Live with Samar Shawareb

On Monday of 29th of June 2020, we had Mrs.Samar Shawareb, Founder and CEO of Arabiaweddings.com all the way from Jordan, as she talks about the journey of her and her company, the situation of events in Jordan, why she feels virtual events have made life easier and more. She joined in for a chat with Espousal partner Shikha Nahata.

Tell about yourself:

Mrs. Samar Shawareb is the founder and CEO of the wedding website arabiaweddings.com, which is the leading wedding platform in the region of the Middle East and Northern Africa. It’s been around 9 years since she has launched her website, but she’s been in this industry quite long. “I was part of the first wedding event and show in Jordan”. She’s a pioneer in her country.

Her website has great connections with different vendors and experts across the wedding industry from around the globe.

How are events in your country?

“Just like other places, there are stricter rules for weddings. A maximum limit of 20 – 50 people are allowed in a wedding” says Mrs. Samar while explaining about the state of the wedding industry in her nation. Some of the neighboring countries have started to open up slowly, but she feels it’s time for the firms to resort to virtual events as much as possible”.

Your take on virtual events:

For Mrs. Samar virtual events are quite convenient for her and she has found them quite efficient. “I have found it very useful. It’s cost friendly to stay connected with your peers and with your close people in the industry, and experts, target audience”.

She feels that this amazing technological tool has always been there, just that its potential was never tapped properly earlier, and now it’s the best time to utilize its potential. People could work on it and increase their skills.

On the contrary, she does feel sad about the state of the wedding industry, as many of the vendors such as photographers, caterers etc have suffered a lot and that such vendors have little or no scope at all on a virtual platform.

Inspiration of arabiawedding.com :

“We just wanted to make a platform that would be convenient for the people to get in touch and get access to all the things required for a wedding. It acted like a hub for people to find information. We wanted to give a hassle free experience to our users and make life easier. “

How has the lockdown period been for your company?

The lockdown period has been surprisingly a boon for her company. Firstly, it allowed her company to step back and rethink about everything according to the current situation. Secondly, they started working on their website extensively in terms of content creation and design. “We focused on the design and the content part of the website, something we wouldn’t normally get the time to do”. Thus her team has been quite busy making interesting contents for their website.

Another thing that their company has done during this time is to connect and checking up on different vendors of the industry. They have established connections with them. She felt that many of these vendors were suffering, and it was important to support them and keep a track of them.

What does the future hold for our industry?

“We have to engage in many virtual events. So far many of these virtual events have been B2B events. I haven’t seen a B2C event in the wedding industries. And I feel it’s time for someone to utilize this. What I feel Espousal is doing is really an excellent move towards creating a B2C virtual event”.

Have you done Virtual events?

“I have done few and attended few, mostly on zoom or insta. Mostly it was B2B as I was called to be a panelist and give my expertise”.

What is your opinion on wedding expos:

“I love wedding expos.” Says an excited Mrs. Samar. As mentioned earlier, she was part of the very first wedding show in her country, and since then she’s been quite an active member for many wedding expos. She feels it’s quite important to the wedding industry as they are quite inspirational. Over here you get to meet different and new people and new supplies too.

“In a nutshell, I hate missing out on any wedding expos”

What is your opinion about Espousal?

“It’s a great idea to bring in exhibitors to exhibit on one platform. I am sure many people will attend this. On ground event was just restricted to your geographic area. But now more people can attend around different parts of the world”. Says Mrs. Samar as she feels that there is a huge scope for a lot of people to attend in comparison to on ground wedding expos

When asked about possible challenges she says “It’s interesting but could be challenging. Since it’s the first event, it has to be done quite meticulously. It needs to be perfect and no room for errors. There should be perfect planning and execution. “

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