Dvorak: Fixing Comdex

By John Dvorak  |  Posted 2003-12-23 Print this article Print

Who wants to go to anything that's about the IT community rather than seeing jazzy new products?

Comdex is broken. I suspect this happened because of a combination of changing ownership, lost vision, and pent-up resentment of the show that has been building for a decade. The sociology could fill a book, but the show has never been liked much, and it seemed as though people everywhere were waiting for the moment when they could take it out on someone else. This year, they did.

Let me explain what I mean by "broken." A show is broken when exhibitors find endless excuses not to exhibit. Its broken when former showgoers stay away without worrying about hurting their businesses. Its broken when all the buzz is negative.

A show like Comdex has to be both important and compelling. The industry needs a Comdex, and although a lot of one-time Comdex exhibitors will be going to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2004, there is no substitute for an industry-specific show like Comdex. How many people at CES have even heard of Cat 5?

After hearing estimates of about 50,000 to 60,000 moaning Comdex attendees, Im hoping the show will rebound. And it can.

What needs to be done for Comdex to rebound? Read the full article to find out.

John C. Dvorak is a contributing editor of PC Magazine, for which he has been writing two columns, including the popular Inside Track, since 1986. Dvorak has won eight national awards from the Computer Press Association, including Best Columnist and Best Column. Dvorak's work appears in several magazines and newspapers, including Boardwatch, Computer Shopper, and MicroTimes. He is the author of several books on computing including the popular Dvorak's Guide to Telecommunications. His radio show, 'Real Computing,' can be heard on National Public Radio. He is also the host of TechTV's 'Silicon Spin.'

For more on John C. Dvorak, go to www.dvorak.org.


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