FAIRS AND EXHIBITIONS

Slovak fair industry keeps bringing visitors back

During 40 years of communism, trade shows on Slovak soil were visited largely by the braver citizens of the then-Czechoslovak Federation. The western cars, computers and electronic gadgets on display, say eyewitnesses, had a thrilling air of the forbidden about them.
Not so now, of course. After eight full years of capitalism, Slovak fair-goers are a price-hardened, quality-conscious bunch - and they come back, in annually increasing droves. Many exhibitors see this consumer enthusiasm as a function of the 'novelty factor.' The Slovak market economy is still young enough that consumers are interested in its lower-profile happenings, such as 'dental equipment' exhibitions and 'tools and ironware' fairs.

During 40 years of communism, trade shows on Slovak soil were visited largely by the braver citizens of the then-Czechoslovak Federation. The western cars, computers and electronic gadgets on display, say eyewitnesses, had a thrilling air of the forbidden about them.

Not so now, of course. After eight full years of capitalism, Slovak fair-goers are a price-hardened, quality-conscious bunch - and they come back, in annually increasing droves. Many exhibitors see this consumer enthusiasm as a function of the 'novelty factor.' The Slovak market economy is still young enough that consumers are interested in its lower-profile happenings, such as 'dental equipment' exhibitions and 'tools and ironware' fairs.

The ever-increasing attendance figures, surprisingly, are not a blessing for all firms. Some find their expensive booths thronged by children and casual visitors, while others say that

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