Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2015 has announced the winners of its inaugural Best Stand Awards initiative at a photo-call opportunity on the show floor, with the industry judging panel visiting over 400 exhibition stands to select the winners of just five individual categories.
Hyatt stand at ATM 2015, Best Stand Design award winner
Hyatt took the award for Best Stand Design, Paramount Hotels & Resorts won Best Stand for Doing Business, while Best Stand Personnel was bagged by Mexico, Dubai Parks & Resorts was the recipient of the Best Stand Feature award and Most Innovative Stand at The Travel Tech Show went to Sabre.
A distinguished group of industry experts and design professionals made up the judging panel, including Leo Fewtrell, Managing Partner, Gulf Reps; Fiona McAndrew-Sharp, Al Hilal Publishing; Diane Thorsen, Perkins+Will; Steven Jones, Shamal Marketing; Nicholas Hall, SE1 Media; and Bruce Martin, Ginger Juice.
“The awards focused on engagement in every sense of the word, not only in terms of physical visual presence but from on-stand personnel warmth and knowledge right through to the use of interactive and innovative technology and the overall experience that a stand visit or exhibitor meeting should deliver,” said Nadege Noblet-Segers, Exhibition Director, Arabian Travel Market.
“Each judge was responsible for a single category, and with such an overwhelming array of stand propositions to evaluate and then make just one selection from, it was a weighty – but enjoyable – task!” she added.
Selecting Hyatt as the winner of Best Stand Design, Diane Thorsen of Perkins+Will, said: “The stand was extremely inviting, and featured an all-black theme with red stairs as a focal point. They also had the best lighting at the show, which added intimacy, plus the stand was lively and buzzing so it felt like a mini-hotel.”
Mexico was a clear winner for McAndrew-Sharp from Al Hilal Publishing when it came to visitor engagement and Best Stand Personnel. “They demonstrated complete consistency when it came to meeting and greeting visitors, using eye contact and a smile to initiate contact with each and every passer-by before engaging them in conversation. It was warm, genuine and very welcoming,” she said.
The layout of the Paramount Hotels & Resorts stand, its eye-catching visual presentation and elegant use of greenery and flowers naturally drew visitors in, according to category judge, Leo Fewtrell of Gulf Reps, who chose it as the Best Stand for Doing Business. “This was complemented by extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff and high quality food & beverage, creating a very pleasant environment in which to talk business,” he said.
Standout visual impact and a good use of features was recognised with the Best Stand Feature award, which went to Dubai Parks & Resorts. Bruce Martin from Ginger Juice gave it the thumbs-up based on several criteria. “The stand works as holistic interactive experience with four clearly separated areas of activity that come together to create an energy-filled atmosphere that is both fun and interesting. It feels like walking into a little world all of its own making.”
The final award for the Most Innovative Stand specifically highlighted the importance of technology to the industry, and a central theme at ATM 2015. Commenting on the decision to recognise the travel tech company’s latest Apple watch app’ Steven Jones from Shamal Marketing said: “Sabre presented their TripCase itinerary management app’ and demonstrated its compatibility with wearable technology. This was just one of a range of travel industry specific tools that Sabre was showcasing at ATM.”
With over 400 exhibitor stands vying for the awards, honourable mentions were also made for the creative and service-led efforts of a number of companies including Turkish Airlines, Etihad Airways, India, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Damac, TIME Hotels and The Opera District.
Visitors to the show will also have the opportunity to vote for their favourite exhibition stand by casting votes on ATM’s social media platforms. The winner will be announced on Facebook at the end of the show. For more information on Arabian Travel Market 2015, please log on to: www.arabiantravelmarket.com