Turkey Steals Webit Digital Industry Congress from BulgariaBusiness | February 13, 2012, Monday // 14:50| views
The third Webit Congress in Bulgaria's Sofia attracted over 5 300 companies. Photo by webit.bg
Central and Eastern Europe's top e-marketing expo and conference, Webit, is leaving Bulgaria and moving to Turkey, its organizers have announced.
The biggest event for digital business and marketing in Central and Eastern Europe was founded in Sofia three years ago, and has been attracting a growing number of participants, including top executives from global and regional online giants such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, eBay, Yandex, Grey, Monster, Microsoft.
In 2011, the Webit Congress in Sofia attracted over 5 300 companies and investors from the digital industry coming from 45 different countries.
As of the fall of 2012, however, Webit Congress will be hosted by Turkey, which has apparently offered the organizers better conditions.
"Bulgaria will always remain the birthplace of Webit. A great role for the selection of the new location had the extremely proactive communication policy of the Turkish government as represented by the Turkish Investment Agency and the Cabinet," explained the founder of Webit Plamen Rusev, as cited by Manager magazine.
Rusev is Chair of e-Academy, a Sofia-based international education institute, which holds a governmental license for professional vocation center in the fields of management and digital marketing.
e-Academy is the organizer of Webit, e-Business & e-Marketing Expo and Conference for Central and Eastern Europe. The first edition of Webit took place in Sofia in October 2009.
Thus, with the support of the Turkish government and global brands such as Qualcomm, PayPal, eBay, Yandex, Ericsson, Google fourth Webit Congress will take place in the heart of Istanbul on an conference area of over 8 000 square meters.
Bulgarian commentators have been quick to deplore the loss of Webit Expo to Turkey, citing past statement by persons such as Vice President at BBC Worldwide Tom Bowman who had described Webit as Bulgaria's "best advertising as an investment destination."
Webit organizers say the digital industry congress will not leave Bulgaria altogether, and that a mini Webit Congress will be organized in Sofia in the fall of 2012 focusing only on the condition of Bulgarian online market.
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