In the next two weeks, Baltimore will be the site of high-technology conventions covering topics ranging from data storage to the Year 2000 Problem.
The Information Technology Expositions and Conferences, or ITEC, kicks things off at the Baltimore Convention Center.
While the show, which runs Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is open to the public, it's really intended for executives who oversee technology purchases and strategy. "It's a program for the business community," said Dan Terry, executive director for Baltimore's ITEC show.
ITEC travels around the country, visiting several different cities each year. Terry said this approach allows companies to check out new technology without having to travel to a distant, once-a-year convention.
"You can send an information technology staff here locally and see the same type of technology you'd see at the national level," he said.
The show will feature seminars on how companies can prepare their computer systems for the so-called Year 2000 Problem, the glitch that many experts fear will cause turmoil as computers mistake the year 2000 for 1900.
There will also be pavilions devoted to Maryland technology start-up companies and to new products from industry giants like Microsoft Corp.
This is the fourth year that ITEC has visited Baltimore. Last year's event drew about 5,200 people; this year's show is expected to attract about 6,000.
Attendance is free if you register at ITEC's Web site (www.asmcorp.com) or get a ticket from one of the firms scheduled to appear at the show. There is a $20 fee for those who show up at the event without registrations or tickets. No one under 18 may attend unless accompanied by an adult.
On May 19-22, a new national conference -- the CTI Expo -- will make its debut at the convention center. CTI is short for Computer-Telephony Integration, and the show will display Internet telephone services and other products that blur the traditional distinctions between computers and telephones.
The CTI Expo exhibits are free, though there are fees for seminars. More than 7,000 are expected to attend. No one under 18 will be admitted without an adult.
The convention center also will be host to a national conference on recent advances in compact discs and digital versatile discs (DVDs) on May 18-22.
The seventh annual meeting of SIGCAT -- the Special Interest Group on CD Applications and Technology -- will include exhibitions of CD and DVD data-storage and entertainment technology. The SIGCAT convention is free and open to the public.
According to figures provided by the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association, high-technology conventions had an economic impact of more than $71 million in Baltimore last year.
The projected impact of high-tech meetings this year is for at least $104 million.
Pub Date: 5/11/98