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COMDEX Opens with Smallest Attendance Ever 231

jgeelan writes "That's the verdict, anyhow, just posted on its main page by SYS-CON Media." Let's be realistic, does anything important really ever happen at COMDEX? The only thing I've ever got out of attending COMDEX is a horrible flu.
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COMDEX Opens with Smallest Attendance Ever

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  • Well... (Score:4, Funny)

    by rovingeyes ( 575063 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:42AM (#4705543)

    the front page photo looks like a nazi regime guy naming all his allies. No wonder every decided to stay away.

  • Well.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by REBloomfield ( 550182 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:43AM (#4705552)
    Scott McNealy proves he's really a Vulcan... ..everybody do the funny finger thing...
  • spam (Score:4, Informative)

    by Aerolith_alpha ( 85503 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:43AM (#4705556) Homepage
    personally i stopped bothering to sign up with them because i got more spam from them then any other 'legit' convention so far.
    • Re:spam (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I don't know about Comdex Vegas, but Comdex Toronto has been in a death-spiral for several years. It got so bad in 2001 that almost none of the "major" vendors showed up apart from Microsoft. I.e. no IBM, Apple, Dell, Corel, HP, etc.

      Comdex Toronto has largely become a "computer fair" with the booths that sell end-of-life software and previous versions of software books, etc.

      I don't know what Comdex Toronto 2002 was like - I purposely stayed away as it took 3 days to get the stink of impending death out of my coat after the previous one.

      • I was there in 98, and I think the coolest thing there was a 16:9 Plasma screen...

        You nailed it with the computer fair description... the desperation practically dripped from all those small business owners hoping that someone wanted to buy some "consulting time" or some outdated, overpriced hardware bought from another company's surplus stock.

        I never got to go to the American Comdex, but I would certainly hope it was more exciting.
    • Re:spam (Score:3, Informative)

      Wow, isn't that the truth...

      I haven't been to a Comdex for over 2 years and I still get spam mail from them.

      The last Comdex I went to (Chicago), I did manage to pick up some nice swag, including several Linux distro CDs, so it wasn't a total waste...
      • Re:spam (Score:3, Funny)

        by Reziac ( 43301 )
        It's immortal. I'm still getting mail (some legit, but some borderline-spam) from the 1999 LinuxWorld. Tho it's not a bad trade for the huge swag I came home with :)

        • Re:spam (Score:2, Funny)

          by dwtinkle ( 194997 )
          I'm still getting mail (some legit, but some borderline-spam) from the 1999 LinuxWorld

          So I guess you aren't on the Linux Kernel Mailing list. "You have 268 unread messages today"
          • But I do occasionally look in on said linux kernel mailing list... and promptly run away screaming [g]

    • COMNET is bad about that too. I've taken to creating a special email address for it when registration time comes around and then deleting it afterwards. Then at the show if I actually want to speak to an exhibitor later I give them a business card with my real email address.

      If others are doing similar things, this renders the exhibitors' lists worthless. Their whole point in going is to make industry contacts. Why should they bother to go if they don't get any value out of it?

      As for COMDEX and bankruptcy, I don't get that. Las Vegas offers excellent prices to conventions so that they can attract the attendees to the casinos. Exhibitor fees should cover operational costs that aren't too extravagent, the training sessions are supposed to pay for themselves, and direct mail to prior attendees is cheap. How did they manage to piss away enough money to end up close to bankruptcy?

  • by nick-less ( 307628 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:43AM (#4705558)

    does anything important really ever happen at COMDEX?

    wasn't the Amiga 1000 introduced at COMDEX 1985?
  • by CBNobi ( 141146 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:44AM (#4705563)
    After all, the site has the headline:
    "COMDEX Opens with Largest Drop in Attendance Ever !
    Attendance Down More Than 50% from Two Years Ago ...
    The Show Organizer May File for Bankruptcy Protection"


    "COMDEX Refuses to Issue "Press Badge" to SYS-CON Media"

    Coincidence? Probably.
    • by quintessent ( 197518 ) <my usr name on toofgiB [tod] moc> on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @10:25AM (#4705862) Journal
      So, where did the Slashdot poster get the phrase "smallest attendance ever" from? I didn't see that posted on SYS-CON. Was the poster smoking the carpet? Since when does "largest drop" mean "smallest ever"?

      It almost sounds like President Clinton and others talking about "paying off the deficit."
      • Deficit? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MacAndrew ( 463832 )
        Hey, we would be paying off the deficit or not worsening it so much, if only...

        oh never mind.... :)

        But wasn't that brief period of euphoria wonderful. Something to tell the kids about.

        Of course Comdex is dying -- what a boring name! It sounds like a competitor to Rolodex®.
      • Dude, this is slashdot, editors reading the article is totally optional.
  • AMD-apple link (Score:5, Interesting)

    by selderrr ( 523988 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:44AM (#4705570) Journal
    on the Apple rumours sites (,,,, ...) there's a whole lot of babling going on anout AMD going in bed with Apple. Either for a hammer version of OSX, or AMD fabbing the next PPC...

    Prolly just nonsense, but exciting anyway..maybe..
    • AMD worships the ground Microsoft walks on. Apple wants to crush Microsoft's skull (the way a Jaguar kills).

      Not a real good basis for a partnership.

      No, Apple's new processor, the thousand year dragon king, will come from the guardian god of the Big Blue sky. He will have his own reasons for hating Microsoft, and will be happy to help Apple.

      On December 14, 1996, Mothra resurrected a charred Apple sapling ("Mosura" 1996).
      On December 14, 2001, Mothra returned to see its fruit ("Gojira, Mosura, Kingu Ghidora: Daikaiju Soukougeki").
      OS X Jaguar: truly the Apple of Mothra's Aqua eye.
  • by Dr Thrustgood ( 625498 ) <> on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:44AM (#4705572)
    I always thought that, in computing at least, everything's *meant* to get smaller...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:45AM (#4705579)
    When my boss is away to Comdex, it's an excellent time of unhindered progress -- I go to work and get some work done!!! . When everyone's in town, all we ever do is sit in 5t00p1d m33t1ng5 all day long. I wish there were more than one Comdex a year.
    • I did it the other way, at my last job I required a provision that part of my job duties were to go to COMDEX each year, which they had to pay for.
      Got to see everything and had a good week of vacation, just had to write up a trip report for it.
  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:47AM (#4705598) Journal
    1. Networking was going to be big
    2. Networking was going to be overvalued
    3. The bubble was about to burst.

    Don't know about the rest of you, but I made over $2 million just through going to Comdex. I think this was money well spent.

    I've also learned that the business people know as little as the rest of us about where things are going. Thir guesses are never right. They might make some good guesses about what market will do well, but its almost always for the wrong reasons.
    • I've also learned that the business people know as little as the rest of us about where things are going. Thir guesses are never right.

      If only that were true... then things would be like the episode of Seinfeld where George decides to do the exact opposite of what he would normally do.

      "If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right."
      • To be honest, I was a little hard on them. They are fairly good at spotting a really bad idea, and avoiding it, but once you've got rid of the no-hopers, you might as well choose the rest by shuffling them and picking them at random.

    • I've also learned that the business people know as little as the rest of us about where things are going. Thir guesses are never right. They might make some good guesses about what market will do well

      The problem is information overload. The correct projections about the future are lost in a sea of incorrect projections, wishful thinking, emotion and hype.

      Like this year. I know that tablets will be a big thing.


      The roadside's littered with businesses that tried to introduce products based on good ideas that were too many years before the right time.

    • >I've also learned that the business people know as little as the rest of us about where things are going. Thir guesses are never right. They might make some
      >good guesses about what market will do well, but its almost always for the wrong reasons.

      If this is true, then why do they get paid so much? Whenever there is a gripe about excessive executive compensation, they're decried as Socialists. Well, I'm going to gripe about excessive executive compensation, because they're just not doing a good enough job to earn the high pay they're getting. If the "Captains of Industry" were really doing 7 and 8 figure jobs, the economy would be in better shape than it is. They wouldn't have been fooled by the dot-com bubble and wouldn't have landed us in the dot-com bust. They already keep an eye on their peers, and they should have forseen the current corporate accounting mess, and perhaps headed it off, or at least reduced its impact.

      Am I asking for a lot? Yes. But then, 7 or 8 figures is a lot of pay. They should earn it. Instead they screw up, leaving people like us holding the bag.
    • It's not just dot-com businesses either. My broker tells me that I'm just as well off to make my own stock decisions, since he's just guessing like everyone else. At least he was honest enough to say so!!

  • by jmerelo ( 216716 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:47AM (#4705599) Homepage Journal
    Well, at least in Comdex you get the chance to smell, weigh, shake, and look under the things that are available mostly anywhere in the web.
    But the plain truth is that attedance to trade fairs is going down anywhere; the same happened in SIMO, the spanish Comdex (if there's such a thing), which happened a short while ago. Product presentations are mainly done outside them, so it does not make a lot of sense to go to a trade fair to see booth after booth of computers, laptops, palmtops or whatever is the rage that year.
    • I think right now if you want to go to a large-scale show with emphasis on computers and related stuff, the best shows are CeBIT in Germany and COMPUTEX in Taiwan.

      CeBIT is a huge show that makes COMDEX during its heyday look like a minor event in comparison; COMPUTEX is very relevant nowadays since a lot of computer technology now originates in Taiwan (look at the long list of well-known computer peripheral manufacturers based there).
    • It's been tough all around. SIGGRAPH has scaled back but at least they saved enough and reorganized so that the Conference could go on. They actually mention the situation Comdex and others are going through:

      State of the SIGGRAPH Conference []
  • Booty! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Garg ( 35772 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:47AM (#4705603) Homepage
    The only thing I've ever got out of attending COMDEX is a horrible flu.

    I got my ComputerWorld button collection, a couple of T-shirts and a miniature basketball autographed by Spud Webb.

    Well, maybe that's why attendance is down... we've all got our offices decorated now.

    • Did not go this year, but had gone to the previous 5 years.
      I now have my office now decorated in stuff of companies that no longer exist. However I only have 4 more out of business t-shirts left, rest have to many holes or paint stains.
      The best thing I got from COMDEX was a bunch of hot sause, some company was giving them away and talking to the booth guy I got 10 bottles. Good Lousiana style sauce.
    • A swiss army type knife. From zdnet. The only comdex swag that I still use, because Moore's Law doesn't apply to useful things like that.
    • Am I the only one who read the parent's title and figured it was some guy who got some poon at comdex one time?

      Oh wait, this is slashdot...
    • > Well, maybe that's why attendance is down... we've all got our offices decorated now.

      More likely, I think a rather large portion of us here don't have offices to decorate anymore and those of us who do can't convince our bosses to send us to some notorious geek expo.
  • by larsoncc ( 461660 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:50AM (#4705618) Homepage
    I went to COMDEX last year in the hopes of finding what everyone REALLY wants from COMDEX. T-Shirts.

    My boss and I wandered the aisles, looking at new technology vendors (who happened to be giving away shirts).

    We came across one friendly looking lady, with at least 7 BOXES of T-Shirts. HEAVEN! I proceed to lay down the geek-speak about how her product would fit into our organization, and I was getting a fairly good response. I felt the T-Shirt grab was "in the bag", so I asked for one.

    She looked right at me, smiled, and pointed to the table: "Have a bendy!" Looking at the table, I saw the prize for all of my effort. A wire, wrapped in a plastic/rubber substance. Basically, the prize was as complete of a waste of time as my conversation had been.

    To this day, whenever my boss talkes about getting screwed over by someone, he uses the phrase "Have a bendy!"
    • this is typical at ALL trade shows now... if you dont look like you are the person that will make the purchases and are planning on buying BIG then they dont want you to have anything but the crap.

      Except microsoft.... my god, they were forcing them damn "be sure it's legal" t-shirts, mouse pads, etc... down everyone's throat. the one lady MADE me take one of each and smiled at me saying "you dont have to thank me. mmmkay?"

      Made me want to walk up and punch the guy in the butterfly suit.

    • ... the whole 'get free stuff' mentality that many convention goers have. I almost never get the T-Shirts or pens or whatever because I simply don't care. I go to see the products... not even the booth babes will sway my attention.

      I don't understand the concept of spending over $1000 on tickets and hotels just to gawk at boobs and pick up some free T-Shirts.

      If you want a T-Shirt, visit a damn mall... it'll cost a lot less.
    • Ahh.. I have a good percentage of my wardrobe thanks to LinuxWorld Expo. :-)

      Funny how those dumb bastards at Dell always showed up with friggin *medium t-shirts* - morons. They should know that fat lazy programmers need a XXL size at least.

      SuSE had cool shirts too!

      And I still get stupid comments about my "I'm a member!" shirt from the OSDN. All that I went through to get a t-shirt and a CD of "The Sounds of Slashdot." I actually pondered making mp3s out of that CD and putting everything on Napster, too. heh.
  • Comdex & CES (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:51AM (#4705624) Homepage Journal
    I think they should merge Comdex and CES. So much shows up at CES (consumer electronics show) which really would also appear at a Comdex and the merging of business items (i.e. the PC) into entertainment (i.e. Home entertainment platform) they might as well. Besides, it also makes CES that much more worthwhile to sneak into as an, uh, respresentative of some ficticious business. (c=

    There was a time when shows like Comdex were locally run, smaller shows, better targetted towards the local market (i.e. DPMA Great Lakes Computer Show, may it rest in peace) but being so uneconomical for manufacturers to zip all over the place they try to hold just a few big shows. Hmm.. seems not to be working, where's the scienterrific or economic model showing this failure? I know Computer Shopper is a mere shadow of it's former self, could it be the same forces? I don't think so, probably just less interest in spending on IT at the moment, and IT is reaching the point in the curve where advances produces less of a return, so older equipment and software is just fine.

    • I think CES will become even more relevant nowadays because the home entertainment industry has really exploded in popularity in the last seven years, what with the rise of DVD's (high-quality video in an easy-to-store format), multi-channel home theater systems (finally a use for the idea pioneered by quadraphonics in the 1970's), and gaming consoles such as PlayStation/PlayStation2, XBox and GameCube.

      Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center is a sign of things to come as the convergence of computers and the home entertainment system start to accelerate; I would not be surprised if Apple produces a Power Macintish model that aims for the same market within 24 months.
  • by buckeyeguy ( 525140 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:52AM (#4705634) Homepage Journal
    ... but maybe it's about time this thing died a natural death. Personally, I think it's a sign that the computer industry has truly reached a state of being a commodity industry... years ago, when everything was new and nobody knew what would be the 'next big thing', COMDEX was the place to be. Now, either nobody thinks there will be a next big thing, or nobody cares.
  • Not true... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Flabby Boohoo ( 606425 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:52AM (#4705640) Journal
    Let's be realistic, does anything important really ever happen at COMDEX? The only thing I've ever got out of attending COMDEX is a horrible flu.

    That is due mostly to the fact that the products are and services are mostly Windows oriented. And since you absolutely hate Microsoft, I am not surprised by that comment.

    I will say that I have found Comdex an excellent resource in seeing product demos and having access to key personnel for one-on-one q&a invaluable. And since the booth staff is usually engineers as well as sales people, you can even get some technical questions answered for products already purchased (that the phone support cannot seem to answer).

    Another bonus: getting out of the office for a day and checking out some gorgeous women is worth it on its own merit.

    • Another bonus: getting out of the office for a day and checking out some gorgeous women is worth it on its own merit.
      Sleeping with them tends to be much better, try it sometime. Oh wait, you went to Comdex...nevermind :)
    • "I will say that I have found Comdex an excellent resource in seeing product demos and having access to key personnel for one-on-one q&a invaluable. And since the booth staff is usually engineers as well as sales people, you can even get some technical questions answered for products already purchased (that the phone support cannot seem to answer).

      Normally this is what you have tech support for, but I can appreciate your being tired of trying to get an answer from call-center operators on your tech püroblems.
  • by hottoh ( 540941 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:53AM (#4705648)
    The first Comdex had about 10k people.

    I think more than 10k people attended the first day.

  • by scott1853 ( 194884 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:58AM (#4705680)
    Just look, Carly Fiorina announced a new slogan for HP! The only thing that could top that is if Gates got up and announced a new hologram for the CDs!!! What a great time to be a techie.
  • Hell I live in las vegas and I don't even see the need to go. The one two years ago was the best one EVER thats when all the linux companies had booths and everyone had money to blow on t-shirts to hand out. My friends and I got friggen GHETTO on those booths we took so much stuff we had atleast 4 full bags between us. At one booth we took so much stuff the guy running it had to ask us to leave or he would call security. Ahh good times.
  • by FJ ( 18034 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @09:59AM (#4705685)
    I once worked for a place which was hurting financially. Whenever anyone tried to go to a conference, the first thing the PHBs looked at was the location. If it was in Orlando or someplace fun (like Vegas) they immediately thought it was going to be a company paid vacaiton and rejected the request.

    The sad part is some conferences are really good. There were a few I would have gone to if they were held in a garbage dump in Antartica.
    • My former employer (large computer company) would regularly hold sales meetings which worldwide sales employees of a given division would attend.

      Because of the distribution of staff around the world, it was pretty obvious that the meetings should occur either on the west coast of the US or in Hawaii.

      They learned through bitter experience that the controllers regarded Hawaii as "junket city" and San Jose as "get work done city", and so they could only get stuff approved for San Jose. This dispite the fact that flights to San Jose were at least as expensive as those to Hawaii, and hotel accomodation (for several hundred people, for a week) was considerably more expensive.

      So the meetings were always in San Jose (or some other hideous Silicon Valley heckhole), at twice the price their Hawaiian equivalents would have been.

  • Thats what happend in this Comdex Fall 2002
  • Does that mean... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sithlord2 ( 261932 )

    ...where going to see a lot of "COMDEX is dead"-trolls ?

  • With COMDEX being so poor last year and this year how is CeBit has it died down or is it still going really strong?
  • I went to COMDEX Chicago last year, and it was awful. No T-shirts, keychains, or even a piece of candy. I'll bet you can tell the strength of the economy based on the amount of trade show give aways at any given convention.

    BTW, I didn't even get to see any good booth bunnies. The best exhibit was the Mercedes booth which gave a free test drive that you could get a hat for participating in. The line was so long I even blew that off.
  • >The only thing I've ever got out of attending COMDEX is a horrible flu.

    Well depending on how you look at it maybe that's proof that at least some good things come out of Comdex. ;-)

  • comdex ... (Score:4, Funny)

    by monadicIO ( 602882 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @10:26AM (#4705873)
    On a related note, a comdex article on /. gets fewest responses ever...
  • I went in 94 and for 5 years late got spammed about comdex regardless of how much I tried to get off their list. I even e-mailed their InterNIC contact and the abuse department at uunet, where it was flowing through showing how it was a violation of UUNets AUP.

    I got an e-mail back from zdnet (which was doing the actual spamming) about how it wasn't abuse, but still got the crap.

    Palm is another company that seems to be incapable of removing subscribers from their promotion lists.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @10:35AM (#4705952)
    More people attend the 3 Macword conventiuns each year than attend Comdex.

    thats a fact.

    Worse, comdex lies and pads its attendence by about 25%. At least they did not pad by 80% like the Million Man March or Blacks on washington, or Pasadena city civic leaders padding rosebowl parade spectator attendence by over 200%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    With comdex lying by 25% and not caring, its no wonder few want to go there.

    The other reason : you can;'t buy cool stuff at great prices at comdex,unlike other shows that allow on-site vending and direct sales specials.

    The best part abount comdex is the porno mini-conference of porn multimedia cd-rom publishers and THAT grows every year. EVERY YEAR.

    Comdex should allow the porn back into the main halls and then it would gorw and they would not have to declare backruptcy.

    Or study the insane dedication of mac people who take paid vacation days if needed to go to macworld. They go for good price deals... and comdex has no deals.

  • With the downturn in the IT industry this isn't surprising.
    Who can even think about looking at new stuff when they
    are looking for a job.
  • by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @10:39AM (#4705990) Homepage Journal
    There are two main reasons why COMDEX is failing:
    • The Web has largely made technology shows obsolete.
    • There's nothing new out there.
    The latter can be squarely blamed on the fact that the computer industry has become hostile to new ideas. Everything's gotta be the same old humdrum PeeCee stuff. Ten years ago, everyone was trying out new ideas. Nowadays, nobody wants to try anything new because there's no hope of making any money -- all good ideas are promptly stolen by Microsoft, Intel, Dell, Cisco, etc. ... who can do it bigger and cheaper.

    Is it any wonder that the only part of the tech world where change is really happening, is in the open source universe? Where the business rules don't apply?
    • by sacdelta ( 135513 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @12:28PM (#4707087)
      There are at least 2 additional things that I believe are largely responsible for the recent drop in attendance that are directly the fault of the people who are organizing COMDEX.

      1) The way they handled the merging of the two venues. "Oh, Creative, we don't think you'll mind giving up the prime real estate for this location in the back corner." This decision drove out most of the multimedia people last year (I don't know if they came back this year). But even the thought that they might do the same thing again on such short notice has kept me from even considering a return this year.

      2) They are charging more for the small booths causing fewer businesses to use them. These booths are a major incentive for many people to show up. Everyone knows they can go on Microsoft's or IBM's website to see what they are up to, but it was very convenient to go to the show and see a bunch of smaller companies and see what they had available all in one place. But with higher fees, they are systematically driving those people out.

      These are things that weren't outside of their control.
    • It's not just Comdex. We've been going to Spring InternetWorld (or whatever they called it this year) for several years; it's handy and free and has generally had enough Interesting Stuff to keep us occupied for most of the day.

      This year -- it wasn't worth the effort to drive downtown. Hardly any major vendors (and some didn't even bother to keep their booths manned), not many smallfry, and what we did see were mostly same old same old, or one-note wannabes (all singing the same tune). The only interesting booth (a security vs hacking demo) decided to blow off their afternoon presentation so we didn't even get to see that (tho they did give us a shirt for our interest -- only swag we found all day). We'd run out of stuff to look at inside of an hour and a half.

      Anyway, next year we won't be going.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @10:40AM (#4705998)
    Microsoft getting a blue screen when hooking up a scanner to a computer with Windows 98.. that, my friend, is classic :-)
  • by salesgeek ( 263995 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @10:46AM (#4706046) Homepage
    I've been to a few COMDEX shows. The industry is changing forever.

    * Usually there are revolutionary small vendors with products or software that will be the next big thing.

    * The big guys give out a lot of free stuff... but don't really do anything other than brand building.

    * I usually make business relationships that pay for the entire show within 60 days of the event.

    I'd hate to see Comdex go... but it is not as it was in the early and late 90s.

  • The tradeshow industry is hurting everywhere. Not just comdex. This is a function of the economy, coupled with a lack of new products to sell.

    Companies are cutting back across the board. Saving money by not presenting, or not sending you employees is a good way to do this.

    I work for a company that provides travel service for exhibition companies. Key3 media ( company hosting comdex ) is not the only one hurting. After 9/11 people have just stopped wanting to travel to these things.

    It may also be that people are realizing their true worth. In some sectors trade shows are very valuable. You actually sell something to someone, most tech shows are commercials you have to pay to see. I mean what does going to comdex to see the launch of the NV30 really accomplish. It is more of a marketing platform.

    It may also be that, like many things in the last 5 years, the show got bloated. Many of the attendees where just hobbiests, with no real purpose other then to walk around, gauk, and collect worthless business cards. I think the fat is getting trimmed, and we are just going to have to get used to.
  • That when I loaded up the page there was an IBM advert that showed a load of empty cubicles?
  • Just to keep people from saying it's always been useless: COMDEX was _the_ big computer show in the early to mid-1980s, the one that all the magazines would run stories about.
  • When companies face economic difficulty, a majority of them cut training and trade show attendance. So, if your company paid you to go, you no longer go unless you are the CEO (hey I made a ryhme). If you normally pay out of your own pocket for something like this; you likely can't take the risk that your job will be gone when you come back this year; or your retirement account has tanked so bad that not only working vacations are cancelled so are the regular ones. It's not just the threat of terrorism that has hurt choice vacation spots the past 15 months or so.

  • Comdex is for sales people. Don't believe me? Count the number of people wearing propeller hats, army pants, and offensive T-shirts.
  • The only thing I've ever got out of attending COMDEX is a horrible flu.
    ...and this weird rash that .. won't .. stop .. itching..
  • Yes, Comdex only ever held one exhibition in the UK - and it was so poorly promoted and attended that they never came back... and that was in 1998.
  • "(Customer) + HP = Everything is Possible"

    How much did that instantly forgettable slogan cost them, I wonder. It hardly trips off the tongue, does it, and I'm not even sure it actually makes a lot of sense written as it is. Waht's wrong with actually using English to write a slogan - "With you and HP, everything is possible".

    I'm sure Slashdot can come up with something a lot better and more appropriate than HP's management...

  • I remmeber the last computer tech thing I went to, similar to Comdex, absolutely sucked. People were walking around scurrying for free pens.

    In fact, Novell was there (remember them?), and they were giving away free umbrellas. You can't imagine how many idiots were waiting in a line that wrapped at least 10 rows for some stupid umbrella.

  • that is causing ComDex to decline. It's a combination of things. The computing world is so diverse now that no single event could even begin to cover it all. That, combined with the simple fact that innovation has moved away from the MS and PC platforms means that we now have to choose where we go based on our special needs and interests.

    In the 90s the PC world was pretty simple but in 2002 just the PDAs alone could form a convention! Add to that the special needs of data center people (another convention there, for sure), various server-based architectures, and engineering/scientific types and you have three "shows" where before Comdex tried to fill all these niches (or the niches didn't even exist).

    And then there are all the former Comdex exhibitors who no longer exist. The disappearance of VC capital to fund the extravagant give-aways for products that were less than vaporware has taken a lot of the fuel from the Comdex fire. Not to mention all the employees who now work in the fast-food business.

    The only way Comdex can survive is by creating their own "specialty events" (which, to give them credit, they tried to do). The most successful show I ever attended had several well-attended pavilions with like-minded exhibitors grouped together. So if you were interested in PDAs then Visor and Palm and others were close together. The last show I went to had too much diversity, no organization, and little coherance. They sold space to anyone who wanted to exhibit, from massage chairs to toys to automobile dealers.

    I think that unless Comdex can find their way back to the core of technology they are history.
  • --the last comdex I attended (worked at)was the year the combined brain power of the comdex event organizers (interface group then? I've forgotten now, too many shows)and the atlanta convention and visitor's bureau scheduled comdex the same time as the black students spring break, "freaknik". All of us native Atlanta workers KNEW it was gonna suck, and be terrible and a disaster, and so it was. Hysterically funny in retrospect. It's like all these mega brains and high paid people couldn't bingo to the sheer utter mess it would cause and do a little emergency tradeshow re routing and scheduling.

    With that said, they sure used to have some nice boothbabes going way back. Not as good as the sporting goods SuperShow or the larger car shows, but still respectable.
  • Let's be realistic, does anything important really ever happen at COMDEX? The only thing I've ever got out of attending COMDEX is a horrible flu.
    It MUST be important--it has its own graphic on /. =)
  • I went for seven years in a row but I don't need to go again because, during my last trip, I finally won a SoundBlaster.
  • IMHO, it would seem that besides the usual suspects ( bubble burst + bad overall economy + etc. etc.), probably the biggest possible additional explanation is the emergency and success of smaller more "specialized" trade shows...

    Namely, 'back in the day' COMDEX used to be this super generic very large-scale trade show about "computers" and such. That was back when you *could* have one trade show just about computers. Now there's no longer really just a "computer industry" so much as there is a "storage media industry" and a "office productivity software industry" and so on.

    Look at need a huge entire tradeshow just for games alone, so if you were a game developer, why would you send rep.s to COMDEX?...nah, send 'em to E3. And so on and so on...of course, if your Apple, you just make your own convention...heh.
  • First, they're refusing a publisher in, even after Kircaali presented his press credentials, photo id, and his business card:
    "We know SYS-CON Media and we know you, however you need to show us your press credentials and bring us copies of your work. We can not issue a press/media badge for you at this time."

    Second, Carly was boasting of how she cut out the "boring" basic research from HP:
    "Carly's newest message, which is - basically - that HP isn't any longer the boring old printing and imagine specialist, it's a 'full-service' computer company, offering end-to-end solutions."
    "While the demand for technology for its own sake may be down, the need for technology that solves real human and business problems is stronger than it has ever been."

    Demand for basic research comes from a desire to discover and improve, not by those that only seek the visible profits on the easy branches of the tech tree.
    It's like trying to explain farming to "hunter-gatherers".
  • Well if $2000 settop box/PC's, a $150 PDA wristwatch, another $300 handheld organizer, and a $150 cell phone which gives you 56k internet access for 3 months is all there is, there isn't much need to go. Maybe if the prices on slashdot weren't so terrifying, someone would go.

  • by bobdehnhardt ( 18286 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @03:39PM (#4709248)
    • Free t-shirts: I never packed more that a couple days' worth of shirts. Wore freebies most of the week.
    • 24-hour beer/booze, no last call
    • AdultDex provided look at cutting edge multimedia (lets face it, pron pushed this envelope long before the game makers)
    • Insightful Comdex seminars (paid for by work) provided opportunity to sleep after 24-hour booze/beer and AdultDex "sessions"
  • Comdex 95 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mittermeyer ( 195358 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @07:03PM (#4710962) Homepage
    I was at Comdex 1995.

    *Microsoft was just rolling out Win95,
    *the Newton fanatics were having their last lovefest,
    *Sony demoed DVD,
    *Novell told us our refrigerators were going to be hooked up to a network,
    *PowerPC had a tent with actual applications but an air of desperation about it,
    *Lotus Notes was pushing it's relatively new thing,
    *Citrix was trying to sell people on physical Winterms,
    *no one knew how to spell internet,
    *SSA disks were introduced,
    *the K-series of processors were coming,
    *the Alpha motherboard hackers held court,
    *and there was one teeny tiny Linux booth with the most kickass demo there.

    So in other words Comdex is a place where you can see the past, present and future if you have the wits to look for and recognize it. But you will still get your butt kicked by surprises.
  • It's been getting smaller and smaller as time goes on, and the free stuff has been getting sparse, too.

    It's not just Comdex.
  • I got spam from Comdex, despite multiple complaints.
  • A while back you could go to comdex and find little, low glitz, booths with neat stuff. As the PC and consumer computing market took off, COMDEX started to cater to the new audience. If attendance is slacking off, maybe things have finally come full circle and you will see more research type stuff in the future.

    Not that I believe this of course, but it is a nice thought.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan