The first edition of the revamped computer fair, Orbit, has opened in Basel. The organisers have hived off the consumer electronics segment in the hope of attracting more business customers.
The Basel fair is also aiming to evolve from an event targeted at the Swiss market to a leading European fair in the field of information technology (IT).
To achieve this aim, Orbit has teamed up with the American agency, Key3Media, which organises similar IT events worldwide, under the name Comdex.
Despite the change into a pure trade fair, the new "Orbit/Comdex Europe", as it is now called, has grown considerably since last year. Until Friday, 1,500 exhibitors will be displaying their wares over 53,000 square metres.
About 80,000 visitors are expected, down from 110,000 last year.
The organisers expect the most senior company representatives to be among the visitors as a high-level conference on e-business is being held in parallel to the fair in Basel.
The conference will focus on the latest trends and developments in the fields of customer relationship management, supply chain management and new markets, with one day devoted to each.
The entry price has also been doubled to SFr50 to keep out private customers interested in home applications. A new fair specifically for this market will be held annually in Zurich, beginning next April.
swissinfo with agencies
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