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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Expo Shows Off to IT Experts

Telecommunications fans have a perfect outlet this week for their enthusiasm: The 13th annual Svyaz-Expocomm runs until Friday at the Krasnaya Presnya ExpoCenter.

The carnival, which features the latest in everything that's anything in telecoms, holds displays big and small from 750 foreign and Russian companies — 90 more than last year, according to organizer E.J. Krause & Associates. This year's exposition fills 22,000 square meters, compared with just over 21,000 square meters last year.

While the Comtek computer fair in April is for the masses and attracts throngs of young enthusiasts, Svyaz-Expocomm is aimed at telecommunications experts and presents itself as a meeting place for buyers and sellers. But the lights, sounds, fancy gimmicks and female models from companies attract more than the business suits.

"When you pass out tickets to ministries and to everywhere, you can never avoid … students coming in," said Lorane Martinek, vice president of EJK Europe and director of the Moscow office.

Whether they were part of the intended audience or not, all visitors got a taste of companies' attention-grabbing antics. Vimpelcom held rock concerts on an outside stage bedecked with its BeeLine trademark, Nokia had break dancers, while Sistema seemed to take up the whole Forum area, with double-decker displays trumpeting every one of its companies, including Mobile TeleSystems, Sonet, Comstar and Moscow City Telephone Network, or MGTS.

International companies accounted for 160 of the participants and hailed from 34 countries, EJK said. Foreigners paid $420 per square meter, while Russian companies paid $264 per square meter. Some larger stands took up a few hundred meters.

"It's more image than anything. … Simply to say, 'We are a good company,'" said Konstantin Smirnov, director of the telecoms department of Information Business Systems, whose clients include Rostelecom, Vimpelcom and Sonic Duo.

"Although you can say the IT industry worldwide is not doing too well, we are very astounded that many companies are increasing their space requirements," Martinek said.

Svyaz Expocomm-2001 runs until Friday at the Krasnaya Presnya ExpoCenter, 14 Krasnopresnenskaya Naberezhnaya. Tel. 259-9823/1343.