Inaugural LAN Expo a smashing success

Inaugural LAN Expo a smashing success – Toronto, Canada

Gordon Campbell

Inaugural LAN Expo a smashing success

TORONTO — It had no air conditioning and hardly any parking, but LAN Expo was an overwhelming success here last month.

Sponsored and organized by the Toronto chapter of the Local Area Network Dealers Association (LANDAe, the event was held at one of the most unlikely venues in the city — the Palais Royale Ballroom on the Toronto waterfront.

Despite the unusual location, the focus on networking drew an unexpected number of exhibitors and attendees. John Tyerman, president of the Toronto LANDA chapter, said the organizers had hoped for 1,000 attendees, but were “well past that” by 4:00 p.m. The show ran from noon to 8:00 p.m.

Tyerman commented that LANDA had to turn away many companies which wanted to exhibit because of space limitations. He said the show will move to a new location next year.

LANDA itself installed two LANs for the show. The “show LAN” had connections in every booth, with 26 10Base T Ethernet connections, 12 Arcnet and six Token Ring. All the wiring was twisted-pair. The “LAN lab” was outside the seminar area with a wide variety of network-oriented software installed.

Corporate buyers

LANDA Toronto promoted the show to corporte buyers as well as its own members. The Toronto chapter has about 200 individual members from 60 member companies. Worldwide, LANDA has over 2,000 members.

Tyerman said part of the objective of the show was to convince users to buy from a LANDA member. He said LANDA members are more committed and trained than no-members.

The organizers suggested a beach party theme to exhibitors, so most booths were manned by staff in shorts and gaudy shirts, and decorated with potted palm trees.

The relaxed atmosphere was no inhibitor to doing business, though Larry Keating, president of manufacturers’ rep firm Keating Technologies Inc. of Markham, said booth staff had been “run off their feet for five hours straight.”

Michael Lehman, president of The Wollongong Group Canada of Waterloo, Ont., said the show was “better than any three-day show I’ve ever exhibited at.”

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