Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Anticipating a new COMDEX experience

I am a big fan of technology trade shows. I have been to MacWorld and I look forward to attending CES every year in Las Vegas. For that matter I like just about any trade show that is held here in Las Vegas.

The one BIG show I never got a chance to attend is COMDEX. The last COMDEX was in 2003 before I really knew what trade shows were all about.

I had heard about COMDEX and I had friends who had attended and told me about all the nifty gadgets and awesome giveaways and celebrity sightings. When the official announcement was made about the cancellation of COMDEX, I was as disappointed as any trade show techie geek who never got a chance to see for him or herself what COMDEX was really all about.

COMDEX, which stands for Computer Dealer's Exposition, started 1979 as a way for the computer dealers around the country to see new technology and make business deals.
t was one of the largest computer trade shows in the world, usually second only to the German CeBIT, and by many accounts one of the largest trade shows in any industry sector. The first COMDEX was held in 1979 at the MGM Grand (now Bally's), with 167 exhibitors and 3904 attendees.

In March of this year Everything Channel, a UBM company, announced the re-launch of COMDEX as a virtual event.

The virtual event is scheduled to take place next week from Nov. 16-17 and will offer a unique and progressive platform for technology vendors to connect with new business, new revenue streams and monetize new opportunities. It will also provide a forum for the sellers of technology to visit with technology vendors to view new products and technology roadmaps.
"The technology sales channel drives two-thirds of technology sales worldwide," Robert Faletra, CEO, Everything Channel said in a press release announcing the event. "We live in a globally connected world and a virtual COMDEX gives us the ability to connect this powerful market which is now untapped. When COMDEX first launched it was positioned as a show for the technology sales channel, we are pleased to bring it back to its initial mission."

Recently I got a sneak peak at COMDEX Virtual. It was more of an introduction to the new COMEDEX with a chance to see the home page and get an idea of what to expect when COMDEX goes live on Nov. 16.

According to Everything Channel, the virtual COMDEX is the only show designed exclusively for the global technology sales channel. Everything Channel is returning COMDEX to its original vision as Computer Dealer Expo, an event designed exclusively for the technology sales channel, a community that drives $424 billion or two-thirds of technology sales in North America. The virtual COMDEX will be built on a cutting-edge, globally enabled virtual event technology platform which will feature the city of Las Vegas and its neon lights — but no cross town traffic, no unruly crowds and no taxi cab lines.

The Expo Hall includes a new easy-to-use directory that presents an alphabetical logo listing of the exhibitor booths, which can alternatively be sorted and displayed by business category. Attendees just click on a company name to visit a booth. The booths themselves have also been redesigned to offer both maximum branding and messaging space for exhibitors, and ease of navigation to chat and view content for visitors.

COMDEX virtual has introduced gated hospitality suites designed for vendors looking to hold secure meetings with partners and prospects. The suite hosts provide the pre-determined code to the guests for entry, providing vendors the opportunity to present proprietary information, roll out new programs, conduct training, and engage in candid conversations.

I will be logged in and I will explore the new COMDEX. Granted it won’t quite be the same as being at the Las Vegas Convention Center since there will be no face-to-face interviews and no pens or stress balls and other tchotchkes to take home.

If you get parched, no problem! Attendees can have a virtual drink in the VAR Bar that offers a public meeting space for attendees to mix, mingle, and network. Each live event day ends with dedicated time in the VAR Bar – where attendees can chat with other attendees, exhibitors, speakers, and members of the press. Virtual drinks are available, which deplete and refill with each click for an interactive extra.

One of the fun and functional features attendees will find at COMDEX virtual is the Build-a-Badge Kiosk, sponsored by Microsoft. The kiosk is located in the Lobby, the point of entry upon login. Attendees have the opportunity to upload their pictures and create a virtual badge (which can be used as a personalized virtual card throughout the event) or an electronic post card. Both files can easily be saved and posted to Facebook or used for a twitpic to provide updates for social media followers.

To register to attend the event, visit: To follow COMDEX on Twitter visit links to other social media Websites are also available and can be found on the COMDEX home page.