IBIS ME revs up the region

IBIS Middle East 2020 has been hailed a resounding success on every level. A record 190 delegates from the Gulf and around the world descended on Dubai on 11-12 February to hear valuable insight from high-profile speakers and to enjoy upgraded networking opportunities at the premier annual event for the region’s automotive collision repair industry.

The eighth running of the Middle East edition of the International Bodyshop Industry Symposium (IBIS), held at Le Méridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre, consisted of a series of interactive plenary sessions led by industry experts, punctuated by networking activities which included an informal supper on the Tuesday evening (11 February) and a sit-down lunch on the Wednesday.

Even the arrival of some rare desert rain couldn’t put a dampener on the occasion and, to the delight of lead partners 3M, Axalta and Hella Gutmann Solutions, delegate numbers were up 46 per cent over 2019. Each of the three main sponsors was able to showcase its sector in the accompanying expo alongside partners AG Cars, BASF, Kapci Coatings, Solera Audatex and Volkswagen Audi, plus IBIS global partners Automechanika, CESVIMAP, GiPA and WorldSkills.

The theme for IBIS Middle East 2020 was REV-IT-UP! The event’s content and core messages were designed to create an environment and understanding to help delegates connect, improve performance and increase productivity as they forge ahead in the coming 12 months.

The morning session was opened by IBIS Worldwide moderator Robert Snook and saw speakers including Adnan Al Hamadi of the UAE Insurance Authority, Subhash Joshi of Frost and Sullivan, Chadi Hayek of Hella Gutmann Middle East, and Marcos Malzone from Solera. Just before lunch, Yousef Abu Alaish of Arabian Automobiles, Jim Muse of Axalta and Stephen Samples of Audi Volkswagen Middle East represented the “manufacturer perspective” in a panel discussion.

Immediately following the break, Jeff Smith – “The KPI Guy” – debated the art and science of workshop loading, before IBIS CEO Jason Moseley interviewed WorldSkills youngster Abdulaziz Essa Buabdulla, and the final panel session of the day, focusing on insurance, saw Eman Mojali of Bahrain National Insurance take the stage with Francesco Peña of CESVIMAP and Dr Mohammad AlSuliman of NAJM in Saudi Arabia.M

To close out the day, moderator Snook expressed a desire to see real change in place by the time IBIS Middle East 2021 comes around, and then reminded delegates of the organiser’s 2020 vision, including IBIS USA (Jacksonville, 1-2 April), IBIS Africa (Johannesburg, 13 May), IBIS Global Summit (Monaco, 8-10 June), IBIS South America (Mexico, 22 July), IBIS Turkey (Istanbul, 21 October) and IBIS China (Shanghai, December).