Reflections on FOMEX 


by Mohammed Abu Ziyadeh 

FOMEX is a very new event. It’s the Future of Media Exhibition, and it was established to reflect the dramatic developments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is driving through transformational change, and the media industry is central to much of this. 

The first edition of FOMEX was in 2023, and FOR-A had a stand then. This year we decided not to exhibit, but I was there for the three days, talking to clients and partners, and taking the pulse of the event. 

The organisers in Riyadh aim to bring together creators and experts to share ideas and knowledge, explore the latest in innovation, and showcase both new technologies and creative projects. For me, as a busy visitor, it was a huge success. 

The focus was on creative production and post. Given the way that the Kingdom is using media and entertainment to open up to the rest of the world, this was all very important. The NEOM smart city project in the north-west of Saudi Arabia is another indicator of how importantly the Kingdom regards media and technology as the route to a sustainable future. 

For me, FOMEX 2024 was a real opportunity to catch up with key people, from within the Kingdom – like Saudi TV – and the wider Middle East, like Focus Media Production. The format of FOMEX gave us time for worthwhile conversations, which was great. 

I also had the chance to spend time with our systems integration partners. First Gulf Company was there in force, naturally, but it was good to talk to regional SIs like BSS and multi-nationals like Qvest. 

Exhibitions are always a hot talking point in our industry. Are there too many? Can we really sustain international, regional and national shows? It’s a difficult question, with no clear answers. 

But FOMEX attract around 15,000 visitors this year. That’s big enough to know that all the people you want to talk to are there, but small enough to have time to give them for real, serious conversations. The organisers called it “a visionary gathering of minds to shape what’s next, defining the paths of discovery and shared understanding”. FOR-A must definitely be a part of that conversation. 

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