The Korea IT Times visited the Asia Electronics Expo Shanghai 2009 on the 11th of November, and witnessed a convergence of the technology companies of five of the major sectors of Asia. Official delegations from the China Electronic Appliance Corporation (CEAC), Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), Japan Electronics Show Association (JESA), Korea Electronics Association (KEA) and Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association (TEEMA) joined together in one gigantic expo to showcase the respective companies of their own regional shows. While details of the event can be read about elsewhere in this issue, one aspect which is interesting to consider was the approach that each country took to the show.
Most memorable, and one can say this without bias, was the Korean booths. They were located directly near the entrance and included special performances of taekwondo and dance to attract visitors. The booths looked the most substantial, and were all connected together with a unifying theme. The Korean area looked like they were the place with the plan, and the Korean companies benefitted from that.
Also notable was the Taiwan area. They also had similar-looking booths with the same color scheme, which was pinkish. Their area was very distinctive when compared with the rest of the show. They had a main office type of booth that gave out information on the rest of the booths. However, they had chosen the far back wall to place their booths, which was not as prominent as the Korean delegation.
The Japanese presence was actually quite small at the event. They only took up approximately 10% of the available space. Hong Kong also did not take up much space at the event. By far the largest area was spent on mainland Chinese companies, which took up 50% of the available space. However, the booths of these countries did not draw too many because they looked like they lacked coordination and focus, when compared with the efforts of Taiwan and Korea.
The companies involved also seemed to be different from country to country. Korea and Taiwan were dealing with high-end electronics and electronics components. Chinese booths, however, were more preoccupied with simpler things, such as soldering irons, electric screwdrivers, and the other tools used to create electronics. There seemed to be a functioning ecosystem present in the show, with each country taking a slightly different position on the path from raw materials to finished electronics goods.
But the glitz, the glamor, and most of the attention went to Korea, simply because it thought to bring some. Most of the other booths seemed to be focused only on business - they were not interested in doing fancy, practically irrelevant demonstrations in order to draw the crowds like the Korean booth was. The relative effectiveness of each delegation is not yet known, but it can be said that Korea definitely got what it was always looking for - the spotlight in an international event. Whether this translates into real, substantial monetary benefits remains to be seen, however.