I visited the much hyped ITCN Asia 2008, the biggest IT exhibition in Pakistan this year so far - some observations:
The many cellphone companies took up too much space with nothing to sell. Even their employees manning their stalls were lounging about bored as the masses gawked at a few random cell phones set up around their booths. There was nothing going on… just wasted space.
In a ways, cell phones have become so common place that the companies can be excused for such lackluster displays, but they could have still done much better. They could have been giving demos of how to use thier own high end features, like Internet, e-banking and the many other services on offer beyond simple telephony - which much of their client base doesn’t know enough about.
PTCL launched their IPTV service at ITCN, but just like the cellphone companies, their employees were sparse, and extremely bored. Marketing might have sent them, and didn’t bother to train them. I wanted to find out more about the IPTV service, but it wasn’t on when I went to their booth on the 2nd day, nor was there a handout with information about the service.
Sajjad Zaidi has a more positive overview of ITCN:
This is my second day at ITCN 2008 and overall, it has been a better than expected experience. The event is well-organized, there are so many types and sizes of companies participating and some of them have organized fun things such as lucky draws, games and giveaways.
Overall, I wasn’t too impressed with ITCN - the Pakistani telecom giants treat it too much like a marketing excercise, seemingly not thinking beyond setting up a stall to what they’ll actually do with their visitors. Curiously purposeless, not to far off from the City Government’s stall which is present in every exhibition and is generally unmanned and totally empty. It’s depressing when private companies start to emulate the government!
There were a few stalls selling computing equipment, notable AGN and Galaxy. Subnotebooks are finally available in Pakistan, with a decent configuration of the MSI Wind priced at 44,000. This being ITCN, the companies sent their non-technical representatives - despite having 8 or or subnotebooks on display, they were unable to turn on any of them in the 15 minutes I waited.
Overall, the whole thing struck me as a bit lacking.