KUALA LUMPUR: The Star Education Fair 2005 drew more than 60,000 visitors on its first day, including families from as far away as Sabah.
One visitor, Charmaine Chan, 20, and her family flew in the night before just to attend the fair.
Her father, Eddy Chan, said: This is the only education fair worth attending and flying here was not a problem. I only want the best for my daughter and we can explore all options here.
SPM holder Azhar Sulaiman left his home in Ipoh at 6am to make it in time for the fair.
This is by far the most informative fair because every college or university I can think of is here, said the 17-year-old.
Launched by Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Shafie Mohd Salleh, the fair, in its 17th year, played host to 270 booths from more than 140 local, foreign, public and private institutions of higher learning.
Another early bird hoping to beat the crowd was 18-year-old Vishnu Ganapathy, who came as early as 9.30am to Dewan Tun Razak in Putra World Trade Centre here.
I attended last years fair but I came late and it was difficult to speak with university representatives as everyone was jostling for their attention. Thats why I got here as early as possible, he said.
The steady stream of people continued the whole day and some even came prepared with pre-packed lunches.
The five career talks at Dewan Tun Hussein Onn B, which can seat up to 380 people, were packed to the brim.
The talk on engineering attracted a full house, with many left standing at the back of the room.
Tan Kim Chuan, 17, was ready for the first lecture a good half-hour before it even started.
I made sure I came early to get the best seats and take down notes, he said.
In a bid to outdo each other, many booths were elaborately decorated and offered unique attractions.
KDU College featured a butter sculpture and fruit carving demonstrations.
The colleges general manager of operations Tan Jing Kuan said he was very happy with the turnout yesterday.
I started counselling at 11am and the next time I looked at my watch it was 6pm. The response was just tremendous and we gave away over 4,000 goodie bags, he said.
In fact, 10 students signed up and will be starting classes on Monday, he added.
A crowd puller was the instant makeovers and fancy nail art at JF Beauty Academys booth.
This is our second time joining the fair and todays turnout was very good and kept us busy all day, the academy's education manager Jean Lum said.
Adding to the fun atmosphere were games hosted by radio DJs from red 104.9 and 988 who also collected donations for the Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund.
Visitors also thronged the information counters as they completed questionnaires and participated in the Award & Win contest that will run during the two-day fair.
The fair is on again today from 11am to 7pm.