Taiwan Takes World Congress Baton
Some 1,600 attendees at the 1998 World Congress on Information Technology wallowed in high-tech entertainment, serious networking and got a close look at the white-hot technology community in the greater Washington area.
True, Microsoft's Bill Gates and IBM's Lou Gerstner were no-shows at the much-hyped June 21-24 event. Ditto for President Clinton and his tech-savvy sidekick, Vice President Al Gore.
But Gore sort of made the scene. In what conference organizers billed as a live interactive address, the vice president ticked off some general technology points and hailed conference organizers for pulling off an extraordinary event.
Conference organizers seemed almost giddy with delight. They downplayed the lower than expected turnout of senior-level information technology officials and called the three-day session the best technology event the greater Washington region has ever seen.
The ultimate impact of the event may never be known. If a company
relocates to the Washington region, who is to say for certain that it is a
result of the 1998 World Congress?
For many event organizers, it was a happy but hectic week. Washington Technology staff writer Bob Starzynski offers a peek at some of their busy schedules and a ringside view from attendees of the show.
Now the onus is on the Taiwanese to raise enough money to stage the 2000 World Congress, slated for June 11-14 two years from now in Taipei. Its theme is "IT for a Better World - A New Millennium."
Taiwanese officials are already scouring for dollars, and will be seeking commitments from big-name speakers and senior-level attendees before you know it.
Taipei organizers can learn from the 1998 event, which showcased the local technology community and provided a cohesive theme for the show. Now we'll see if the 2000 event can keep the upward momentum.