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No price hike climb-down at CTS

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The organisers of next year's Computer Trade Show have resisted calls to postpone price increases for exhibition space, but are promising to increase the number and quality of resellers at the event. David Barr, sales manager for CTS organisers iMark, said his company was aiming to get between 6,000 and 6,500 resellers to the event in Birmingham in January. This compares to the 5,000 attendees this year. Speaking at last night's Personal Computer Association meeting, Barr said he wanted to create a "level playing field", but that the company would stick to its plan to increase prices by around 50 per cent across the board. But he guaranteed that prices would stay the same for CTS 2001. Prices will be £275 per square metre for those booking space only, and £325 for those wanting to hire space with stands. Barr said exhibitors who booked space at this year's show would get £25 per square metre deducted from the price. "We inherited a position where many people were receiving ad hoc rates," said Barr. "We want to create a level playing field to take the whole show forward for 2001." Barr said he planned for 100 distributors to exhibit at next year's show, and had already sold 70 per cent of the floor space. But some smaller distributors, like Realtime Distribution, last night said they felt they could not afford the price rises. Last month, a number of resellers petitioned iMark to drop its plans to increase the show's rates. Barr was asked whether it was more important to get big distributors and broad attendance at the show, or to get the right distributors there. He replied: "We have accepted that there will be some people who will not be able to attend with the new rates. But we cannot be all things to all people." ®

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