IT.Com ’99 : An Event To Remember

“If IT has to happen, it has to happen in Bangalore!” When Bangalore IT.Com ’98 made its debut last year, ‘IT made history’. Slated to be India’s largest IT event of the millennium, Bangalore IT.Com ’99 has taken off from where it ended last year. But, this year, it is with a better purpose, a focussed approach and determination to act as a “bridge between entrepreneurs and their customers”. For, “IT makes perfect business sense and is loaded with bigger and better opportunities” not only for the participants, but also for the corporates and the retailers.
The approach can be guaged from the fact that this year’s IT.Com will have six pavilions. Linux, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), E-commerce, Infrastructure, Home and Education as the focus pavilions. The idea to go for focus pavilions was very simple, according to Cyber Expo officials, the event managers of the show. “It is necessary to go for focus pavilions for specific areas due to two reasons. These are the hottest areas and therefore, ought to be highlighted.

The second reason is that, the visitors will be greatly benefited by a focussed pavilion and not visit the unnecessary stalls. Their itinerary gets planned,” they said. When one thinks of the chaos and confusion that overshadowed the show last year it makes perfect business sense to review this year’s expectations from the event. Moreover, this year, the attention will be on serious business visitors and it is with this intention that the exhibition has been divided into two sessions. The morning session will commence from 9:30 am up to 2:00 pm, and will be open to business visitors. General visitors will be permitted between 2:30 pm and 6:00 pm. In addition to that, a fee of Rs 100 will be charged for entry during the morning session and Rs 25 for the post-noon session. This makes a lot more sense, than just business, as the casual onlookers will not be distracting the business transactions that will take place there.

The interesting part is the pavilion of Linux, the most-talked about network operating system today. With the Indian industry, also awakening to its potential, the pavilion will focus exclusively on the opportunities for all Linux-related service providers. In the light of the Karnataka education department’s plans to introduce it into the engineering curriculum in the state, and make it mandatory for all technical colleges, it is a right move on the part of IT.Com to showcase it as one of the focus pavilions. As for the rest, the names tell their tales. For, each of them, is indispensable to the hi-tech world, and is in itself the technology that will shape the next millennium.

In order not to stop at just having pavilions, this year’s IT.Com will also hold a national conference on e-governance sponsored by the Government of India, Department of Personnel, ESC and hosted by the Karnataka government. The conference will explore the possibilities and the need for e-governance in India. It will also work out the feasibility, modalities as well as the initiatives taken in India.
The highlight of this year’s show is that, the US has signed up as a global partner country. According to Cyber expo officials, it is for the first time, that the US has signed up as a partner country for any show in the country.

The European Commission is also participating in a big way and with SAARC being the other target area, the show hopes that the foreign participants will occupy over 50% of the 10,000 sq m of the total stall space. To make it on a par with international standards, the total space for the event has been spread over 20,000 sq m. There is ample space reserved for parking to avoid congestion and clustering of stalls. This year’s show will also see the introduction of a swipe card given to business visitors, where their database will be stored by means of a bar code reader, so that a participant wishing to have any information about a particular visitor will just have to refer to it. The event managers are also working out the strategy and the modalities to measure the amount of business that is being generated from it.
It sounds ‘hot’ and it’s happening. Last year’s fiascoes have been taken into account and strategies have been put in place. From
multinational companies to national, small and medium sized companies to resellers, retailers, financial and
infra-structural providers, all are expected to be there.

As the event managers stress, “Unlike the IT-Comdex show, which is more of a channel partners show, IT.Com is not just about filling up stalls but showcasing the IT world to the corporates.” There is no doubt in anyone’s mind, that IT is the “happening thing” and it will be the driving force in the next millennium. Organized by Electronics City Industries’ Association at the Electronics City from November 1 to 5, Bangalore, IT.Com ’99 will not be judged by how many participants made it or how much business it generated. It will be all about how successful the event has been in making the country and the state, the corporates and the public, the IT professionals and the student community adapt to the fast-changing IT world, attune and reach out to the higher levels of technological advancement.

RAJESH MENON,

in Bangalore.

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