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CeBIT attendance numbers up – honest

It's just we built more space between the people, says The Management

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The CeBIT management, answering a question from The Register this morning, claimed that attendance on the first day of the show was up four per cent. The fact that the exhibition halls were less crowded was put down to there being four more halls to disperse attendees. In addition, the management said that the first day usually has fewer attendees than the second, fourth and fifth days, so the whole picture is not yet known. German economic conditions may take their toll. Certainly access to press liquid refreshment area was much easier this year. The number of German exhibitors decreased marginally this year for the first time from the pre-historic decline in 1981, but foreign exhibitor numbers (39 per cent of the total) were marginally up to give a total of 7,341 occupying some 400,000 square metres. The greatest growth was seen in the software sector (now 2,644) and the telecoms sector (now 1,053, with a 20 per cent growth, making CebBIT bigger than the Geneva telecoms show). By country, after the Germans come the Taiwanese, the Americans, and the Brits, with The Netherlands pipping the French. Since CebBIT is the largest trade fair of any kind in the world, attendance figures are an interesting measure of how patterns in the industry are changing. It may be that the Internet is resulting in a reduction of trade fair attendance - something that was evident at the US Comdex shows. ®

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