RealTime IT News

Rome to Host E-Commerce Summit

The Italian capital has been selected to host the 1999 E-Commerce Summit, one of the largest and most comprehensive Internet conferences in Europe.

Over 40 international speakers will be featured at this year's Summit, including Robert Flemin, Oracle's director for business development and marketing; Phil Dwyer, managing director of Jupiter Communications, Europe; and Bror Salmelin, head of the European Commission's DGXIII/C-3 Digistal Markets.

Rome, because of the country's growing e-commerce potential, is a perfect setting for the summit, according to Phebe Archer, director of the event, and president of Connect, an Internet company developed for the growth of Web business.

"Almost 30 percent of the Italian population over age 16 owns a computer," Archer explained. "Over one million people are subscribed to Internet and more than 5 million people went online at least once in the last month, double the figures this time last year."

"A small boom in comparison with the USA, but nevertheless growth. Over 400,000 Italians made purchases online in the last year."

Archer also pointed out that Italy currently has more than 1,000 Italian virtual stores, and a potential market of 5 million customers.

The summit, scheduled for October 6 - 8 at the Sheraton Roma Conference Center, will provide a full immersion e-business 'course' with practical information, advice and tips from international executives working in the USA, Europe and Canada, according to organizers. Discussions will be held on issues such as greater Internet brand recognition and increased revenues.

"Great emphasis will be placed on Internet marketing, Web promotion, web graphics, online customer service centers, increasing revenue and Web site interactivity," said Phebe Archer. "The Summit is for senior managers and executives whose companies are already online but want to know how it all works."

In addition to those mentioned above, the star-studded speaker list also includes Andrew Parker, CEO Mercantec; Carla Hendra and Mike Windsor, presidents of OgilvyOne Worldwide, New York; Stephan Schamback, president and founder of INTERSHOP; Kynn Bartlett, director of HTML Writers Guild; Paul Toscano, CEO DATACorp and president of USERTRUST Network; and Chris Tacy, president and co-founder of Fire Engine Red.

Businesses supporting the summit include IBM Italia, Immediapress, Oracle Italia, Internolix AG, Software AG, Telecom Italia.