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March 7, 2006 4:37 pm

‘Mr CeBIT’ spots signs of a pick-up

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Organisers can never be sure how many visitors will attend, but Jörg Schomburg, managing director of CeBIT Events Worldwide, notes that more guest tickets have been handed out to exhibitors this year than in 2005 .

The industry is picking up across Europe, he says, and many companies are having to invest after cutting back to save money in the early 2000s.

Last year, the Hanover show received nearly 475,000 visitors, more than four times as many as its nearest rival, and Mr Schomburg expects the number of exhibitors and the amount of floorspace used to be about the same this year as in 2005.

This was confirmed last week, when organisers said there would be 6,262 exhibitors, using 310,412 sq m of space, including special displays.

Mr Schomburg, for whom this year’s show is his penultimate as organiser, says CeBIT’s size and comprehensiveness means there is no better place to understand the process of convergence encapsulated in this year’s theme, “Digital Solutions for Work and Life”.

Special features include the first appearance of Metro, the German retailer best known outside Germany for its Future Store at Rheinberg, a showplace for radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies. Metro and 30 partners will be taking nearly 3,000 sq m in Hall 6 to show what RFID can do.

Two other topics are receiving expanded treatment. In telematics and navigation, more than 250 companies are exhibiting, up from 30-40 last year. These technologies will become an everyday part of driving, helping reduce the hours wasted in traffic jams, says Mr Schomburg.

And in Hall 8, business pro-cess outsourcing gets a bigger presence after making its debut in 2005, underlining the increasing importance of the outsourcing market and strategies.

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