In August, 1985, shortly after South African President, P.W. Botha’s infamous Rubicon speech, my wife and I spent a couple of months in the UK. The exchange rate took a nose dive unfortunately, but it was a vibrant time with plenty of electronics shows and major product announcements. Maidenhead was a short distance west of London, hence the many London exhibitions.
A friend from Natal University had moved to Silicon Valley, which made it possible to visit Wescon (flew from London to San Francisco).
CeBIT and the Hannover Trade Show were courtesy of over 300,000 Frequent Flyer Miles accumulated at Rockwell Automation, and tickets for the trade show from our German managing director.
Many years later, I tried to visit electronic shows during trips to the UK, but those shows have moved on to Asia. Like the UK, the Australian electronics market is in retreat, with alternating shows in Sydney and Melbourne around September.
The Internet might have changed the market where exhibitors and visitors do not see much value — exhibitors pay for expensive space to show off items that visitors then purchase cheaper online. Home shows, craft markets and machinery exhibitions have similar problems. We are now in Brisbane, and if there is a local show, we visit, however, it is unlikely we will be travelling to dedicated electronics shows in future.
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