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Comdex Operators File for Bankruptcy

pudge posted more than 11 years ago | from the all-about-the-pentiums-baby dept.

Comdex 161

VileScum writes "According to this article in The Australian, Los Angeles-based Key3Media Group, the company operating the giant Comdex trade show, filed for protection from its creditors yesterday in the United States Bankruptcy Court. Does this mean I have to start buying cloths again instead of getting them at trade shows?" Also see a story in The New York Times. Concerns of bankruptcy were voiced last November.

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He's came!! (-1, Troll)

jangell (633044) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222228)

Jesus no! Not comdex!!

First XBox (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222230)

Fuck you ! [xbo.cx]

Re:First XBox (-1)

handybundler (232934) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222475)

It is official; Netcraft confirms: *Microsoft XBoX is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *Microsoft community when IDC confirmed that *Microsoft market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *Microsoft has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *Microsoft is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amdest.com] to predict *Microsoft's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *Microsoft faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *Microsoft because *Microsoft is dying. Things are looking very bad for *Microsoft. As many of us are already aware, *Microsoft continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

XBoX is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time Nintendo developers Jack Ass and Mike Hunt only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: XBoX is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers. XBoX leader Billy states that there are 7,000,000 users of XBoX. How many users of PS2 are there? Let's see. The number of XBoX versus PS2 posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7,000,000/5 = 1,400,000 PS2 users. PS2/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of XBoX posts. Therefore there are about 700,000 users of PS2/OS . A recent article put XBoX at about 80 percent of the *Microsoft market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = Too Many XB0X users. This is consistent with the number of XBoX Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Redmond, WA, abysmal sales and so on, Microsoft went out of business and was taken over by Fags who sell another troubled gaming system. Now Faggorts are also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *Microsoft has steadily declined in market share. *Microsoft is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *Microsoft is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *Microsoft continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *Microsoft is dead.

Fact: *Microsoft XBoX [xbo.cx] is dying.

cloths? (5, Funny)

jd81eldo (156859) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222235)

I got a few free shirts at Comdex, but I never saw a booth giving out free cloths

Re:clothEs? (0)

jangell (633044) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222246)

Clothes you dumb@#*%$#

Re:clothEs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222354)

well well well, what a difference a letter makes. maybe instead of getting pissy, you should just spell correctly

Re:clothEs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222414)

well well well, what a difference a letter makes. maybe instead of wetting pussy, you should just spill correctly

Re:clothEs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222635)

exactly, that's a very good example...

Re:shit head (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222252)

cloths or clothes?

SHITHEAD.

Re:shit head (-1)

handybundler (232934) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222495)

Like you have any room to be bithcing about people's spelling issues.

Goddamit,
handybundler

Re:shit head (-1)

Salad Shooter (600065) | more than 11 years ago | (#5223389)

wtf is with you? fuck off already, you asshole. Are you some kind of stalker? Leave me the fuck alone. foad.

Free Shoes (-1)

Want Some Shoes (640625) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222323)

I tried to get a stall at Comdex giving away Free Shoes, but they unfortunately refused me. If you want some shoes I have plenty to offer.

Re:Free Shoes (-1)

Shoes For Birds (639097) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222586)

tHEre iS A mArkET fRO tEH bIrD sHoEs.

iT iS wINtAR nAD iMA tO bE cOLd hOlDinG oN tO tEh tElEopHoNE wERIs aLL dAMN dHEY lONg. gImmE sOmE sHoEs111

Re:cloths? (2, Funny)

Bob Vila's Hammer (614758) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222328)

I think the 'cloths' he is referring to are handed out for the 'overexcited', 'premature', hot-new-gear related 'testicle accidents' that happen at such trade shows. Its a shame, comdex going down, those dead or alive 3 cloths are hard to find otherwise.

Re:cloths? (1)

airrage (514164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222671)

Yeah, there's a booth for house-elves who aren't allowed to wear clothes....

Re:cloths? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5223038)

Just get some scissors, and you can make your own cloths out of the t-shirts.

Sounds good (-1)

l33t j03 (222209) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222237)

I'm sure the Linux operators will enjoy the company.

You mean clothes (-1, Flamebait)

stomv (80392) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222242)

'Does this mean I have to start buying cloths again instead of getting them at trade shows?'

Perhaps you'd better try to find a wrong-word checker as well. You know, to help you edit or something.

Re:You mean clothes (-1, Offtopic)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222283)

I'm always amazed by the amount of time and energy waster at complaining about typos in Slashdot's articles. Seriously: don't you people have anything better to do than to bitch and moan about typos?

no, don't answer that question. I think I already know the answer...

I'm amazed too. (1, Informative)

stomv (80392) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222320)

I'm amazed that you interpret a snide remark as "bitching and moaning".

But then, I'm also amazed that a person that gets paid to be an [b]editor[/b] doesn't. It'd be a bit like getting paid to paint houses and not bothering with the spots you can't reach.

It's about pride in your craft. Pudge [pudge.net] is an editor. Expecting an editor to produce a single sentence his high school English teacher would approve is not too much to ask.

Re:I'm amazed too. (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222435)

I'm amazed that you interpret a snide remark as "bitching and moaning".


Considering that we get similar comments every single time there's a typo in an article, yes, I would call it "bitching and moaning"

But then, I'm also amazed that a person that gets paid to be an [b]editor[/b] doesn't. It'd be a bit like getting paid to paint houses and not bothering with the spots you can't reach.


Does the "cloth/clothes" typo somehow make this article less enjoyable? Does it makes it impossible for you to understand what is being said? Does it somehow make the article less interesting? I would say "no" to all those questions

If you want to talk about grammar and punctuation, go to school. This isn't school, this is /.

Re:I'm amazed too. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222562)

This isn't school, this is /.
Hey - new masthead!

Slashdot: Even Dumber Than School

Re:I'm amazed too. (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222609)

Does the "cloth/clothes" typo somehow make this article less enjoyable? Does it makes it impossible for you to understand what is being said? Does it somehow make the article less interesting? I would say "no" to all those questions

Would an article written in hacker speak be any less interesting?

Re:I'm amazed too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222711)

As an english major who got sucked into this computer thing during the bubble, grammar mistakes at /. have always struck me as bush-league. Your posts are read by thousands; demonstrate some pride in your appearance.
Think of english as a language in your sense of the word. Consistently misspelling a variable name - netVar instead of nextVar, for example - does not affect the functionality of a program, but it does detract from its legibility. Similarly, a typo in a post just looks bad. On a more complex level, prose, like code, has structure; one can tell by reading a method how smart an author is.
That is why you should pay attention to how you write what you post. Your spelling and grammar are part of your credibility. Demonstrate some self-respect.

Re:You mean clothes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222360)

I'm amazed by the number of people on Slashdot who can't take a -moment- to check their spelling/grammar before submitting.

I'm not saying that everything has to be perfect but people could at least make an effort.

No, he meant cloths (2, Funny)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222338)

I regularly spill coffee while at work. While a T-shirt is rather a nice thing to get, the utility of a cloth is much greater, and those companies that give them away are more likely to get my custom.

TOWELS (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222842)

When will the exhibitors learn, a nice bath towel represents the height of utility. Any geek knows that.

This is just a protective move (4, Funny)

Hairy_Potter (219096) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222257)

to protect them against an incipient class action lawsuit by inexperienced geeks who were tramautized by picking up "girls" in Las Vegas with large Adam's Apples during the last Comdex.

Get your clothes at Adultdex instead (4, Funny)

YeOldeGnurd (14524) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222258)

The sex industry is recession-proof. I'm sure Adultdex isn't going under.

Oh, but I guess they don't do clothing there, do they. Darn.

Re:Get your clothes at Adultdex instead (2, Funny)

peekitty (613568) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222279)

Well no, but some cloths might come in handy.

Re:Get your clothes at Adultdex instead (2, Funny)

gadget junkie (618542) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222324)

You know, I used to believe that. then I bought Mustang Ranch at the IPO.

Re:Get your clothes at Adultdex instead (1)

CleverNickedName (644160) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222469)

The sex industry is recession-proof. I'm sure Adultdex isn't going under.


Actually, a large portion of their profits comes from "going under".

And yes, that is "comes" with an O and an E...

Re:Get your clothes at Adultdex instead (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222613)

They may not be going under, but they sure are "going down".

Re:Get your clothes at Adultdex instead (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222796)

I'm sure even they have been impacted by the
economic downturn that has affected Key3media.

Adultdex was started (inspired) by a group of
companies that had gotten kicked out of COMDEX for
selling adult-oriented products (CDs) back in the
mid nineties. At first it was just a competitive
slam back at the Interface group (IIRC), for kicking
them out in the first place.
As time passed, more of the "corporate" adult entertainment
promoters took over the convention and it has become more
of a venue for new and growing franchises looking for market
deals, and local Las Vegas entertainers. ... but it was always meant to take advantage of the presence
of the COMDEX crowds both for promotion and to get extra bodies
in the door.
Less people going to COMDEX meant less foot traffic showing up for Adultdex.

In past years it was as heavily promoted on taxi and street
signs as any of the marketed high-tech companies that were
on the COMDEX show floor. This last year, I don't recall seeing
even one sign around the LV convention center mentioning it.

I'm sure they suffered less for the cost of their hotel convention
space than Key3media did for all its venues, but that doesn't mean
they did not notice a distinct drop in the amount of horny geeks
showing up after the main show hours ended.

Of course I could be wrong, I didn't get by there last year to see
how much attention ADX was getting. For all I know the geeks may
have been so disappointed with the content at the LVCC that the
made a point to check out what else Las Vegas had to offer.

BTW: Even Adultdex had t-shirts, posters, and other chachkis,
but they usually were sold as souvenir items.

Comdex Memories (4, Interesting)

kahei (466208) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222260)


Long ago, before I had a Real Job(tm), I helped out at one of the very first comdexes to earn money to buy crusts of dry bread.

And there were all these people there, totally focused on building a stand that was better than the next stand, which in turn was trying to be better than the next one. Not because all the people loved stands or anything, but just because they'd all talked each other into believing it was really important.

And they totally broke their backs to get their stands ready, they seriously worked 20 hour days to make sure their glossy stand thing worked perfectly and all the brochures and things were in the right place, although none of them actually cared about brochures or stands.

It was this experience(*) that has made me cynical about capitalism in general and trade shows in particular. The sense of 'why not just stop bothering' that I acquired then has stood me good stead ever since :)

(*)Along with the Tale of the Uneaten Breakfast, but that's another story.

Re:Comdex Memories (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222463)

Well, because marketing, while it may seem silly and unimportant to you, is what makes companies sell shit. And good presence at a trade show can lead to good writeups and reviews and lots of general industry press attention. Which of course is useful because it helps you close the deals that bring in money. Which in turn pays your salary, and if you have options or an ESOP plan, might give you a really big payout. Of course, this is the money that puts all that food on your table, buys that car you drive, pays for your kids to go to that nice private school, etc.


Of course, I merely justified why trade show booths do serve a purpose. The competitiveness you observed is a basic part of human nature - if you are a marketing person for a company, you want it to be known that you are better at your job than the marketing people at your competitor company. The same applies to all people on the evolutionary track to success. If you just don't care about competing and winning, well, you are probably on one of those lines of evolution that will die out sooner or later and make room for those who do. Capitalism is a reflection of nature, which is why it works. Is it always a moral good? No - that's why we need laws and governments to keep it from being too destructive. But trying to impose systems fundamentally at odds with human nature seems to be a guaranteed failure.

Re:Comdex Memories (2, Insightful)

Deagol (323173) | more than 11 years ago | (#5223145)

Well, because marketing, while it may seem silly and unimportant to you, is what makes companies sell shit.

Funny. I thought that having a good product, especially one that people use and want, caused people to buy shit.

Ah... there's the problem (or at least I consider it a problem). Many seem to believe that the economy should be push-driven (companies "sell shit") versus a pull-driven one (people "buy shit").

I've never understood goofy multi-million dollar superbowl adverts, trade shows, cold-calls, door-to-door salemen, pop-ups, or even everyday radio/tv commercials.

Hell, if I want to buy a car, I'm gonna research what's out there. You can be damned sure I'm not going to let a 30-second glossy TV ad influense a $25,000 purchase. That scales down to things as cheap as paper towels and tooth paste.

I realize that the big model is to make people believe thay want crap they don't need, whether that crap is quality or not (more often not). Here's a thought: make quality products that fill a real need (give me better reception on my cell phone, not a dazzling array of colored faceplates for the phone) and people will seek you out. In other words, "Build it, and they will come."

I once worked for a small software firm which produced a niche point-of-sale system. I talked with several of the sales droids there. They honestly believed that without Sales (that is, the department, not actual cash sales) that the world would collapse into economic ruin. I always took the opposing view, but they'd hear none of it.

It's one thing to have a passive presense to have your name in circulation (phone book entry, web page, small ads in the back of trade rags, etc.), but to devote so much money to something as wasteful as salesmen and advertising seems silly to me.

Maybe I'm just a more demanding "consumer" than most, but most everything I buy is based on my own opinion, not advertising.

Sometimes, I've decided to avoid brands solely because of how stupid the commercials are. May Utahns out there who have seen or heard the Totally Awesome Computers ads are sure to agree with me.

And yes, I realize that I just poked a hole into my argument in that past paragraph. That counterpoint to anti-advertising is "brand recognition" -- the philosophy that if you remember a brand (even in a negative way), the advert has done its job. Rubbish.

Re:Comdex Memories (2, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222557)


Long ago, before I had a Real Job(tm), I helped out at one of the very first comdexes to earn money to buy crusts of dry bread.

RMS is that you? Oh wait you mention having a job..

noooo!! (5, Funny)

borgdows (599861) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222261)

Computer industry will be doomed without the yearly 'Bill Gates COMDEX Keynote' !! ;-)

Re:noooo!! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222995)

Computer industry will be doomed without the yearly 'Bill Gates COMDEX Keynote' !! ;-)

That's OK, he's done the Keynote at CES (scaring the hell out of the little guys there: "And then our parters will put our software into all their home entertainment devices, and crush anyone who stands in the way of our vision, whatever the heck it is."

Ouch (0, Troll)

simontek2 (523795) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222269)

I hope someone takes over Comdex, its a good show. i know i will miss it! 3rd post woot woot Simontek.

Re:Ouch (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222524)

There have been some rumors that Comdex will join with CES.
Probably a smart idea for Comdex since they are loosing people, but a poor idea for CES since most companies pulling out of comdex are already heading for the CES.
Will be interesting to see what is happening at other computer shows, guess I will find out when I goto CeBit this year.

Re:Ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222737)

The company I work for is actually looking seriously at Comdex. That being the case, they also happen to know that there are a lot of others looking very seriously at it. It's not going away, it's just going to change hands. What it'll be worth, of course, is anybody's guess.

Re:Ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222853)

Really, what's your stock symbol, I'd like to short it.
The show has been dying for years, it's not the same animal it was ten years ago, and method for showcasing new products have completely changed. Companies have discovered that there are cheaper ways to get information out to people, rather than throwing a ton of money at hotels, airlines, expos and bars.
Comdex is a tar pit, and will kill any company stupid enough to buy it.

I steal all my cloths (2, Funny)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222273)

From restaurants. You can get dishtowels, napkins and tablecloths.

unsurprising (5, Insightful)

Boromir son of Faram (645464) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222280)

Comdex has been in steady decline for a few years. I don't think anyone's exactly floored by this announcement, which is just ceiling the fate we all saw coming as the trade show has become increasingly walled in.

Then we have trade shows like LinuxWorld that have trouble selling enough booths to cover their costs. I don't think this is anything to be upset over. The Internet is to some extent doing away with the need for meatspace trade shows, and in these lean times it's hardly shocking that businesses don't want to throw away money on a trade show booth that could be spent in their web presence with many times the return on investment.

So, the Comdex bankrupty filing has been found, as legend foretold.

Re:unsurprising (1)

kahei (466208) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222291)


just ceiling the fate we all saw coming as the trade show has become increasingly walled in.


Is this a pretty good joke, or just really really bad spelling?

Re:unsurprising (1)

l1gunman (463233) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222490)

If it is a joke, I don't get it. Either way, there is no "bad spelling" in the quote you clipped, just a really poor understanding that there are different words that sound alike but mean different things:

There, there, sonny, they're not going to unlearn their bad habits.

Re:unsurprising (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222634)

It is almost a very dry pun, but I don't get it either.

It could be a cry for help.

Re:unsurprising (1)

StressedEd (308123) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222654)

FYI, it is possibly a very weak pun...

...ceiling...walled.....

If it is a joke. It's not very funny. :-/

Re:unsurprising (3, Insightful)

RecoveredMarketroid (569802) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222657)

Having worked in the marketing department of a company that traditionally exhibited at Comdex, I'd absolutely agree that the writing has been on the wall for a long time. But I would note that it started long before the ecomonic downturn.

The decline in exhibitor interest was precipitated by a deterioration in the quality of attendees. We used to see a lot of real prospective B2B customers, people who were knowledgeable. Over time, COMDEX seemed to reduce the 'admission requirements' to increase revenue; over time, these customers were mostly replaced by consumer tire-kickers and people looking to drop off resumes.

I'm not knocking comsumers (or job seekers!), but the reality is that most of the exhibitors didn't survive on consumer sales...

Re:unsurprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222670)

Great pun! You're PUNishing us all with that very PUNNY PUN!

Ceiling their fate!! HAHAHAHA

Re:unsurprising (1)

Kris Warkentin (15136) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222888)

Um...Boromir son of Denethor II. Faramir would be his brother.

Too bad (3, Interesting)

SpikeSpegiel (622734) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222281)

This is regretable, I wonder if they will continue to run Comdex after emerging from bankrupcy. I remember reading about comdex displays (as I have been unable to get to the west coast) and a lot of the stuff was damn cool.

I guess I am just nostalgic for the supercooled 800MHz Alpha from Comdex '98. I got to play with that machine in Digital's labs in Marlboro...it was fun :-)

What the hell is wrong with $lashdot!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222282)

Let us assume the fact that posts are showing up in reverse order is simply another bug resulting from shoddy half-ass open sores programming, and NOT INTENTIONAL. This is what happens when dirty GNU hippies smoke too much weed before coding.

Drain your swampy armpits, wash off your rancid body odor and fix the bug dammit!! But please - for Gods sake, TAKE A SHOWER!

Troll 3 of 208 from the annals of the Troll Library [slashdot.org] .

Yay, no more junk mail. (3, Funny)

OppressiveGiant (558743) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222287)

I hope this means I stop getting email from key3media asking me to register for the next comdex.

Hmm (0, Redundant)

worst_name_ever (633374) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222292)

I've been wondering where I could get a few free cloths. At MacWorld they usually just hand out t-shirts.

Corporate accountability (3, Insightful)

Sonicboom (141577) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222293)

With all the failed companies (Enron, etc..) and all of the "dot-bombs", I can't help to ask myself who's to take responsibility?

Today's corporate leaders are the "Robber Barons" of the late 19th century. Unfortunately (*in the USA*) the Government doesn't seem to watch/regulate corporations, nor do they seem to care. The end result is the rich getting richer, and the average working guys like you and I are getting screwed.

Oh - Don't worry - some other company will spring up and take over Comdex... or they'll re-create it under a different name.

Re:Corporate accountability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222345)

Very weak.

Kids today can't seem to bang out a good troll to save their lives.

Re:Corporate accountability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222649)

...last troll I banged wanted to marry me.

Re:Corporate accountability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222454)

Wow. You really fooled the moderators. A generic, seemingly (but not really) on topic post that bashes the government. You should have thrown in something about Microsoft to really synch the deal.

Moderators Suck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222625)

Troll? Why, because it offends your Libertarian sensiblities? I think this guy is insightful. Why don't you Libertarians leagalize pot and prostitution first?

I sense the breath of terrorism here... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222302)

...even comdex isn't the same after the 1th september... may god safe our souls.. and kill all these moslems..

More Liver at Lawrence (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222314)

News.com is reporting [com.com] that IBM has won a $290 million contract with the federal government to build what are expected to be the world's two fastest supercomputers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The other machine, the Linux powered [com.com] Blue Gene/L will be 10 times faster than the current #1 [top500.org] , NEC's Earth Simulator with a speed of 360 teraflops, according to IBM.

Conventions are doomed anyway (5, Informative)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222331)

Ever exhibit at a convention? Ever seen the bills you have to pay? The convention support firms (Freeman decorators, various unions, et al.) are killing the business.

Just a few of the typical expenses (daily rates):

  • $20 to rent an $8 table.
  • $25 for access to an electrical outlet. Don't plug anything in yourself, though, or some teamster will break your fingers.
  • $200 for access to a fractional T1 (a very small fraction, most times).
  • $10 to rent a $4 chair.
  • Want carpet? That'll be $100. Want that carpet unrolled?...
  • Bring your own equipment? Too bad, you've got to pay a fee to be allowed to use it.
You haven't dealt with monopolies until you've tried to exhibit at a convention. One company controls all access, labor, and equipment, and you've got no say over how any of it is handled.

A manufacturer's money is much better spent sending out press releases and designing an infomative web presence.

Re:Conventions are doomed anyway (1)

Gekko (45112) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222533)

Speaking from experience they don't break your fingers if you plug anything into an outlet. They pefrom a safety inspection on the wire, i.e. cutting it into tiny bits if it is a crappy extension cord, or taking it down to the "lab", also known as their toolbox.

Re:Conventions are doomed anyway (0, Offtopic)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222706)

I mod down any one who says "I'm sure I will get modded down for this"
Usually I hate self-riteous taglines about how a person moderates, but I agree with this one 100%.

Re:Conventions are doomed anyway (2, Funny)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 11 years ago | (#5223168)

They pefrom a safety inspection on the wire, i.e. cutting it into tiny bits if it is a crappy extension cord

Heh. As an electrician and former member of the electricians union in Vegas (IBEW 357) I got to set up a few of these shows. When you see some nimrod powering a bank of 500W halogen spotlights off a 14-gauge Wal-Mart extension cord and wondering where that smell of burning plastic is coming from, you'd do the same thing. I had trouble not trying to strangle them with it afterwards, myself.

Re:Conventions are doomed anyway (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5223091)

Preach it, brother. And in a few years when trade shows in general are decimated, I bet we'll see these same unions whine about the unfairness of it all and demanding a taxpayer handout in the billions, oblivious to the economic ecology they are gleefully slaughtering now. You can shear a sheep for many seasons, but you can only slaughter it once. The unions are slaughtering the sheep that enable them to make a living.

The new ways of connecting companies to their clients which are proliferating through the Net (remember Reed's Law) are saying to these unions: your costs are too high for your clients, adapt or die.

How not to survive a downturn (5, Insightful)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222337)

From the NY Times article, two quotes that explain it all:

"Crucial exhibitors began dropping out, some going out of business themselves, and others scaled back the elaborate booths that had been a staple of the dot-com era. And as Key3Media's business began looking tenuous this fall, some exhibitors became reluctant to commit to shows even six months away."

Business cycles go up and down, and the smart business will prepare for these down cycles. After all, you cannnot assume that good times will continue indefinitely. There does come a time when companies will hesitate to spend the money to exhibit. Did Key3Media plan accordingly?

" Key3 Media -- built up in the late 1990's as the technology boom was reaching its crest -- around the same time accumulated substantial debt, making it especially difficult to operate when the downturn in technology became sustained."

Oops. Yet another victim of boom mentality. It seems they jumped in with both feet when the feeding was good, did the usual VC thinking of growth, growth, growth at the expense of debt, debt, debt, and now find themselves hurting when the inevitable down cycle occurs.

Comdex provided me with a lot of fun memories. I hope it continues just so we have a place to go poke buttons and admire large screens in person. But it helps when the owners of the show (no longer Shelley Adelson) are focused on the show, not soley on the bottom line and growth for growth's sake.

---------

Ya gotta dance with the one whut brung ya (-1, Redundant)

syn3rg (530741) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222343)

I knew they were doomed when they left Atlanta...

Sadness .. (0, Redundant)

phuturephunk (617641) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222392)

I'm just upset that I missed out on all these 'cloths' that were given out for free. I mean, c'mon now, who couldn't use a couple extra loincloths to wear while you throw those old HP LJ 4's around the backyard to get your dose of geek manliness each day . . I'm also all verklempt about the fact that I didn't get to see an entire convention center of geeks all decked out in 'em .. Geeky Beefcake heaven!! . .but now it is no more ..*sigh*..

Where were all the Comdex is dieing posts? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222395)

I went to my first Comdex in 1983 or so. Apple II computers ruled, IBM was a novelty, then the next year IBM ruled. I stood right next to Bill Gates waiting for the exhibit hall to open one morning, and it didn't seem so awesome. Maybe I should have asked him for an autograph.

Re:Where were all the Comdex is dieing posts? (1)

Moloch666 (574889) | more than 11 years ago | (#5223036)

Should have assassinated him when you had the chance!!!

freebies (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222405)

I don't think I remember getting any cloths at any conventions, just clothes, but when I interviewed with Microsoft they gave me this unholy combination between a yo-yo and a koosh ball.

Another victim of the economy (4, Informative)

Vapor8 (240870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222423)

As an IT professional for the past 10 years, I can tell you that my employer has stopped expensing people's trips to Comdex. There's just not enough ROI there to approve the expense anymore. And with companies losing money left and right, extraneous expenses like trips to Comdex are the first things they look at when they want to cut costs.
Once the economy rebounds, either Comdex, or another trade-show will rise from the ashes and become *the* place to be if you're an IT professional. Until then, corporations are more worried about bottom-line and stockholder expectations, than letting Joe IT go on a trip to Vegas...

Re:Another victim of the economy (2, Flamebait)

HeyBob! (111243) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222709)

I think the trade show demise is more the victom of the web. 6 years ago, at Comdex, when you wanted more info on a product, the booth-bodys referred you to their web page - no brochures, no knowledge.

It used to take me two days to to the trade show in Toronto (before it was overtaken over by Comdex). The last Comdex here, I did in 2 hours.

Computer shows were great when you could find products that you never knew existed and could talk to the actual designers. When it became more focused on the end user, the consumer, the web became a much better medium.

Another victim of bad business practices (1)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222738)

They went bankrupt because they went into debt during a boom. That's just stupid, but it was typical during the dot-com era.

Save money when you have it, and spend it when you don't. That's how you ride out a recession, but some companies (and most individuals) do just the opposite: they spend money when they have lots of it, and then valiantly try to save money when money is tight. That's a recipe for bankruptcy.

Comdex has been good to me (1)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222748)

I like Comdex

I do enough IT work to be called an IT professional. Comdex has really helped me see different computer technologies I wouldn't know existed. I could get detailed answers on the spot rather than just a few words of jargon on a website.

Most people say exhibitors should focus on informing people rather than on wonderful booths and therefore save money, but I found that the people with the nicest booths were also the most enthusiastic while the really plain booths had total dumbasses who treated me like dirt.

Perspectives (4, Informative)

Deton8 (522248) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222440)

You know, it's all in how you look at it. Since Comdex was surrounded by clouds of doom, virtually none of my competitors exhibited and thus anyone looking for my type of product had little else to do but to visit my booth. We got a thousand leads during the week, and many of these have turned into sales (we make expensive enterprise stuff, so a handful of orders can pay for the show). Another interesting thing was that due to the shitty economy, it seemed like the only people walking the hall were people who worked for companies who actually needed to buy things. Nobody was sending people to Comdex just for the hell of it. So there were a lot fewer morons asking for shirts, pens, mouse pads, and, of course, nobody asked for a cloth. I do agree, though, with previous posters who rail against paying $25 to rent a $3.99 power strip, and other such atrocities. How someone can go bankrupt doing this is beyond me.

Re:Perspectives (3, Informative)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222509)

I do agree, though, with previous posters who rail against paying $25 to rent a $3.99 power strip, and other such atrocities. How someone can go bankrupt doing this is beyond me.
It's not the promoters of these conventions that get that money. It's the "decorating companies" and unions that hold exclusive service contracts with the venue that can get away with charging that kind of money.

The Exclusive Service Contract (and the Exclusive Labor Contract) is a license to steal. However, it eventually drives off the venue's customers.

Don't worry, the decorating companies aren't going bankrupt, just the promoters and venues.

license to steal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222840)

Hmm. Not to be overly political (and it's why I'm anonymous) but I wonder why the Unions seem to monolithically support only ONE party? Thugs like thugs, I guess...

Re:license to steal (1)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 11 years ago | (#5223007)

Leaning right I agree, but the same argument could be made by replacing Unions with big business.

Re:Perspectives (1)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222969)

It's the unions.

The company I work for is a small company but has a good size presence at certain shows(Networld).

In vegas we put our own booth up though the union doesn't like it.(You're stealing food from our children!).

If it was in Florida, we would have to pay the union to set-up the booth(and damage everything), while charging us huge amounts of money for a sub-par job, because it is Against The Law for us to set it up ourselves. And you thought just big business and governments were corrupt.

Called right to work or something like that.

Conferences will Continue (2, Informative)

jim.b0b (559877) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222507)

It seems that according to their press release [key3media.com] , they have a plan and intend to continue with all conferences.

Look at it this way: (3, Funny)

tmark (230091) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222514)

Does this mean I have to start buying cloths again instead of getting them at trade shows?

On the other hand, while you might not be getting your clothes at Comdex, you are proportionately less likely to get beat up on the street for wearing said clothes and so baldly advertising your geekiness.

Netcraft confirms... (0, Redundant)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222538)


Comdex is dying.

JavaOne (1)

deanj (519759) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222592)

This outfit does other tradeshows too. JavaOne is one of 'em. Wonder if that's still going to happen?

cebit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222608)

now everyone will have to visit cebit in germany instead ;-)

Comdex vs other venues (1)

6nobody8 (647347) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222626)

CeBit anyone? Domino principle?

typo (-1, Redundant)

t_pet422 (613073) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222662)

...start buying cloths again instead...

I think you meant chlothes.

Re:typo (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222961)

Or clothes even...

Very upbeat, considering the bankruptcy and all... (3, Informative)

Tsar (536185) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222798)

Here's the memo that Key3Media CEO Fred Rosen sent out yesterday--it's even on InternalMemos.com [internalmemos.com] already.

From: Fred Rosen - Key3Media
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 8:15 AM
Subject: Important News From Key3Media
February 3, 2003

To Our Colleagues in the Technology Community:

We wanted to let you know about some news that will have a very positive impact on our ability to serve you going forward. Key3Media today reached an agreement to recapitalize the Company. It includes a voluntarily filing for Chapter 11 protection, which will allow us to remove the majority of our debt, restore a healthy balance sheet and do business with you unencumbered by extraneous financial issues.

All of our scheduled tradeshows and conferences will take place as planned. And, we can now begin to implement an array of new programs that will help make our industry-leading events even better.

We are pleased that our plan is backed by accomplished investor Thomas Weisel Capital Partners. In addition to providing short term funding ? which will enable us to operate our business and meet our obligations during the proceedings ? they are providing long-term financing and strategic counsel to help the Company throughout this process and beyond. While Key3Media has been impacted by the combination of a recent global decline in the IT and networking industries, a significant amount of debt on its balance sheet, as well as a decrease in business travel and hospitality after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Key3Media is a fundamentally sound business with a strong portfolio of brands, a large high-caliber client base, and a leading market position.

We recognize that there continues to be significant demand for face-to-face marketing, and we remain committed to providing such forums. We sincerely hope this does not cause you any inconvenience and look forward to your continued support. We greatly value our relationship with you, and are committed to meeting your needs. We plan to exit the Chapter 11 process as soon as possible, with no disruption to our events. We fully intend to benefit from Chapter 11, by becoming a healthier, stronger company with a solid financial footing ? enabling us to continue to offer the world?s best information technology tradeshows and conferences.

To view a FAQ document and for additional information, visit www.key3media.com. We will continue to update you as we move through the process, but if you have questions please don?t hesitate to call your Key3Media contact directly, or reply to this email with your message and we will respond to you within 48 hours.

We look forward to continuing to work with you and are committed to giving you our best.

Sincerely,
Fredric D. Rosen
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Key3Media Group

Why Not Combine the Big Shows? (2, Interesting)

Spencerian (465343) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222809)

COMDEX had its place, but in its commodity-based market, it couldn't pay the bills. LinuxWorld is stimulating intellectually but has problems paying for space. Macworld Expo is prosperous but has exhibit decline as well.

Why not combine them all into a single expo in San Francisco? Mac OS X and Linux are second cousins in terms of the OS and have developed a symbiosis of sorts. Many products for Mac OS X work with Linux--and a show such as this would encourage vendors to make such products work.

Every computer uses the technologies hawked at COMDEX, so it should break even, at least.

And all would benefit from the larger crowds, and less expensive space.

I picked SF since Apple has been inclined to stay closer to home for their shows and have considered backing out of other Macworlds in NY and Boston. An East Coast or Midwestern show might more fiscal sense, but I don't know which would be have more exhibitor and visitor oomph.

Jupitermedia moves to take over... nytimes.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222810)


Rival to Comdex Show Considered

February 4, 2003
By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN

A technology trade show war is about to erupt.

Jupitermedia, which publishes technology research and runs conferences,
is planning to announce today that it is starting a trade show to rival
Comdex just a day after the company that runs Comdex, Key3Media Group,
sought to reorganize under bankruptcy protection.

Jupitermedia has booked space at the Mandalay Bay
Convention Center in Las Vegas next fall to run its trade
show at the same time that Comdex is scheduled to take
place just blocks away at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Hoping to capitalize on the perception of uncertainty surrounding
Key3Media's future, Jupitermedia is hoping to lure away Comdex's
exhibitors and attendees. And, if Jupitermedia's chairman, Alan M.
Meckler, has his way, he will put Comdex out of business.

"That's the idea," said Mr. Meckler, who started Internet World, a trade
show. "We're in this to knock them out."

But Jupitermedia may not be alone. Sheldon Adelson, who
founded Comdex and is chairman of Las Vegas Sands Inc.,
which owns the Sands and Venetian Hotels, plans to start
his own competing trade show at the same time, according to
a report in Tradeshow Week.

Both Jupitermedia and Mr. Adelson would most likely have a fight on
their hands. Under the reorganization plan that Key3Media filed
yesterday in a Delaware court, the private equity arm of Thomas Weisel
Partners has agreed to take over Key3Media, keeping it in business with
$30 million in debtor-in-possession financing. If the plan is approved,
Key3Media's financing would be strengthened by reducing its debt to $50
million from $372 million, lowering its annual interest expenses to $3.4
million from $38 million.

Still, Key3Media's Comdex show has been under pressure for nearly two
years - without any competition - crippled by the plunge of technology
industries and cutbacks in corporate travel. Attendance at the Comdex,
once one of the biggest trade shows in the world, with more than 200,000
visitors and some 2,000 exhibitors, has dropped by nearly half.

Despite the drop-off, it is unclear whether Jupitermedia
will be able to attract Comdex's longtime anchor exhibitors like
Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems, all of which
historically use Comdex to introduce products. While none of the
companies are contractually bound to exhibit at Comdex next year, most
have had decade-long relationships with the trade show.

Mr. Meckler said he had already received positive feedback
from some Comdex exhibitors about moving to his trade show,
to be called Computer Digital Expo, but refused to identify
any of the companies.

"The only thing we have working against us is inertia,` he said. Using
fighting words, he said that he had considered buying Key3Media out of
bankruptcy but decided that it "was a broken situation that could not be
brought back from the dead."

Frederic D. Rosen, chairman of Key3Media, simply responded, "Talk is
cheap."

"He must be thinking of Internet World, which no longer has exhibitors,"
he added.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/04/business/04SHO W. html?ex=1045366319&ei=
1&en=329976e112df6b43

Saw this comming last year. (1)

tarnin (639523) | more than 11 years ago | (#5222831)

I assumed everyone else did too. Last year it was dead. The number of percipitants was way down along with the retailers. Nothing like it used to be in the late 90's. Kind of sad to see such a staple of up and comming tech going down because of lack of intrest or overall funds.

Re:Saw this comming last year. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5222947)

It's been on the brink for at least the last three years. It used to be the prime place to be in the early 90's.

I don't think it had as much to do with "lack of interest or overall funds", than it did to do with the extremely poor return on investment for those exhibiting. When they let in end-users who want to ask your sales guy/gals tech support questions you know your screwed!

Woo Hoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5223022)

The largest no-cost Intel/Microsoft advertising (brainwashing) campaign finally is no more! Comdex went sour in the late-1980s as far as I'm concerned.

Them Darned Cloths! (1)

narftrek (549077) | more than 11 years ago | (#5223025)

"Does this mean I have to start buying cloths again instead of getting them at trade shows?"

No but you buy them cloths to make your CLOTHES!!

I prefer local conferences and meetings (1)

mrs clear plastic (229108) | more than 11 years ago | (#5223344)

Here is my take on the Comdex type meetings.

I have been to both national and local meetings
and shows.

Both as an exhibitor and a patron, I have to say that I much prefer the smaller, local shows than the large national ones.

The smaller local and regional shows are often cheaper in registration fees. Often there is no
travel at all. If there is, it may be a 100 to
200 mile drive and staying at a Motel 6 type of
place or in one event I went to, 4 of us rented
a home for the week.($600 divided by 4 for 4
days resulted is approx $40 per night)

There is a much more community feeling to the event. You can see the whole thing and meet
all of the exhibitors without having to do
a marathon run each day. Seminars are smaller;
you should be able to ask all of your questions.
Granted, there might not be as many models, but
who really needs them?

As an exhibitor, I find that the smaller halls
are much more 'hang loose' in what you can do
and bring. I was involved in one where we all
assembled and dissambled our own boots. AV was
done by volunteers on barter for free tickets.
Chairs and tables were available if you did not
bring in your own. Booths could hand out food
without problems from the hall.

Overall, I much prefer a closer-to-home experience
like this then the national shows.
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