Having the World Wide Web's heaviest hitters as next-door neighbours is doing wonders for Brisbane's annual PC show. With the reseller community under severe pressure, organisers of PC IT 98 in Brisbane should be struggling to find exhibitors for the April 15-17 show.
Instead, exhibitor numbers stand around 145, about 25 more than last year and multinational vendors led by IBM and Microsoft are appearing at the Brisbane show in their own right for the first time in a number of years.
Their enthusiasm is high because the show will be sharing Brisbane's Convention and Exhibition Centre with the 7th International World Wide Web conference (WWW7) set for April 14-18.
A major Web event whose Brisbane appearance marks the first time it has been held in the southern hemisphere, WWW7 boasts a mouthwatering list of keynote speakers.
They include Web co-founder Tim Berners-Lee, Java creator James Gosling, the father of China's Internet infrastructure, Xing Li and IBM's vice-president of Internet Technology John Patrick.
WWW7 organisers expect to see 1200 delegates, 40% of them from overseas. The huge event has provided leverage for Australian Exhibition Services to boost the Internet component of its PC show. Where it attracted only six Internet exhibitors last year, this year 25 have signed up, according to AES Queensland manager James Curtain.
The big name PC and peripheral vendors are jumping on the bandwagon. Canon has doubled its space commitment at the show, Gateway 2000 has trebled theirs and Epson has increased its by 50%, Curtain said. Local suppliers have also caught the fever, including distributor BytePower which is taking space at the show for the first time since 1988. MD Alvin Phua said many of his major business partners, including Oki, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, and Samsung were supplying signage or on-stand reps for the show.
Byte Power is cooperating with Sun Microsystems and WWW7 organisers in a Guiness Book of World Records attempt on the largest number of people with simultaneous Web connections from an Internet cafe. Organisers are hoping to hook up 1000 people online during the record attempt at the exhibition on April 16 at 7pm.