The theme for IT EXPO '98, 'Make use of the latest IT trends - explore unlimited possibilities', reflects the trends and products that will be on display. From tomorrow until Saturday, the 9th Asian Information Technology Exhibition will be held alongside a series of international conferences and seminars. This annual exhibition has been billed as the region's premier IT event and aims to display all the latest computer and IT technology under one roof. According to the organiser, Adsale Exhibition Services (AES), because of the many new technology developments in the past year, the possibilities for IT applications in every business are unlimited. 'IT is not just for trade and professionals, but for everyone, including the end-user. Information technology offers many opportunities to enhance efficiency and to be part of a global solution. The possibilities are unlimited,' K. S. Tong, general manager of AES, said. AES estimates close to 90,000 people will visit about 200 exhibitors who will have their products on show at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. As in previous years, a series of theme pavilions have been included in the exhibition. These include corporate messaging, mobile computing, e-commerce, Hong Kong Institution of Engineers IT Village, home-grown technologies, IT applications and a medical and health pavilion. The corporate-messaging pavilion will host exhibitors who offer products or services designed to streamline the process of electronic communication, networking systems, Internet access and multimedia. The theme pavilions are always a popular part of the event, as they act as a one-stop-shop for all IT needs under a particular theme. 'Many different business professionals use IT in their work, but do not consider themselves an IT person and so may not feel the need to visit. 'By having the theme pavilions mainly organised by professional bodies, we can show them how IT can enhance their business and increase their efficiency,' Mr Tong said. 'For example, the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers will be showing engineers how IT impacts their world. 'The Hospital Authority will, in a similar way, show how IT works in the medical profession.' There will be free legal consultations, courtesy of Bird & Bird solicitors. Advice will centre on issues arising from e-commerce, IT procurement, outsourcing, Y2K, and data protection. The lawyers all specialise in IT, digital media and telecommunications law and will give advice on a first-come, first-served basis from tomorrow until Friday. 'We have introduced the legal consultations in response to the growing use of e-commerce and business-to-business activity. More people are aware of the benefits of e-commerce but are unaware of the legal implications. We also want to emphasise that IT is not just a technical area and users should understand the associated issue,' Mr Tong said. The Hong Kong Computer Society is again a sponsor and is organising the International computer conferences that will be held tomorrow and Thursday. The conferences will be divided into three core streams - management, technology and applications - and a series of talks will be given by leading IT professionals. On-site forums with 15 to 20- minute discussions and demon strations of the latest products and technology will also be held. 'These forums are a unique feature of the expo as they allow the end user to understand what the technology can do for them. They will generate awareness, which is necessary, and the tech nology changes at a rapid pace,' Mr Tong said. 'I hope that by visiting the expo, people - especially business users - can comprehend that IT is a powerful tool that can solve problems and enhance the quality of work and home life.'