Facing stiff competition to secure sponsors for next year's ITU Telecom World show in Hong Kong, the government will open the event to a wider range of industries and smaller companies. 'I can promise you that it will be an event with a difference,' Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology John Tsang Chun-wah said. 'There will no doubt be a massive turnout of notable mainland and international companies.' But industry insiders warned that setting high expectations could lead to disappointment. Mr Tsang said Telecom World, from December 4 to 8 next year, would include participants from the information technology, digital entertainment, service and content provider sectors - all part of the telecommunications industry's 'expanded value chain'. He also urged small and medium-sized companies 'to get together to set up Hong Kong pavilions.' Craig Ehrlich, chairman of global mobile communications industry trade group GSM Association, said: 'The ITU show is good for Hong Kong. But I think people's expectations are being built up. The last two big ITU conferences saw a decline in attendance.' Allan Tan, Hitachi Data Systems marketing director for Hong Kong and Taiwan, said a number of well-promoted IT and telecommunications-related trade shows in the city 'have suffered from poor customer traffic over the last four years' because of competing events on the mainland and elsewhere in Asia. But Doris Kwan, senior manager for marketing services at Zenith Events Corp, said an improving economic climate augured well for the show. 'We have received a very encouraging response,' said Connie Lee, marketing and events head at the ITU Telecom World 2006 Hong Kong/China Secretariat.