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CeBIT Hannover attracts record Aussie interest

The cream of Australian information and communications technology will again be on show at the world’s largest ICT trade fair as record numbers of local companies prepare to showcase their innovations at CeBIT Hannover.

With State and Federal Government’s again throwing financial and material support behind the Australian delegation to CeBIT, organisers say the contingent heading to Hannover next March will be the strongest ever. Hannover Fairs Australia Managing Director Jackie Taranto said the buoyant local economy had produced a growing number of smart, market -savvy developers looking to take their products directly into global markets. “Australia has a long history of innovation excellence in ICT,” Ms Taranto said. “But in recent years a new breed of smart company has emerged developing products that have global opportunities in mind from the start.”

“The CeBIT exhibition attracts nearly 500,000 business visitors from all over the world, making it a great platform for Australian companies to overseas markets,” Ms Taranto said. “We know CeBIT works, because we see the results in local firms building export businesses on the back of relationships formed in Hannover. And we’re seeing successful exhibitors at CeBIT in 2007 already committed to returning in 2008.”

Ms Taranto, with more than 20 years experience in the tech industry and global trade events, will accompany the Australian delegation to Hannover, acting as business liaison between exhibitors and the CeBIT organisers. More than 170 Australian tech companies are taken part in a national road show conducted by Hannover Fairs Australia to promote the export market opportunities at CeBIT, the strongest response the company has had “The response this year has been excellent, and I think it reflects both the strength of the Australian economy, and the fact that local companies are becoming more comfortable with their overseas ambitions," Ms Taranto said.

CeBIT in March this year attracted more than 480,000 business visitors and more than 6,150 exhibitors from 79 countries – making it a truly global exhibition. The event is organised by Deutsche Messe AG, the world’s largest trade fair group. While held in Europe – the world’s largest single ICT market – CeBIT attracts buyers, distributors and resellers from all over the world, including large numbers from both the US and Asia.

Hannover Fairs Australia, the local Deutsche Messe subsidiary, is the organiser of CeBIT Australia, the region’s largest business technology trade event held at the Darling Harbour Convention and Exhibition Centre in Sydney each May.

Canberra-based online payment specialist away was a first-time exhibitor at CeBIT Hannover in 2007. It will return in 2008, having built strong relationships at the event that helped it open a UK operation this year. “The number and quality of contacts made at CeBIT in 2007 have been a driving in force in taking our company to the international market, and without the show it would have been a near impossible task to find the organisations and services that we need to succeed overseas,” said eWay Chief Executive Officer Matt Bullock. “Just being able to say that we exhibited at CeBIT gave us great leverage in getting through to the contacts we needed in the UK and Europe, and needless to say, we have already booked our stand at CeBIT Germany 2008,” Mr Bullock said. eWay, which has business relationships with all major banks in Australia for its internet payment system, signed a deal to provide payment gateway services with a major UK bank with the help of its CeBIT profile.

Melbourne communications product manufacturer Haliplex also plans to return to exhibit at CeBIT in 2008, after a successful show this year. “By exhibiting at CeBIT, Haliplex was able to demonstrate its commitment to local partners and local markets, liaising with industry leaders and exploring trade opportunities within the public and private sectors of Greater Europe,” said Haliplex Director of Marketing and Product Management Matthew Tutty said.

Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) Division Manager Patrick Callioni advised Australian companies planning to exhibit at CeBIT in Hannover to take advantage of State and Federal government endorsement programs (and financial incentives) because of the credibility such endorsements carried at offshore events like CeBIT. “CeBIT Hannover gives companies great exposure. The sheer size and scale of the event is very impressive … and just being there (at CeBIT) gives a company enormous credibility,” Mr Callioni said. “Government can play a valuable role at CeBIT in helping emerging companies who are trying to break into new markets. Companies that attend CeBIT with the support of government really carry weight. If you have that government support, more doors will open,” he said.

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