Recession in the industry has reduced interest in France’s national computer show, Sicob, this week, with the number of exhibitors and floor space down significantly, as had been reported a few weeks go. Sicob, which used to fill four exhibition halls at Parc des Expositions in Villepinte, north of Paris, occupies only three this year. […]
Recession in the industry has reduced interest in France’s national computer show, Sicob, this week, with the number of exhibitors and floor space down significantly, as had been reported a few weeks go. Sicob, which used to fill four exhibition halls at Parc des Expositions in Villepinte, north of Paris, occupies only three this year. Once rivalling Cebit in Hanover, Sicob’s 200 exhibitors pale compared with Cebit’s 5,000 spread throughout 25 halls. Sicob could have been a more important show, but we have this crisis in the industry, said Chantal Schwartz, Sicob spokeswoman. She said most exhibitors reduced their space due to tight budgets. Schwartz said Sicob expects 40,000 visitors for the week, but that the final verdict on the show’s success will have to wait until Friday, when the organisation will know how much revenue exhibitors gained. Only two big announcements were made on the first day. ICL France SA introduced ICL Direct, its own version of what is becoming an increasingly popular distribution channel – telemarketing and catalogue sales – for its personal and portable computers. Compaq Computer Corp introduced its new family of network servers. The downward pressure on personal computer prices means low-cost telemarketing is needed, said Richard Burlotto, ICL France’s director of indirect sales. Initially, ICL Direct will comprise 20 staff handling telephone sales and aftersales service in Paris and Nantes. ICL France plans to double that number in the next 12 months. In the first half of 1993, ICL France expects to establish demonstration centers for ICL Direct products in its 11 outlets around the country, said Burlotto. Dominique Thomelin, ICL France’s marketing director, said the company has budgeted $3.1m next year for ICL Direct’s publicity and mailing, excluding staff overheads. Burlotto said the company has a lot of work to do to boost its ranking as a personal computer supplier in France. We expect ICL Direct will allow us to reach our goal of being in three years one of the two biggest micro players in Europe, he said. Dataquest Europe ranks ICL as the fifth-largest personal computer supplier in Europe, on second quarter revenues. ICL Direct has already been established under other names in the Netherlands, Scandinavia and the UK, said Burlotto. Compaq’s two new network server lines, ProSignia and Systempro/XL are both based on Intel’s 80486 microprocessor. Prices are around $4,200 for a basic ProSignia to about $10,500 for the 64-bit SystemPro/XL.