Fri, May 02, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Computex maybe delayed to August

LACK OF PARTICIPATION The biggest problem the trade show's organizers will have to face in rescheduling the tech exhibition is finding space

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

Organizers of Computex Taipei 2003 said yesterday that they are mulling the cancelation of an August telecom trade fair to make way for the delayed computer show.

"I was told that the CETRA [China External Trade Development Council] was considering canceling the telecom show scheduled for late August to open a slot for Computex Taipei," Mike Lin (林智清), a consultant to the Taipei Computer Association (TCA) told the Taipei Times yesterday.

TCA is also a Computex organizer.

"CETRA is still evaluating the feasibility of the plan, though," Lin added.

CETRA, the second of the show's two organizers, announced on Wednesday that the world's third largest computer show will be postponed to the late half of the year after exhibitors urged the event be axed over severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) concerns.

CETRA spokesman Chao Yung-chuan (趙永全) said that while the Taipei International Telecommunications and Networking Show could be called off, the show's two exhibition halls alone may not be big enough to accommodate all Computex exhibitors.

Each year over 1,000 vendors squeeze into some 2,600 booths at the Taipei World Trade Center's two halls, with spill-over assigned to the nearby Taipei International Convention Center and the Hyatt Hotel.

And with August being prime vacation season for many Western participants, the timeframe could be difficult for some, Chao added.

The show regularly attracts 20,000 foreign and 50,000 local visitors and has run uninterrupted for the past 22 years.

According to Chao, CETRA had hoped to reschedule the mega-computer show for September or October, but may run into scheduling problems since no less than five shows are booked for that period.

The shows include the Semicon Taiwan, the Taipei International Plastics and Rubber Industry Show, the Taipei International Electronics Show-Components and Equipment, the Taipei International Electronics Show-Finished Products and the Taipei International Gift and Stationery Autumn Show.

CETRA is negotiating with exhibitors of the five events to see if any are willing to cancel, Chao said.

If CETRA cannot come to an agreement with exhibitors, Chao said Computex could be combined with the consumer electronics' fair Info Month, which starts November 29.

That would place Computex right after the world's second largest computer trade show, Comdex Fall, in Las Vegas.

Pushing the show back to November would make it too late to capitalize on the all-important Christmas buying season, Chao pointed out.

"We [the organizers] will try our best to come up with a time for the show that works best for the exhibitors," said Chao, adding "the new date will be announced by the end of May."

Although the exhibition has been canceled, Chao said that there will be a catalog show taking place at the Taipei World Trade Center where Computex was scheduled to be held, in case manufacturers did not receive the postponement notice.

After the catalog expo, CETRA will also dispatch catalogues to Taiwan's foreign offices in various countries to hold small-scale exhibitions and promote Taiwan's IT products, Chao noted.

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