The Chennai Trade Centre is looking to double its floor capacity in the coming months and is in negotiations with the State government on acquiring more land for the purpose, say officials of the Tamil Nadu Trade Promotion Organisation (TNTPO).

Starting with a handful of events in 2001, the Chennai Trade Centre at Nandambakkam has grown to host many large exhibitions and fairs and is the premium location in the city. As K.S. Kandasamy, managing director, TNTPO, points out, 135 events were held last year at the venue and the three halls and convention centre were used for 279 days in the year.

“It makes sense even in the middle of a slowdown as more people tend to come to fairs and it gives an opportunity for sellers to show their wares to a large number of people at the same time,” Mr. Kandasamy notes.

Many flagship events including the ongoing India International Leather Fair, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2009, and the telecom conference ‘Connect,’ have been held at the venue.

But the total area of around 11,000 square metres spread over 15 acres is not sufficient to host international events, some of which ask for a minimum of 15,000 square metres, Mr. Kandasamy says.

This has prompted the move to acquire adjacent nine acres from the State government. Subas Pani, chairman and managing director, India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), held talks with government officials on this issue on Saturday.

Dr. Pani said that they are looking at making Chennai a focus destination for fairs and exhibitions in South Asia. This would also be a part of the ITPO’s efforts to double the capacity of fairgrounds in the country, he said.

Mr. Kandasamy said that the TNTPO is also considering a “G+” model of building convention centres and halls on multiple floors as they do in Germany and other countries to increase the floor capacity.

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