Showing the force in KSA

As Showforce opens a new Riyadh office, Business Development Manager Zachariah Smith shares the company’s ambitious growth plans for the region with TPiMEA. Alicia Pollitt reports…

Founded in 1991, Showforce provides crew services worldwide with offices in the UK, Qatar, and UAE. Now the company has added to its global footprint, opening a branch in Saudi Arabia, with Business Development Manager Zachariah Smith relocating to Riyadh to spearhead the operation.

While this is Showforce’s first KSA office, it’s far from the company’s first foray into the country, with projects dating back to 1994, such as providing crew for the Royal wedding in Jeddah. In more recent years, with the Kingdom’s events industry growing at an astounding rate, the company has contributed to the success of events such as Formula 1, MDLBEAST Soundstorm, WWE, Winter at Tantora Festival and Diriyah Season.

Previously these events were handled from Showforce’s UAE offices, but with the exponential growth in the Kingdom, the time was right to get boots on the ground. “We had massively increased the number of local crew in country and the time felt right ahead of an incredible winter season of work to have a permanent base there,” Smith explained.

“Having a local presence not only demonstrates good business practice, but it also aligns with the Saudi Vision 2030 of creating a vibrant society, thriving economy and creating an ambitious nation,” Smith commented, discussing the impact of the growth. “We want to show our commitment to the KSA market and build long-term partnerships with clients and stakeholders throughout the country. Taking our skills and expertise to new towns, cities and countries is what we do best.”

Client relations are important for Showforce, and the new branch will only improve the company offering in this regard. “Our Riyadh office means that we can offer direct assistance and be readily available to both crew and clients. We can meet with clients face to face and have members of the senior operations team on hand to react quickly to requirements,” Smith enthused.

With an increasingly competitive industry in KSA, Smith discussed Showforce’s place within the ever-growing market, with crew welfare a priority. “When it comes to global events, Showforce has an unrivalled level of experience, knowledge, and expertise. We pride ourselves on our reputation for delivery and safety,” he stated. “The service clients receive doesn’t differ wherever they are in the world – and that makes us uniquely placed to provide crewing services in KSA. We also set the standard in prioritising the welfare of our crew; coupled with our training and opportunities for career progression, we can attract and retain the most talented people in the industry.”

As a part of the Spendlove Group Showforce has the benefit of working with THE Production TEAM (TPT), which gives access to a large database of event professionals. Smith described TPT as ‘invaluable’ in the rebuilding following the pandemic: “Utilising TPT’s recruitment experience will be vital to our success in KSA,” he commented. “While TPT can recruit for office roles, it also manages all our event personnel recruitment. TPT staff are already operational on the ground in Riyadh and have been instrumental in recruiting and onboarding both office personnel and local crew over the past six weeks.”

Showforce KSA already has it first Saudi national employee, Salma Juhany, who will work directly alongside Smith. “Salma is both a native Arabic and English speaker, who also speaks Japanese and Korean,” Smith beamed. “Her local knowledge coupled with her passion for fashion and cultural events is going to add so much to the team.”

Looking ahead to the future, Smith emphasised that the company is consistently exploring new opportunities and development, and with Showforce already actively working in Jeddah, AlUla, Neom and Damman, there’s plenty of potential for further new branches if the need arises.

Located within the Al Sahafah District in Riyadh, the office is well connected to transport links and neighbours several event companies. “We have an open-door policy and would love to welcome clients and event professionals to stop by for a coffee or a catch-up,” Smith concluded.

Photos: Showforce