ComMart Thailand 2009

ComMart 2009 LogoI visited the ComMart Thailand 2009 show at the Bangkok Queen Sirikit National Convention Center on Saturday. The show runs until Sunday, November 8th. So if you are in Bangkok you still have a day to attend.

It was extremely crowded. The halls were filled with visitors and booths. Photography was a challenge. I posted a gallery of photographs to PicasaWeb here. They should be available for at least a month. Then I’ll have to delete them for newer photos.

It’s interesting to compare shows like this in Thailand to their equivalents in America.

The first thing is that shows rarely require visitor registration. Visitors walk in with only a cursory security check. In America the organizers collect registration information from visitors and sell it to exhibitors. I don’t know if Thailand is not so sophisticated or if exhibitors do not value the information.

I thought that the booths were packed in more densely than a show in America. The aisles felt claustrophobic. I think a US Fire Marshal would have a fit if she observed the way Thailand arranges its shows.

At most shows I have attended in America products are not for sale. But here every stand was selling items – usually at a discount. The Canon stand, for example, was piled high with printers.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) had the biggest stand with separate areas for PCs and printers.

There were plenty of small companies exhibiting too. The show was very general: business computing was represented as well as home systems. Games are very popular in Thailand.

I think the noise level was higher than at the average US show. Adjacent booths had competing presentations and of course they amplified them to the maximum. I found it hard to linger near certain booths. A high noise level is common in any Thai entertainment venue. Perhaps it’s just that I am old.

Microsoft was promoting Windows 7 intensively. Interestingly that have a SE Asia Edition. There’s a label on the box that says the software must be purchased and activated in SE Asia. I think Microsoft has recognized that a good way to combat piracy is to offer their software at a price more in line with the lower incomes in the area. Good for them.

Of course no Thai show or exhibition would be complete without pretty girls promoting the products. Not only are they pretty but they have also learned their product pitch by heart. They put all their acting skills into the job. They’re always happy to have their photo taken – but this show was so crowded it was hard to take a good photo.

Canon had the biggest promotion that I saw. They had five “pretties” on a balcony on their stand conducting a raffle. The booth was packed.

I could not get near enough to Canon’s stand to see if they were selling their cameras. They had some posters about their range of cameras but the EOS-7D was not shown.

Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (QSNCC) is one of three major convention centres in Bangkok. It is the smallest of the three, but the closest to the centre of the city. It has a subway station right outside. There are restaurants and cafes on the premises and the prices are the same as elsewhere. They don’t charge a premium like I have seen in the US.

Queen Sirikit Center Map

It was a pleasant day so after the show I walked to Sukhumvit Subway Station up Rachadapisek Road (Sukhumvit Soi 21). On the left hand side is a large park and lake, made out of land owned by the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly. It is called Benjakitti Park. It’s also dedicated to the Queen. As with anything associated with the Thai Monarchy, the park is absolutely pristine.

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