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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IT Week Opens With Bigger Expo Promised

MTScenes from last year's Comtek exhibition, which attracted more than 65,000 visitors and 225 companies from 20 countries. Organizers expect this year's Comtek at the Krasnaya Presnya ExpoCenter to be even bigger.
Hardware, software and information technology will be the order of the day at the international IT exhibition Comtek-2002, which opens Tuesday at Moscow's Krasnaya Presnya ExpoCenter.

Hosted by Britain's International Trade and Exhibitions Group, or ITE, the 13th Comtek expo is part of IT week, one of the premier events for information technology companies in Russia.

Running until Friday, this year's Comtek promises more than 250 participating companies from 23 countries -- compared to 225 companies from 20 countries last year. The expo covers about 8,500 square meters.

"The exhibition is the same size this year, while the number of participants has increased compared to last year," said ITE's Sandjar Turgunov, the director of Comtek, on Friday.

Turgunov said the expo experienced some problems after a change of ownership in April 2000, when ITE bought Comtek and eight other Russian exhibitions from a U.S. company. But he said there were signs that it is on the road to recovery.

Vladimir Filonov / MT

"Companies that were mistrustful of the expo due to the change of owner looked at the results of Comtek-2001, talked to their colleagues and partners and decided to come back," he said.

More foreign and particularly Asian companies decided to take stands at the expo this year, Turgunov said, naming, among others, VIA Technologies, Asustek Computer Inc. and ABIT Computer Corporation, all from Taiwan. A number of large companies, including Konica, UTT Group from Hong Kong and Intellect-Service from Russia, have returned to Comtek after several years' absence, he said.

Against a growing number of newcomers, however, some previous participants will not be exhibiting at Comtek-2002. One example is the local laptop leader Bely Veter. A number of other fledgling Russian notebook producers will also be absent.

The expo is divided into two parts according to the type of audience -- consumers or businesses -- an innovation ITE introduced last year.

The consumer hall's exhibition, called Personal Computing Expo, is to feature companies oriented toward the individual buyer and is open to all visitors. This year it boasts a new Mobile Business section.

The business part of Comtek is only open to registered business visitors. Called Business-to-Business, it is subdivided into four mini-expos that cover business systems, software, photo publishing and e-business. A new information security section has been introduced for the first time this year.

Specialized seminars, presentations and other events are all to be part of Comtek's expanded schedule this year, including a publishing forum and floorshows by IBM, Fujitsu, Toshiba and Compaq.

Yevgeny Stetsko / Vedomosti

A highlight of IT week is the second international eBusiness Russia 2002 conference, running at the ExpoCenter from April 23 to 25, with a focus on advanced information technologies in the Russian economy.

Last year the conference ran parallel with the expo but was held at the Metropol hotel. "The two events have been brought together upon multiple requests of the participants, as it is more convenient for them to take part in both events and thus thoroughly cover the target audience," Turgunov said.

"Successful conducting of last year's conference proved that the strategy of combining the exhibition with a high-profile conference is correct and confirmed the actuality of the selected topic," he said.

Information law, G2B, or Government-to-Business, Internet intelligence technologies, e-security, Internet marketing, e-commerce and corporate training are just some of the topics to be covered at the conference. The list of speakers includes representatives from the Communications Ministry, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry and the State Duma as well as from the Central Bank, Aeroflot, NIKoil, Rostelekom, Severstal, Intel, Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, IDC Russia, Sony and other leading companies.

Last year Comtek attracted more than 65,000 visitors and Turgunov expects a similar turnout this year. The number of visitors registered on the official Comtek site as of Friday already exceeded the total number registered last year. "By the lowest estimate, we expect no less than 70,000 visitors," he said.

Vladimir Filonov / MT

In a poll conducted by BDP Research Group last year, 80.4 percent of Comtek-2001 visitors said they were planning to visit the event again in 2002, and another 16 percent said they would most likely visit it. 86 percent described the organization of the exhibition as excellent or good.

According to the poll, 27.8 percent of the visitors held top management positions and 28.8 percent were middle-level managers. System administrators accounted for 16.6 percent of visitors and 15.6 percent were technical personnel.

The poll found that 46.6 percent of visitors went to Comtek to learn about new products and technologies, 37.6 percent were there to get information on the market and 33.2 percent wanted to establish new business contacts and boost the contacts they had. Also, 24.4 percent were looking for new distributors, 23.4 percent attended in order to buy products or services and 8 percent hoped to study the business activity of their competitors, according to the poll.

IT week is supported by the Communications Ministry, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry, the Industry, Science and Technologies Ministry, the Moscow City government and the Association of Russian Banks.

Avery Johnson contributed to this report.