Computer festival moves to new venue

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 December, 2009, 12:00am

The annual Hong Kong Computer Festival will be moved to a new venue because of safety concerns stemming from the tens of thousands of shoppers who jammed the streets of Sham Shui Po during last year's event.

The four-day festival has been held near Apliu and Yu Chau streets since 2002, and the area was flooded by 450,000 visitors in December last year. The venue for the next show is the Cheung Sha Wan Playground. It will be held in mid-January, the dates having been changed to avoid a clash with the East Asian Games.

District councillor Lo Wing-man said the decision to change the venue was made before a series of acid attacks from buildings began in the area, in June.

The building nearest to the park is about 100 metres away, and Lo said he was confident that the police could monitor the event closely.

The theme this time is 'Green I.T. for Business Opportunities'. About 140 booths will be set up, compared with 89 for the last event. Organisers will increase the number of security guards by 20 per cent, to 100.

Despite the economic downturn last year, exhibitors achieved total sales of HK$230 million. Leung Ding-kau, chairman of the Chamber of Hong Kong Computer Industry, anticipates a 10 to 15 per cent increase in sales this time.

About 40 new models of hi-tech equipment are expected to be released.

Leung said new releases would be more expensive than last year, when prices were cut because of the downturn. But they will still be around 10 per cent cheaper than those sold outside the festival.

The festival will be held on January 15-17 from 11am to 10pm, and on January 18 from 11am to 9pm. Admission is free.