Post Show Report of Bakutel 2014
Bakutel 2014, the largest telecommunications and information technology exhibition in the Caspian and Caucasus regions has taken place at the Baku Expo Centre from the 2nd to the 5th of December. The exhibition celebrated its 20th Anniversary this year. Over the years, the exhibition has become the leading ICT forum in the Caspian region, attracting the attention of the global community every year. The status of the exhibition is shown by the official visits of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in recent years. The Ministry of Communication and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan has always provided valuable support to the exhibition and playing a special role in the development and establishment of the event.
Every year, the exhibition attracts prominent guests that take part in the opening ceremony, the conferences and other events which are held at the exhibition. Over 2000 companies from 50 countries have exhibited at Bakutel over 20 years, attracting over one hundred thousand visitors. 19 countries, including South Korea, France, Canada, Estonia and Lithuania presented their national pavilions at this exhibition. Major local companies that are now enjoying great success on the market began their journey with the Bakutel exhibition.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev made an official visit on the first day of the exhibition. The President was at the head of a VIP-tour around the anniversary exhibition, which had attracted industry related ministers from Azerbaijan, Sudan, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Bulgaria, Hungary and other countries as well as many important specialists, senior managers and experts in the ICT field. Azerbaijani satellite operators Azerkosmos and French company Airbus Defence and Space signed an agreement during the tour about transferring the Spot 7 observation satellite, which was named Azersky to the Azerbaijani party.
The agreement was signed with the participation of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The President was given a symbolic photograph from the satellite and started the commercial activity of Azersky. The Head of State also reviewed national and foreign pavilions at the exhibition. President Ilham Aliyev gave an interview to Euronews over the course of reviewing the exhibition. The President of Azerbaijan wished the exhibitors every success. A commemorative photo was taken to celebrate the occasion.
Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union Hamadoun Toure congratulated the organisers of Bakutel with its important anniversary and thanked the exhibition for its great contribution to the field of ICT. Industry Ministers from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia, Iran, Israel and Hungary, as well as major specialists, senior managers and investors in the ICT field offered their congratulations in their conference reports and interviews with journalists.
250 companies from 23 countries exhibited at Bakutel this year, including leading ICT companies, mobile operators from Azerbaijan, communications operators, internet service providers, systems integrators and distributors of famous brands. The exhibition and the conference occupied three halls and the foyer of the Baku Expo Centre. The foyer was the location of the national pavilion of Azerbaijan, which presented information about the work carried out by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan in recent years, as well as about future plans for the development of the industry. The foyer was also be the location of the pavilion of the United Nations (UN), where their ICT related projects were be demonstrated. The International Telecommunication Union had a stand at the Baku exhibition for the first time. This year, Azerbaijan was elected as a new member of the Union at the ITU conference in Pusan, Korea, for being highly active in contributing to the development of the ICT industry. The ITU stand was dedicated to the forthcoming 150 year anniversary of the Union and the technological development in the industry over this time. Azerbaijan is undertaking preparations for the First European Games in Baku in 2015, which was also reflected at the Bakutel exhibition. The Baku 2015 stand displayed the process of preparing for the games and what we can expect to see at the great sports celebration next year.
The involvement of national pavilions organised with the support of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of the Republic Azerbaijan is becoming a tradition at Bakutel. The United Kingdom, Israel, Iran, Italy, Canada, Turkey, Estonia and a number of other countries presented advanced programmes and presentations of ICT products and services. All of the national pavilions were located in the second hall of the Baku Expo Centre.
The first hall was filled with repeat exhibitors, who were 40% of the total, as well as hosting companies that were making their debut appearance. Repeat exhibitors included prominent companies such as Avirtel LLC, Azercell Telecom LLC, Azerfon LLC, Azqtel LLC, Aztelekom PU, BAKCELL, BestComp Group, Baku Telephone Communications Production Association, Caspel, Ñaspian Navtel, Connect, Delta Telecom LTD, Iskratel, HP, Microsoft Azerbaijan LLC, R.I.S.K. Company, SINAM Ltd., Smart Systems Technology LLC, Softline International, Teleradio PU and Ultra Technologies.
There was a lot of activity from new exhibitors this year. These were mainly foreign exhibitors, whose interest to the local market has noticeably increased as a result of the growing economic indicators in Azerbaijan. This was the first time that separate stands were presented by companies such as Schneider Electric, Finnish software developers Tecnotree, Smartlink from Swizerland, Corning Optical Communications GmbH & Co. KG and Procera Networks from the USA, Turkish companies Erat Telecom and Erstream, Indian company Sei Trading India, Baltic Servers from Lithuania, Chinese companies GW Delight Technology and Hytera Communications Corporation Limited, Sumitomo Electric (Japan), NVAP and ARSAT from Argentina, which is a country that is represented at the exhibition for the first time.
There was also be a record number of startups among the debut exhibitors. The significant support from the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan towards startups is an ongoing feature of Bakutel. Exhibiting at the largest event in the ICT industry of the region at the same level as industry leaders and government bodies offers a unique chance to present a project and attract state and private investments. 30 young developers from Azerbaijan took advantage of this opportunity this year, using the exhibition to show their inventions, programmes and services. All of the startups were located in the second hall of the Baku Expo Centre at the High Technology Park stand.
This year, the exhibition presented telecommunications and networks, broadband communication and technologies, cable and wireless communication, satellite communication and technologies, equipment and technologies for radio transmission, software and automation systems, IT and office technologies. 45% of the exhibitors made presentations. These included presentations of the first platform in the Azerbaijani language which will allow any user of a personal computer to create their own website in only a few minutes, the first ERP system in Azerbaijan, new online TV for any type of device, applications for mobile telephones that allow for the watching of TV channels even with a bad internet connection, LED video walls that demonstrate art installations, the latest vehicular GPS tracking systems and systems for vehicle fleet control as well as mobile wallet solutions.
The exhibition also featured fibre optical cables, machines for joining optical cables, integrated FTTH (Fiber-to-the-home) fibre optical solutions and services, quality satellite and land based systems and accessories, from offset parabolic and planar antennae, ground antennae, main stations and equipment for mobile radio communications. Visitors to the exhibition also had the opportunity to see the Epson Moviero smart glasses - a unique device for watching videos and for various fields, from medicine to museums and the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset that will let you inside the world of video games and computer entertainment and many other innovative devices.
A programme of additional events was organised to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the exhibition. The first event in the anniversary programme was the "New life: from technologies to art" event, which took place at 12:00 on the 8th of November in the High Tech Park. Bakutel exhibitors together with their children assembled the anniversary logo and the Bakutel clock using computer components. This event became a real celebration for the exhibitors, that were happy to meet in an informal environment with their colleagues. All of the visitors to the exhibition had the chance to admire the assembled Bakutel logo. The Anniversary Banner which shows historical moments from the exhibition over 20 years was also displayed in the foyer.
Another anniversary event took place on the 3rd of December at the evening reception dedicated to the opening of the exhibition. A special award was given to the first year student at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy (ADA) from the Information technologies and engineering systems department Kenul Gunbarly who achieved at grade of 700 points in her entrance exam. All of the repeat exhibitors were be given special commemorative gifts.
Many different surprises and souvenirs in honour of the anniversary of the exhibition also awaited all of the exhibitors and visitors. Fans of modern gaming technologies went to the gaming zone in the foyer of the Baku Expo Centre, where a whole range of games were available. The visitors were greeted by robots that came to Baku with their show for the first time.
The anniversary Bakutel exhibition allowed specialists to discuss the latest trends in the ICT industry around the world as well as the prospects for the development of ICT in Azerbaijan. A range of events took place in the third hall of the Baku Expo Centre on all of the days of the exhibition. A conference entitled "The Internet of things: more than communication" took place on the 2nd of December, organised by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The conference covered the latest stage of the evolution of the internet. Speakers included Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Minister of Communication and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ali Abbasov, Intel Vice President John Davies and many other important experts and officials. Panel discussions and numerous sessions were organised as part of the conference.
The "eGov 3.0: Development trends and new possibilities" international conference organised by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Microsoft featured the participation of Deputy Minister of Communication and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan Elmir Velizade and Representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Azerbaijan, State Committee on Property Issues, State Customs Committee, State Agency on the Provision of Services to Citizens and Social Innovations of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Participants also included Representatives of the leadership of the Ministry of Communication and Mass Media of Russia, Skolkovo technological park, Microsoft, Heads of related departments of the World bank, Federal Chancellery of Austria, Administration of the Prime Minister of Turkey and specialists in electronic government from South Korea, Czech Republic, Moldova and other countries. The conference was dedicated to the formation of electronic government, prospects for its future activities and its development in our country and around the world.
A conference on "Education in Information Technology - Modern Challenges" took place on the 3rd of December and covered ICT education, as it currently requires modernization and new teaching methods in Azerbaijan. The conference was organised with the participation of ACM Chapter, an organisation involved in ICT educational programmes.
8 seminars from Molex, Acm Chapter, Karel / Coriant, Smart Communications and Vision Solutions also took place as part of the exhibition at the Baku Expo Centre. Another important event at Bakutel was the opening of the first "Women in IT" "Femmes Digitales" club for women in Azerbaijan.
The anniversary exhibition was a resounding success according to both visitors and exhibitors. 13039 visitors came to the anniversary event.
One of the important parts of being a successful exhibitor is having an original and eye-catching display. Exhibitors with the best displays were given award certificates. The following companies and organisations won awards this year:
Best corporate style reflection - Cybernet
Best stand design - Azercosmos
Best performance – High Tech Park
Best debut - Eurodesign
Best customer attraction to the stand - Azerfon
Most attended stand - Azercell
Best shell scheme stand – Connect
Best product placement – Microsoft
Best company presentation – BestComp
Most original stand – ATV Plus
Two issues of the Daily News: Bakutel newsletter were published during the exhibition. The newspaper had many photographs of stands, events and competitions as well as interesting interviews. All of these 20th Anniversary events created a grand and festive atmosphere at the exhibition with their variety and colour.
Intel (USA) was the General Sponsor of Bakutel 2014. Exhibition sponsors also included Eurodesign (Azerbaijan) and Tecnotree (Finland).
The Ministry of Communication and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan provides priceless support for the development and establishment of Bakutel. Other bodies from the Republic of Azerbaijan that support the exhibition include the National Confederation of Entrepreneur (Employers) Organisations of Azerbaijan Republic and the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO). The exhibition has also had many years of support from influential organisations such as the United Nations (UN) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The internationally recognized quality of the Bakutel exhibition is confirmed by both the presence of the leading producers of telecommunication equipment and information technologies and the "Approved Event" status that it has been awarded by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. Official partners of all exhibitions in 2014: Official Hotels - JW Marriott Hotel Absheron Baku and Qafqaz Point Hotel, Official Tour Operator Greenwich Travel Club and Official Safety partner – Safe Life. Over all of its years of existence, the organisers of Bakutel have been Iteca Caspian, ITE Group and Caspian Event Organisers (CEO).