• Everything Channel Resurrects COMDEX, Virtually

    comdex floorFrom 1979 to 2003, Comdex was one of the most prestigious and most highly-attended trade shows in the IT industry.  The annual November event was the premier trade show and a who’s who of developers and manufacturers where the buzz about new products, new technologies and trends ruled the industry.  And the extravagant parties and over-the-top events are legendary.

    Comdex was a place where the smallest of companies could get the boost they needed. For example, Linux creator Linus Torvalds appeared at Comdex in 1999 and the company soon became a huge sensation.  The show began to decline in popularity when major vendors like Compaq, IBM and Apple began to pull out and meeting organizers were unable to help vendors justify steep exhibition costs.  Tech companies shifted to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), CeBIT and COMPUTEX while the internet provided more modern and cost-effective marketing opportunities for IT stalwarts.  Comdex 2004 was cancelled, marking 2003 as its last year.

    UMB publication Everything Channel, known as Computer Reseller News during the Comdex heyday, gained control of the Comdex brand in 2006 and has since been planning a COMDEX renaissance.  On November 16-17, 2010, Everything Channel launched Comdex Virtual (www.comdexvirtual.com) to thousands of IT professionals from companies like Juniper, CompTIA and Intel who wanted to experience the new type of venue and, perhaps, enjoy a bit of nostalgia.  Of course, the Las Vegas parties were noticeably absent, but this may be the change Comdex needed.

    comdex virtualThis is an entirely new face for COMDEX and, though a virtual conference is nothing like a massive face-to-face exhibition, the immediate online access and level of interaction is perfect for this point in IT history.  There is no need to travel to Las Vegas, book an overpriced hotel, stand in long taxi lines, walk for miles through cavernous convention halls and fight for passes to the best parties.  Perhaps this is a bittersweet tradeoff.

    Have you experienced Comdex Virtual?  Do you miss the old November ritual?  How about sharing a story or two about Comdex, new or old?

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