Firms will begin readying their wares for the largest computer show on earth this week, as the annual CeBIT exhibition kicks off in Germany.
However, despite the fact that resellers will again have their own zone, Planet Reseller, VARs in the UK have given the show a lukewarm reception.
The Hanover-based event will be opened by German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and the president of Sony, Kunitake Ando.
Among the more esoteric items on display will be a paper computer with 32KB of memory, currently being tested in Sweden, which could be the business card of tomorrow.
At present 72 VARs are slated to exhibit in the Planet Reseller zone in Hall 25 of the show.
On each day of the event, from Thursday 18 March until Wednesday 24 March, the Planet Forum stage in the hall will also host lectures on business strategy by firms such as Microsoft, SAP, Ingram Micro and Tech Data.
But it seems that some UK resellers will be staying away this year.
"I have been in the past with my former company but won't be going this time," said Greg Carlow, managing director of London-based reseller Repton.
"It struck me then as more of a technology components show, rather than something that could bring in serious amounts of business."
Steve Wood, managing director of Parity ITC, said he doesn't see any value in the show for his firm.
"It is mostly about commodity products and volume shipping, and we are more about services, so we don't have much need to be there," he said.
In a bid to assuage such concerns, organisers have made special attempts to increase the amount of business done at the show. For example, the reseller stands are built around a marketplace where exhibitors and visitors can meet and do business.
However, Funda Cizgenakad, market developer at analyst Context, pointed out that some big vendors, such as Hewlett Packard, which traditionally has a big presence at the show, will not be exhibiting this year.
"That might have an impact on its usefulness. But it's certainly attractive to the German resellers. As much as CeBIT is a global event, it has become very German over the years," she said.
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