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Comdex Pursues Edification Rather Than Entertainment 75

XarsonX writes "Infoworld has an article talking about some of the changes coming to Comdex this year. Amongst other things, a $50 price tag for uninvited attendants, and less free gear handed out. Is it still possible to get enough free vendor-wear to fill your entire wardrobe?"
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Comdex Pursues Edification Rather Than Entertainment

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  • by Hilleh ( 561336 ) <.moc.liame. .ta. .hellih.> on Saturday June 21, 2003 @10:37AM (#6261298) Homepage
    Is it still possible to get enough free vendor-wear to fill your entire wardrobe?

    Slashdot - facing the important and relevant issues that I am sure confront us all on a daily basis.
  • Wardrobe (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 21, 2003 @10:43AM (#6261328)
    Is it still possible to get enough free vendor-wear to fill your entire wardrobe?

    No, but i hear there will be a SCO t-shirt burning this year at it..
    • Donate them to charity instead of burning them. That way the current board will know what they're going to look like in five years. Sitting on a street corner with a tin cup and a sco shirt.
      • Oh, But They're Not (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Greyfox ( 87712 )
        They're going to make enemies of the entire industry trying to destroy one of the most revolutinary concepts to come along this century and no matter what happens to the company they're going to walk away with more money than you or I will ever make in a lifetime.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      If SCO shows up at COMDEX it's going to be like the stoning scene from Monty Python's "Life of Brian" with IBM as the old guy John Cleese accuses of blasphemy and wants the crowd to stone.
  • by I Am The Owl ( 531076 ) on Saturday June 21, 2003 @10:51AM (#6261364) Homepage Journal
    Is it still possible to get enough free vendor-wear to fill your entire wardrobe?

    You mean there are vendors giving out pants? That's just awesome.

  • Advertising (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Original Yama ( 454111 ) <lists.sridhar@dh ... minus cat> on Saturday June 21, 2003 @10:53AM (#6261373) Homepage
    "Is it still possible to get enough free vendor-wear to fill your entire wardrobe?"

    What, you actually like being a walking advertising billboard? Some of us have a thing called dignity which prevents us from stooping to such a level.
    • Some of us have a thing called dignity which prevents us from stooping to such a level.

      Some of us have things called student loans which make it easier.
      • Re:Advertising (Score:3, Interesting)

        by 1u3hr ( 530656 )
        Some of us have things called student loans which make it easier.

        If you're living on student loans of course you'd travel to Las Vegas and rent a hotel room, in the hope of getting a free T-shirt, some mousepads and AOL CDROMS. All that stuff must be worth at least $9.75.

      • Re:Advertising (Score:2, Interesting)

        by thogard ( 43403 )
        Student loans and Las Vegas? I don't know if it still works but some grad students use to go there for spring break. There were about a minivan worth of EE studetns that would go all put up a bit of money and one guy would deposit it the casino. Then every day he would take out 1/7th and give it back to its owners. From the casino's point of view the guy was a sucker worth a free room and other free stuff. The the students, it was a free trip where they got to camp out in a nice free room.
    • Actually, I see no problem wirh wearing free clothing with advertising on it. Usually, I'm interested enough or enough involved with the products in question that I'm happy to advertise that fact. (I mean, I'm not going to wear shirts advertising golf gear because I don't golf, and don't visit golf "super sales" or conventions where such free items would be given out.)

      Other times, I simply wear the clothing in situations that make it obvious I'm bashing the product on my t-shirt. (EG. I often wear one o
  • The re-entrenchment of Comdex as a business-focused show is a natural response to Comdex's excessive growth in the late 1990s, when the fall show attracted more than 200,000 attendees annually, Millikin said. "Five years ago, Comdex did not have a defined purpose," he said. This year the show will make a much more concerted effort to attract vendors and attendees interested in specific topic areas such as Web services, security, and open source software, he added.

    With this type of decision you have two directions you can go, way up or way down. The problem is that since Comdex didn't define itself, the patrons and vendors of comdex did. They said, "cool new computer stuff that people are trying to make money with", and everyone bought into it, because remember kids computers and computer fields are followed ONLY for the money. Comdex had proof of concepts that were beyond belief but then would become standard in a few years (anyone remember Not only can you buy used cars in tons of places you can buy them on ebay now too.

    If Comdex wants to change the pace of what it does and they want to survive then all the power to them, but you don't start something and then just expect to change it because things aren't going the way you envisioned them.

    My prediction ... Comdex isn't even newsworthy in 3 years.

    • COMDEX became largely irrelevant because of a change of technology that we're all using right now: The Internet. Prior to the Internet, COMDEX was where every vendor would show off their latest wares to the collected media (literally holding its release until the big trade show), and all of the writers for PC Week, PC Magazine, Compute!, STart, and every other magazine would run to the banks of phones to call in their reports about the new Diamond Speedstar 24x or new MFM hard drive. I remember all of the C
      • I went to Comdex its last year in Chicago. Myself and my 2 best friends ditched school to go, had our parents call us in sick. I had to make a fake ID for myself because I was only 17 at the time, and you had to be 18... And they did actually check it. We had a blast, but from what I understand, it seems like Comdex went downhill after they moved out of Chicago.
  • cdxpo ???? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Webdude ( 5964 )
    So I wonder if cdxpo may take over for comdex then????
  • free gear. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Suppafly ( 179830 ) <slashdot@sup[ ] ['paf' in gap]> on Saturday June 21, 2003 @11:07AM (#6261434)
    and less free gear handed out.

    Isn't the free gear handed out by the vendors? How does comdex have any control over that? There maybe more free gear this year than ever, they don't know.
    • I was there in 1997. Comdex itself was handing out thick books full of ads, daily newspapers, big plastic shopping bags, t-shirts.... I think I saw a couple of frisbees and coffe mugs floating around the floor too.

      Though the amount of stuff handed out by the vendors was far greater. I've never seen so many useless things in my life.

      Anway, I've never been back. I went there with high hopes and the show was a big dud.
      • I started going to comdex in 94. The shows in Atlanta used to be great. Meaning I'd come home with a few shirts, maybe a new software suite. One year I came back with news parts. But, as the stock markets started to realize that a guy who says he might have an idea about something that might make money probably isn't a good investment, the computer industry slowed down. The dot coms started to fail because there was no financial backing because they couldn't produce the 2000% profits that they had when
    • No idea if any outfit ever does this, but there's no reason the vendor contract can't say "you can only hand out software, not T-shirts".

      As to this attempt to redefine vendor and attendee interests against how they've already evolved, I suspect that's a recipe for failure.

      • I was at an ACM conference once where the vendors weren't supposed to give out merchandise, but a bunch of them did anyway.. One vendor just gave out plastic bags(which wasn't disallowed) so that people would have something to put all of the disallowed vendor stuff into.
  • Free Stuff (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Saturday June 21, 2003 @11:19AM (#6261488) Homepage Journal
    I still fondly remember those good ol' days where companies used to hand out tons of high-quality free stuff at Career Fairs. At a particularly memorable one, the year before last, I managed to grab the following inventory of items:
    Google I'm Feeling Lucky T-Shirt
    Cisco foldable stapler
    IBM Pen and Glow Keychain
    IBM FM/AM radio with earphones
    Lucent drawstring laundry bag
    Microsoft shitty yoyos which doesn't work
    Verizon and Metlife frisbees
    SGI funky twisty rubbery thing
    Siemens marker set
    Comcast inflatable ball
    Kodak disposable camera
    Broadcom fridge magnet
    Honda trendy packpack
    Texas Instruments CD wallet
    EMC2 T-Shirt
    On the other hand, this year most companies were handing out only pens and other cheapo stuff, which I thought was below my dignity to collect.
  • I guess this means we won't be seeing Weird Al smashing any old computers or monitors this year at Comdex.

    I guess it really IS all about the Pentiums.
  • by ErikZ ( 55491 )

    "Key3Media Group, the trade show company that manages the annual Las Vegas IT show, emerged from its recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings on Thursday..."

    The people that manage COMDEX went bankrupt?! What the hell? Were they handing out lumps of gold at the doors or something?!
  • So the suits at COMDEX only want to put on a show for other suits. Thus concludes the transition to crying boredom that began a few years ago when they booted out the adult entertainment industry -- which is always the first adopter for any new communications technology.

    Isn't it about time that someone started a new trade show, one for us? It would be in Vegas (or maybe Reno, just for spite). Tons of raw technology. Booth babes. And a tradeshow trinket requirement. Heck, have a "best of show trinket

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Saturday June 21, 2003 @01:38PM (#6262339) Homepage
    Almost all the shows have faded into bland-ness, if they havent disappeared altogether.. Hell it started 2 years ago when CES became a suits-2-suits venture, comdex that year also was more toned down and you had to fight to get goodies out of the vendor booths.... I.E. "Oh you're a develper? here's a pen..." instead of that T-shirt or Hat he handed to the guy with the suit that was just there...

    when things started to tighten up, the free-stuff is the first to go.. Although I do remember both novell and Microsoft handing out Gobs of stuff last year wiuth "KEEP IT LEGAL" all over it..

    Vendors are finding that going to shows is more of an expense than the leads it generates, and most companies have stopped sending people for a while now... In fact cince January last year the company's policy has been no shows on the company dime, and you must take your own vacation time for them.

    Shows were a waste of company time anyways.. I hated spending 2 months after fighting off sales calls from every vendor I gave my smartcard to in order to get their cheezy crap.. Most of the keynote speakers usually didn't have much to say other than the light coating designed for the suits to hear. Hopefully in a few years it will bounce back, but I doubt it... I think the time for them has past...
    • I feel sick (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Dogtanian ( 588974 )
      I hated spending 2 months after fighting off sales calls from every vendor I gave my smartcard to in order to get their cheezy crap..

      An awful realisation just leapt up on me. What if they weren't just giving away all that stuff out of the goodness of their hearts? What if it was all just a cynical ploy to drum up business and make money?...

      I hope this isn't true, and that we can still trust computer salespeople, but if it isn't.... folks, I have to break this to you. It looks like Microsoft and IBM mig
  • Is it still possible to get enough free vendor-wear to fill your entire wardrobe?

    Oh man, you just made me realize why my gf hates going out with me in public! i'm a total fucking geek!
  • $50 to see marketing people and sales people pushing educational what?

    I've been thinking of going to COMDEX for a Vegas vactaion for about ten years. It's getting less and less likely that I'll ever go now. Depressing news.

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.