Exhibitions feel the Asian heat

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 July, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 July, 1998, 12:00am

The region-wide economic crisis will force 'weaker' technology trade shows and exhibitions in Asia to close down, according to the head of a Singapore-based IT conference organiser.

'There is a glut of shows,' Times Conferences and Exhibitions managing director Michael Liew said. 'Only the good brand names will survive.' Mr Liew was in Hong Kong last week trying to bring visitors to the fourth Comdex Asia show, scheduled for September in Singapore. 'The Hong Kong dollar is so strong, so travel is inexpensive,' he said.

Comdex Asia, unlike its better-known American version, is aimed at IT professionals, not consumers. This year's show will focus on the convergence of digital media and content, and the Year 2000 bug.

Mr Liew expects this year's Comdex Asia to be smaller than last year's, predicting 25,000 people will attend, seeing between 300 and 400 exhibitors in an area of 5,000 square metres. Last year the show drew an attendance of 35,000 and 500 exhibitors in an area of 6,000 square metres.

'Exhibitors are discriminating enough to choose only the best shows,' Mr Liew said.

He said that all Times' IT-related shows were profitable.

Times might start holding a Hong Kong show devoted to computer use in schools, beginning in 2000.