Following the cancellation of Asia's largest computer trade show at the end of last month due to concerns that SARS would keep visitors and exhibitors away, Computex Taipei is now expected to take place from September 22 to 26, the organizers announced yesterday.
"Though concern over SARS-related travel difficulties forced the show to cancel its original June 2 to 6 slot, its re-scheduling was never in question," a statement from the China External Trade Development Council (CETRA) said.
CETRA co-organizes Computex Taipei with the Taipei Computer Association annually in June.
But postponing Computex Taipei, also the third largest computer trade show in the world after Cebit in Germany and Comdex Fall in Las Vegas, has created a scheduling nightmare at the Taipei World Trade Center, the only venue in the city big enough to accommodate the more than 1,100 exhibitors and 2,800 booths expected at the event.
Normally in the fall, the trade center hosts back-to-back events. To accommodate Computex, the Taipei International Plastics and Rubber Industry Show has been pushed back to March 18 through March 21 next year.
CETRA's decision to re-schedule Computex to September came after exhibitors and visitors requested the event not be delayed too late in the year for fear of missing the crucial pre-Christmas order season.
"Since its postponement, the organizers have been deluged with messages from participants around the world stating the importance of this event to their businesses," CETRA said yesterday in a statement.
"Many of them depend on Computex to fill the gap in letting them source a comprehensive network of new products, market information and business partners," it said.
The decision to hold Computex from September 22 to 26 may have been influenced by the dates of another trade show in the region, Cebit Asia in Shanghai.
The more than 20,000 overseas visitors expected for Computex can now cover both shows in one trip as the new Computex follows on immediately after Cebit Asia which runs from September 18 to 21.
In related news, CETRA announced yesterday that two upcoming international exhibitions will not be affected by SARS and will run as normal.
The Taipei International Mold and Die Industry Fair will take place as scheduled from July 16 to 19, followed by Taiwan's international biotechnology show, BioTaiwan 2003, which will run as scheduled from July 24 to 27.