IBIS Middle East 2023 set new attendance records for both its welcome networking dinner and the all-day collision repair industry thought leadership conference from 7 to 8 February. More than 200 delegates from 23 countries travelled to Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre for the first IBIS event of the year under the 2023 theme “Sustainable Strategies for Success”.
Dozens of people around the world also watched the event being livestreamed, and hundreds more are expected to tune in when the IBIS Middle East 2023 catch-up broadcast goes live on Monday (13 February).
“[This] beats any of the conferences I’ve been to in the past 10 years,” said one visitor attending an IBIS event for only the second time. The organisers say they heard others commenting: “a very good event indeed”, “looking forward to 2024”, “brilliant conference”, “excellent content”, and “immaculate organisation”.
A range of innovations were introduced this year in addition to the new “Sustainable Strategies for Success” theme and the extended T-shaped stage design which allowed for a more interactive and immersive delegate experience. These included multiple networking opportunities and whole-room Q&A discussions hosted by IBIS moderator Robert Snook and featuring 13 panellists from around the Middle East and beyond.
The four expanded sessions included a global collision repair industry first – insurers and body shops together on the same stage for the first time anywhere – and a morning keynote titled “A Vision of our Future – How digitisation, big data and AI will enable a better tomorrow for us all”, delivered by Fareed Lutfi, Secretary-General of the Emirates Insurance Association.
The sessions were punctuated by multiple high-value networking activities, which included an informal open-air welcome supper on the first evening and a sumptuous lunch on day two, plus opportunities to exchange ideas during breaks for coffee and pastries.
News that delegate and livestream viewing numbers were up again delighted IBIS lead partners 3M, Axalta, Solera Audatex and Repairify, all of whom were able to showcase their products and services in the accompanying expo alongside partners BASF, Copart, Kapci Coatings, RS Automotive and XA Group, as well as global partners Automechanika, CESVIMAP, GiPA and WorldSkills International.
Next up on the IBIS Worldwide global calendar of events is the first IBIS ASEAN conference, which takes place on 16 March alongside Automechanika Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, followed by IBIS USA 2023 on from 19 to 21 April in Nashville.
The IBIS Global Summit 2023 will take place from 28 to 30 June in Milan.