Gilson Manuel, the CEO of Strokes Exhibits LLC, is a true master of many talents. He began his career as the head of Mudra Communications in Cochin, India, where he played a key role in boosting the success of various brands, including Kerala Tourism, which quickly became a go-to destination. Yet, his time in advertising also made him realize the limits of the old-school advertising model with diminishing returns. It became clear to Gilson that a new direction was needed – one that would put his branding skills to dynamic use.
Gilson elaborates, “The idea for Strokes Exhibits LLC and my journey as an entrepreneur started over twenty years ago because I wanted to try something new and adapt to changing markets. My background in branding and my early experiences in advertising paved the way for a thriving business in the exhibition and events industry.”
Seeing the potential for innovation in exhibitions and events, Gilson and his team at Strokes Exhibits decided to ditch the traditional agency approach and bring their creative ideas to the world of exhibitions. They focused on relationships and branding rather than just physical structures. This unique approach set them apart from traditional exhibition contractors and resonated with clients.
Over time, Strokes Exhibits LLC has become a leading force in the UAE, and now, they’re taking on the promising market of Saudi Arabia. Gilson shares, “We’re good at innovative marketing, especially in digital. We understand the importance of having a strong online presence and making real connections in the exhibition industry.”
Strokes Exhibits is also active in industry organizations like IFES and IAEE, where they make valuable connections. Gilson says, “Looking ahead, we’re committed to staying ahead of the competition by innovating our marketing strategies.” The future for Strokes Exhibits LLC is bright, with a mission to stay at the forefront of the exhibition and events industry. They plan to keep delivering creative, innovative, and effective solutions by leveraging their strong foundation in branding, expertise in digital marketing, and dedication to building lasting relationships.
Crafting Unforgettable Exhibition Experiences
In the vibrant world of exhibitions, particularly in the realm of high-quality stand fabrication, Strokes Exhibits truly shines with a combination of factors that define its unique approach and unwavering commitment to excellence. At the core of this endeavor lies a profound appreciation of branding, polished through years of experience. Gilson says, “We’re not just building stands; we’re creating brand experiences that last.” These aren’t mere structures; they’re vibrant canvases, living proof of creative thinking. Their motto, “We build your stands with our marketing tools, not just pillars, structures, and BOQs,” says it all.
Trust and integrity are the bedrock of Strokes Exhibits. “Our clients are like family,” says Gilson with a grin. It’s not just about deals; it’s about building relationships rooted in transparency and trust. Their word is their bond, and it’s this commitment that nurtures strong, respectful connections. At Strokes Exhibits, it’s not just business; it’s a shared journey to success. “Our clients’ goals become our goals,” asserts Gilson. Every project becomes a team effort to ensure triumph, forging lasting bonds.
For the Strokes team, it’s all about the details. “Excellence is in the details,” says Gilson. Every facet of fabrication is carefully planned and executed to the highest standards, a dedication to craftsmanship that exceeds expectations. In the world of exhibitions, timing is crucial. “We work tirelessly to make it look effortless,” assures Gilson. They take pride in providing stress-free delivery, understanding the high expectations of their clients and ensuring the stands are perfectly presented when and where needed.
Quality is not an occasional visitor; it’s a permanent resident. At Strokes Exhibits, rigorous quality control is a constant companion, ensuring that every project, big or small, carries the mark of excellence. But what truly sets Strokes apart is their commitment to creating unforgettable experiences. “We’re not just in the business of stands; we’re in the business of awe,” Gilson emphasizes. They don’t just build structures; they create memories that linger long after the exhibition has ended.
Guiding Principles for Success in Dubai
In the fiercely competitive landscape of Dubai, where innovation and excellence are paramount, Strokes Exhibits LLC’s journey to becoming a prominent name in the exhibition and trade show services sector is shaped by a set of core principles that exemplify their distinctive approach. “We think differently and prioritize creative excellence. Our word is our bond, as we place a premium on transparent communication and ethical practices, which differentiate us as a trustworthy partner who consistently delivers on promises,” explains Gilson.
Strokes Exhibits assumes the role of consultants to their clients, going beyond stand contractors. As Gilson emphasizes, “We walk the journey with our clients.” They provide expert guidance and advice, enabling clients to make informed decisions aligned with their unique objectives. At Strokes Exhibits, clients are not seen as one-time transactions but as enduring allies. Gilson underlines, “Building trust is our trademark.” Strokes Exhibits’ hallmark is the cultivation of lasting relationships, with many clients choosing to remain with them for years.
In the realm of stand fabrication, Strokes Exhibits demonstrates a commitment to excellence that transcends mere machinery and facilities. While these are integral to their operations, it’s the human element within the organization that truly propels their unwavering dedication to delivering impeccable stands. Their team, a cadre of skilled artisans, designers, project managers, and dedicated support staff, stands as the lifeblood of the company. Gilson emphasizes, “Our team’s expertise is our true asset,” and indeed, they bring not just experience but also an unyielding commitment to their craft, ensuring that each stand is crafted with meticulous precision and care.
The project managers at Strokes Exhibits hold a pivotal role, driven by a ‘Do or Die’ mindset. Gilson highlights, “Every project is a commitment to succeed, no matter the challenges.” This level of dedication and accountability sets them apart, positioning the company as a leader in the competitive Dubai market.
What truly sets Strokes Exhibits’ stands apart is the blend of inventive design and boundless creativity inherent in their team. While machinery plays a role in certain facets of fabrication, it’s the ingenious thinking of their team members that transforms these structures into captivating works of art. Gilson says, “Our stands are not just functional; they are stories waiting to be told.”
Strokes Exhibits focuses not just on meeting functional requirements but also on creating stand designs that captivate and inspire. Their stringent quality control processes, investment in continuous team training and development, and the strategic integration of cutting-edge machinery and facilities all support their team’s persistent pursuit of perfection.
Exceeding Expectations with Commitment to Customer Satisfaction
For Strokes Exhibits, prioritizing customer satisfaction isn’t just a business practice; it’s a guiding ethos. Within the high-stakes arena of the exhibition industry, where deadlines loom large and expectations soar, the company’s commitment to exceeding client needs is the bedrock of its identity. Gilson states, “Our client’s trust is our most valuable asset.”
Strokes Exhibits understands that exhibitions can be nerve-wracking due to their time-sensitive nature. Hence, they have made stress-free delivery a top priority. Gilson emphasizes, “We aim to take the stress out of exhibitions. Our goal is not just to meet deadlines but to ensure clients can focus on their exhibitions with peace of mind.” This meticulous planning and flawless execution relieve clients from the pressure of last-minute rushes.
Beyond meeting expectations, Strokes Exhibits actively seeks opportunities to go the extra mile. Gilson elucidates, “We believe that trust is built through actions, not words.” Their proactive approach encompasses innovative design concepts, cost-saving recommendations, and a penchant for proactive problem-solving. By consistently delivering more than expected, they forge trust and enduring partnerships. Their early delivery practices offer clients more than just punctuality; they grant clients the gift of additional setup time, facilitating smoother exhibition experiences. A collaborative approach, where open communication and feedback are encouraged, ensures that clients’ unique needs and preferences are not only met but deeply integrated into project execution.
Strokes Exhibits’ commitment to continuous improvement ensures that their services are in a constant state of evolution, always striving for perfection. This dedication extends beyond project completion, as they offer responsive customer support and extend their assistance to various aspects of their clients’ exhibitions, including logistics, promotion, and engagement strategies.
Innovation, Collaboration, and Sustainability
In the fast-paced world of exhibitions, adaptability and innovation are not optional; they are essential. Strokes Exhibits has made innovation a foundational principle, always striving to be at the forefront of industry advancements. Gilson underscores this commitment: “Innovation isn’t a choice; it’s our compass.”
Strokes Exhibits prioritizes innovation as a foundational principle, always staying ahead of industry advancements. They focus on cost-effective solutions while maintaining high standards, and meeting clients’ budgetary constraints without sacrificing quality. “Our streamlined processes and meticulous planning ensure that projects are executed seamlessly and on time, reducing the anxiety that often accompanies tight deadlines,” shares Gilson.
Collaboration is another avenue of innovation. Strokes Exhibits actively seeks partnerships with industry leaders to remain at the cutting edge. Their alliance with a French company to manufacture hybrid exhibition systems is a testament to their commitment to efficiency and environmental sustainability. These hybrid systems, easy to assemble and cost-effective, align with the industry’s growing focus on sustainability.
Sustainability is another realm of innovation for Strokes Exhibits. They have developed hybrid systems that have the potential to revolutionize traditional stand fabrication, often reliant on materials like MDF and wood structures. “Our sustainable solutions not only reduce environmental impact but also offer ease of use and cost-effectiveness,” says Gilson.
Strokes Exhibits embraces technological advancements and adapts designs to resonate with evolving visitor preferences. They invest in continuous learning and training for their team, ensuring they remain informed about the latest industry trends. “We remain at the forefront of the industry, offering our clients not only the latest in design and technology but also the peace of mind that comes from working with a team dedicated to excellence and innovation,” states Gilson.
Challenges and Opportunities
Dubai’s bustling exhibition and trade show industry presents a dynamic backdrop for companies like Strokes Exhibits. They have encountered a unique blend of challenges and opportunities that have shaped their journey. CEO Gilson Manuel, reflecting on these experiences, shares, “Dubai’s exhibition industry is a theater of opportunities and challenges. We thrive in the spotlight, embracing both with equal fervor.”
Among the challenges, the competitive landscape often takes a toll through unhealthy practices, including price-cutting that may compromise quality and ethics. Gilson acknowledges, “Staying true to our values in such a competitive space is our test of character.” The presence of briefcase contractors with short-term goals can introduce instability and unreliability. This instills the importance of long-term commitment and reliability in Strokes Exhibits. Unethical practices, such as aggressive client poaching, can erode industry trust. Gilson believes, “Our commitment to ethics is our shield against such storms.”
Yet, Dubai’s industry also presents exciting opportunities. Trustworthiness is highly valued, and Strokes Exhibits has positioned itself as a reliable and ethical partner. Gilson affirms, “Trust is the currency of our industry, and we aim to be the bank of integrity.” The demand for creative and eye-catching designs in Dubai’s exhibition scene offers opportunities for companies with a strong design and creative team. A consultative approach, viewing contractors as consultants, is becoming more prevalent, and Strokes Exhibits, with its expert guidance, capitalizes on this shift. Finally, their global reach allows them to tap into a broad market, serving clients not only in Dubai but also at international exhibitions. As Gilson notes, “Our reach is global, and our commitment is local.”
Delivering Value at Every Step
Strokes Exhibits is defined by its unwavering dedication to delivering outstanding value to its customers. This commitment is not mere rhetoric but a set of tangible strategies and initiatives designed to support clients comprehensively throughout their exhibition experience. As CEO Gilson Manuel aptly puts it, “Our commitment is not just a promise; it’s a commitment etched into every stage of the exhibition journey.”
Central to this commitment is the provision of comprehensive exhibition packages. Strokes Exhibits offers clients a holistic approach that spans the entire exhibition timeline, from pre-event planning through to post-event follow-up. This ensures that clients have a well-thought-out strategic plan in place at every step of their exhibition participation.
Pre-event planning is where success is rooted, and Strokes Exhibits understands this well. They work closely with clients to define and execute pre-event marketing activities, crafting targeted email invitations, devising social media and digital campaigns, and deploying other marketing strategies to draw high-quality visitors to the client’s stand.
The commitment continues during the event itself, where Strokes Exhibits provides strategic support. This includes the development and implementation of strategies to attract and engage high-value prospects at the stand. Whether through interactive displays, engagement activities, or other innovative approaches, the aim is to ensure the client’s stand stands out in the bustling exhibition environment.
The commitment to delivering value doesn’t stop when the exhibition concludes. Strokes Exhibits offers post-event services to facilitate effective follow-ups on leads and meetings that transpired during the exhibition. This extends to helping clients nurture relationships and convert leads into concrete business opportunities.
Their culture of continuous improvement is another testament to their commitment. After each exhibition, Strokes Exhibits conducts a thorough review to pinpoint areas for enhancing value delivery. This commitment to ongoing learning and growth ensures that the company’s strategies and initiatives are continuously refined to better serve clients.
Recognizing that each client is unique, Strokes Exhibits employs a highly customized approach. They tailor their strategies and initiatives to align with the specific needs and objectives of each client. This ensures that clients receive a personalized approach that resonates with their goals and target audience.
Furthermore, their consultative approach transforms them from mere service providers into trusted partners. By actively listening to clients, understanding their challenges and opportunities, and offering expert guidance and support, they help clients achieve their exhibition objectives. For Strokes Exhibits, commitment to excellence and client-centricity is not a slogan but a way of life, setting them apart as a trusted leader in the exhibition industry. In the words of Gilson Manuel, “Our commitment isn’t a choice; it’s our calling.”
Pushing Boundaries: A Success Story
Strokes Exhibits prides itself on embracing creativity and innovation, and one remarkable project that exemplifies these strengths is the Interior Fit Out project for the BITS Pilani Dubai campus. The crowning achievement of this endeavor is the installation of the MENA region’s largest terrarium in the campus lobby, leaving an indelible mark for various reasons.
First and foremost, the project showcases Strokes Exhibits’ commitment to creative innovation. The decision to incorporate a sizable terrarium as the central element of the lobby represents a bold departure from conventional approaches. “The decision to install a terrarium, which is a living ecosystem enclosed within glass, showcased our ability to envision and execute out-of-the-box concepts,” states Gilson.
Size and scale play a pivotal role in this project’s distinction. Being the largest terrarium of its kind in the MENA region, it not only adds a unique aesthetic to the campus but also stands as a captivating attraction in its own right. It captures attention, symbolizing Strokes Exhibits’ knack for undertaking grand and ambitious projects. Beyond the physical attributes, this project is a testament to the company’s unwavering commitment to client satisfaction. By turning creative visions into reality while maintaining high-quality standards, Strokes Exhibits has demonstrated its capability to not only meet but exceed client expectations. Gilson affirms, “Our projects aren’t just spaces; they are experiences.”
Beyond Exhibitions and Towards Sustainability
The future of Strokes Exhibits is a thrilling journey that goes far beyond the confines of traditional exhibitions. The company has a clear vision for its evolution, and there are exciting developments on the horizon that clients and partners can eagerly anticipate.
One of the most significant shifts is the diversification beyond exhibitions. While exhibitions remain a core focus, Strokes Exhibits is expanding its horizons to encompass two additional verticals: Interiors and Events. This strategic move allows the company to offer a wider array of services, catering to a broader spectrum of client needs. It marks an exciting chapter in their journey, as they venture into new realms of creativity and engagement.
Sustainability is a key priority, and the company is actively working on launching its own hybrid sustainable systems for exhibitions. These innovative systems are poised to disrupt traditional methods of stand fabrication, offering cost-effective, eco-friendly, and easy-to-assemble solutions. Strokes Exhibits is firmly committed to aligning with the global trend towards environmentally conscious practices, reflecting its dedication to making a positive impact on the environment.
The expansion into Saudi Arabia is a significant milestone, as the Saudi market represents a substantial growth opportunity in the region. With strides already made in entering the Saudi market, particularly in Riyadh, this expansion is set to unlock new possibilities and broaden their client base. It’s a strategic move that contributes to the burgeoning exhibition industry in the Kingdom.
The global network of affiliations with organizations such as the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and the International Federation of Exhibition and Event Services (IFES) positions Strokes Exhibits on a global stage. With partners in 43 countries, this network ensures that clients have access to a wealth of resources and expertise on a global scale. It’s a testament to the company’s commitment to offering unparalleled services and staying at the forefront of the exhibition and event industry.
As Strokes Exhibits charts its path forward, it envisions itself as a dynamic and agile company, continuously adapting to industry trends and client needs. Clients and partners can anticipate a broader range of services, eco-friendly solutions, and a robust presence in Saudi Arabia. With its global network, the company is poised to set new standards and create fresh possibilities in the world of exhibitions, interiors, and events. The future is one of growth, innovation, and a steadfast commitment to sustainability. “The journey ahead is defined by limitless horizons,” concludes Gilson.
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