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Comdex Bites The Dust...Again

"Not Enough Exhibitors" for 2005 Show; Is This the Final Death Knell?

MediaLive International Inc's diligent efforts "to determine how Comdex can best meet the future needs of the industry" have apparently led the company to the conclusion that it can best serve the industry by not taking place at all. Again. For the second year running.

San Francisco-based MediaLive said last year they were "postponing" the 2004 show, but not to worry - the show would be back in 2005.

In response to which SYS-CON's West Coast bureau chief wrote at the time:

"I doubt it. Rather, this sounds like the death knell for the one event that described the arc of the personal computer business, from its informal, hippiefied beginnings in Atlantic City in the 70s, through an exuberant decade running from the late 80s through the late 90s, to some alarming wretched excess in 2000, to its swift and apparently fatal downfall in the 21st century."
It seems Roger Strukhoff was probably right.

"I viewed Comdex as a talented child with bad parents," Strukhoff noted at the time. "Despite its parents' attempts to make the event as unpleasant as possible over the years, you know, the show was an absolute killer. It was there at the dawn of the industry, it grew with the industry, it defined the industry."

No longer however. Folks will have to find something else to do in Las Vegas this November, although - rather as they did last year -  MediaLive said Monday that it hopes to relaunch Comdex (at the Las Vegas Convention Center) in 2006.

MediaLive public relations manager Ben Stricker explained the 2005 decision to cancel as follows: "We just didn't have the number [of exhibitors] we thought was right, so unfortunately we decided to pull the plug rather than do something halfway."

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Jason Palmer 04/01/05 09:59:27 AM EST

COMDEX should return to its' roots as the COMputer Dealers EXposition. Get all of the Channel Sales and Technical representatives in one place and close the show to non-trade or have at least two days be "trade only." Comdex used to be "the place" to review and sign up for new product lines and meet the people who would support you throughout the year in your sales efforts. Every product was on display with the engineering team within ear shot to help explain why their widget was the best made to date. Then in the search for more trade show revenue, the show opened up to the public and you could no longer have private channel conversations without looking over your shoulder to see who would hear and you were competing with the manufacturers direct sales force. In the early years, the show was very managable with about 20,000 to 30,000 attendees. Then once the public came, the general noise (non-trade buiness related) level increased the attendence upwards 80,000 or 100,000(?) and made navigating Comdex as well as getting anything useful or meaningful done virtually impossible. After the dot com bubble burst, the show just imploded and became completely irrelevant. Corporate buyers stopped spending and the Channel had no reason to attend since channel sales people from the manufactures stopped showing up long ago.