ITCN 2008: IT Exhibition or Fun Fair?

ITCN 2008 is eight ITCN Asia Exhibition, held at Karachi Expo Center between August 11-13 ,2008. Boasted as ‘the biggest IT and Telecom show of Pakistan’ by its organizers, ITCN 2008 failed to capture the true essence of Pakistani IT and Telecom Industry.

I am attending ITCN exhibitions since they started back in 2000. During first few years, ITCN really covered all aspects of Pakistani IT and Telecom industry with top notch corporates, software houses, universities and vendors participating in the event. IT giants of that time, CressSoft, eTech Group amongst others, participated with full force. However, the organizers failed to provide targeted audience to exhibitors and year after year I saw crowds of youngsters, crazily picking up brochures, fighting for souvenirs, and worst of all, dumping CVs at exhibitor stalls. This, and lack of finding prospective business leads, demoralized the exhibitors and most of them (especially from out of Karachi) never returned for participation.

Warid ITCN 2008

ITCN, over the years, has transformed into a vendor exhibition where vendors of PC, Peripherals and Telecom products are participating. Since last few years providers like PTCL, Samsung, Nokia, LG, HP, Sony etc. are consuming proportionately larger exhibition space than hard-core solution providers and software houses.

LG ITCN 2008 -3LG ITCN 2008 -1

This year’s ITCN, ITCN 2008 was not different from previous few years. Infact, it may be termed as the dullest ITCN event happened so far. I was visited the event on last day, and here are my observations:

– Security at entrance and inside was very relaxed. It should have been stricter considering presence of foreigners and on-going troubles in Pakistan.
– There was no exhibition map available. It was difficult to estimate what each hall contained, how to find specific exhibitor etc. The staff at information desk/reception was not helpful at all and bluntly refused to provide any exhibitors’ directory.
– Most vendors had pretty girls in skin fitting dresses for customer-support.
– Most pathetic stall was LG’s hangout. Apparently they have hired “models” who were doing a “ramp performance” in an IT exhibition. Obviously, it was the crowd puller.

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