industries.

"We feel there is a strong demand for dedicated buyer/supplier events centred on the coatings community, by way of scheduled one-to-one meetings in a networking driven environment,” said Denton. "This exciting new format is in development and we’ll be announcing further details soon. We can’t wait to bring Coatings Collectives to market in Europe, Asia and of course the Middle East.”

MECS 2022 will take place from June 12-14, at the Dubai World Trade Centre. For more information, please visit

Coatings For Africa will take place from May 04-06, 2022, at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa. With a rich history of success, through its association with the Oil and Colour Chemists’ Association (OCCA) and South African Paint Manufacturing Association (SAPMA), Coatings For Africa is the largest dedicated coatings event in Africa for raw material and service suppliers, equipment and paint manufacturers.

The Asia Pacific Coatings Show (APCS) is the leading coatings event in South East Asia and the Pacific Rim for raw material suppliers and equipment manufacturers for the coatings industry. APCS will take place in Jakarta at the Balai Sidang Convention Center from September 14-16, 2022.

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