Japan's Ceatec Sees Big Drop in Visitors

The number of visitors to Ceatec, Japan's largest consumer electronics exhibition, fell by roughly a quarter compared to last year, organizers said on Sunday.

The show, which ran from Tuesday to Saturday, attracted 150,302 people to Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba, near Tokyo. That's down 24 percent from 196,630 people in 2008. The figures count daily attendance, so some people, such as exhibitors and media, are counted for each day they attend.

The daily attendance figures were down every day except Saturday, when they rose slightly compared to last year.

The show took a big hit on Wednesday when Typhoon Melor passed close to the Tokyo region during the morning rush hour and caused travel chaos. The rail lines out to Makuhari were closed for most of the morning, making the 30-minute journey from Tokyo impossible for most people. Organizers also delayed the opening of the show from 10am to 1pm because of the typhoon.

As a result, the show attracted just 12,793 people on Wednesday, compared to 46,004 last year.

Several major companies didn't attend Ceatec this year and booths had lower staffing levels, resulting in a drop in the number of exhibitor attendees from 36,476 to 21,981.

Ceatec attracted 126,058 general attendees over its five-day run, down from 157,860 last year.

Just about the only good news from the figures was that the number of media attendees, which remained roughly constant with last year at 2,263.

Ceatec 2010 is scheduled to be held from Oct. 5th to Oct. 9th at Makuhari

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