Remember the excitement of your first trade show, hundreds if not thousands of people thronging the showfloor, bags full of brochures, silly bug giveaways, I remember one year at Autodesk we gave away bottles of bubble liquid – popular with the kids !!, fond memories.
Increasing distant memories perhaps as the trade show slowly dies in importance, once again this year it appears than the Comdex Show in Las Vegas has been cancelled. This used to be THE IT show 200,000 or more attending five years ago – so what has happened, its simple the vendors no longer see value in it. If you are interested in new technology, detailed specs, independent reviews you may turn to Google and the vendors website before emailing an account manager.
It is not just the general IT industry when this trend is apparent, GIS shows both in the UK and USA are shrinking from their high points at the end of the last decade, the obvious exception here is the annual ESRI user conference which continues to grow. The ESRI show may be a special case with a very active community of users who often receive fee places at the conference along with their software maintenance, but other user conferences seem to be holding onto numbers better than the more generic shows.
The relative success of user shows is clearly partially due to the number of relevant and detailed user presentations on offer to visitors, but there is also an important element which in that vendors are not worried about losing customers to competitors stands.
Written and submitted from my hotel room using the hotels wifi network