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EXCLUSIVE: CeBIT Under Threat As Victorian Government Backs New Show

By David Richards | Thursday | 08/08/2013

The NSW based technology trade show CeBIT is under threat from a new competitor that is set to get major financial backing from the Victorian Government.

The Technology Industries Division of the Victorian Department of State Development, Business and Innovation will tonight announce funding for the 'Connect' digital business and lifestyle event at the 2013 iAwards Dinner which is being held in Melbourne. 

The Connect show will be held at the Melbourne Convention Centre from the 13th-15th March 2014. Several major consumer brands have already signed up for the event. 

The Victorian Government investment will rival the NSW Government funded CEBIT that has been shunned by many of the major consumer electronics brands in the past because of its focus on overseas Government funded exhibits.

 Several leading overseas speakers have said that they will attend the Victorian event, among those tipped to attend is Google's Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil who was the former Editor in Chief of Wired and author of The Long Tail. 

Also flying in for the event is Chris Anderson Founder & CEO of 3D Robotics.

Scheduled shortly after the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics show the event is set to be a showcase for new consumer technology as opposed to software and applications for business that makes up the bulk of CeBIT exhibitors.

Show director, John Pozoglou said that the Connect Digital Business & Lifestyle event will showcase the evolution of communication networks, devices and applications that can be used in a business or home.

He said that new technology is changing the landscape. "Australian consumers whether at home or work want the latest technology, they need to understand how this technology works and the befits that it can deliver at the same time the industry behind these products also need to kept abreast of the issues impacting their business both at a retail, vendor and distribution level we will deliver a series of workshops on issues impacting the industry".

When asked about the Victorian Government investment in the new show he said "An announcement will be made tonight at the iAwards.

Jackie Taranto the managing director of Hannover Fairs Australia organiser of the CeBIT event in Sydney was not available to comment.

At one stage Hanover Fairs Australia ran a similar event in Melbourne to the proposed Connect Show. They pulled out of the event weeks out from the running of the event leaving vendors to wear the cost of their investment.

At the time Taranto said that the Victorian Government had failed to come up with the funding necessary to run the consumer event.  

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