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Our man at Internet World '99 thinks too many old geezers think the Web will help them look cool

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Internet World '99 is awash with corporate suits who believe if you say "Net" and "ecommerce" a lot then you're one of the wired elite. For many of the grey-haired middle-aged men here today, having anything to do with the Net industry is like drinking from the fountain of eternal youth. Just by being here they're hoping that some of their vitality will invigorate them. Wrong. The Net may be a new, youthful, vibrant and exciting business but you wouldn't necessarily guess that from attending Internet World '99. The suits outnumber everyone else by a long chalk and whatever anyone may tell you, wearing a Homer Simpson tie is no indication that you're really young at heart. Sightings of real Net pioneers are few and far between. More than 12,000 people are expected to traipse all the way to Earl's Court this week to check out the show. In the US earlier this year the same show attracted more than 40,000 people. Andy Center, marketing director of Internet World, believes it shows that the Internet is moving away from a techy stronghold top a more mainstream medium. "People thought that ecommerce was a technical innovation with little or no impact on the business management side of an organisation," he said in official show guide. "At Internet World UK we are delighted to see more and more interest in our workshops and seminars from both IT and marketing people," he said. Right, as long as they have some poorly-paid IT graduate on hand to show them how to turn on their laptops that is. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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