Mon, 16 Oct 2000

Security system blamed over lack of visitors to Indocomtech

JAKARTA (JP): The promoter of the computer exhibition Indocomtech 2000 complained over tight security measures at the exhibition venue on the final day of the five-day exhibition on Sunday, describing the arrangements as preventing people from visiting the event.

Soehoed Kosasih, the operational director of the event's organizer Dyandra Promosindo, told The Jakarta Post on Sunday that the committee had earlier targeted some 100,000 visitors for the exhibition since its opening on Wednesday.

"But up until this afternoon, there have only been some 75,000 visitors.

"The decline was especially noticeable on the final day," Soehoed said.

"It's probably because we have to share the arena with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference," he added.

The six-day IPU conference, the first of its kind to be hosted by Indonesia, was opened by President Abdurrahman Wahid on Sunday and is being attended by 1,300 delegates from 120 countries.

The computer exhibition had occupied a part of the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) in Senayan, Central Jakarta.

Meanwhile, the IPU conference will occupy most of the center, from the lobby to the main hall, and almost all of the parking area.

Dozens of security officials were seen in the area, prohibiting cars from coming near the conference venue. As a result, visitors to the exhibition were forced to park their cars far from the exhibition hall.

"Many visitors have complained that the parking lot was too far from the hall. They had to walk farther and it was a big problem for those who bought something here," Soehoed said.

As a result, he added, some officials of the organizing committee were tasked with helping visitors carry their purchases to their cars.

"We have assigned 15 people to help the visitors. They were actually liaison officers and sales staff," he said.

A visitor, identified only as Ian, said that security officials had overreacted.

"I was only walking across the parking area nearby, but they told me to turn around. I had to walk farther to come here," he told the Post, citing that the visitors should have been informed about the arrangements earlier.

"I can understand it if we were not allowed to go past the hall, but in the parking lot? That's ridiculous. Aren't they (Indonesian delegation members) supposed to be our representatives?" he asked.

But, Soehoed said, such tight security measures did not hamper promotional activities.

"We don't know how much the overall sales turnover was as yet.

"But, I heard that some 1,000 printers had been sold. And when we asked the traders, they said they were happy with their sales figures," he said. (09)