San Francisco-June 23- MediaLive stunned the trade show industry with today’s announcement that COMDEX Las Vegas 2004 is being ”postponed.” Robert Priest-Heck says the show will be reshaped in order to “rebuild the market’s trust.” But the announcement may have done just the opposite. Who will benefit most from the hiatus — COMDEX or its competitors? CeBIT America quickly seized the opportunity and issued a press release within a few hours of the COMDEX news, announcing strong vendor commitments for its June 2005 show.
Meanwhile, a number of industry bellwethers agreed to participate on an Advisory Board to reshape COMDEX, including Jeff Singsaas, Director of Events, Microsoft Corp. and Robert Shimp, VP of Technology Marketing, Oracle Corp. MediaLive says executives from Cisco, Dell and Intel have also agreed to join the Advisory Board.
MediaLive is the latest in a series of owners of the former mega-show, which was sold for $867 million by its founder and owner, Sheldon Adelson, in April 1995. The 2003 show drew 40,000 technology buyers, 550 exhibiting companies and over 900 journalists.
A year ago, MediaLive’s new management team began the process of repositioning COMDEX as a focused, business-to-business IT event. In June, MediaLive launched an ROI Research program to help exhibitors calculate their sales revenue generated by the show; compare their performance against those of their competitors; measure the amount of press generated at a show; and calculate ROI.
More news on this development will be posted later today, following interviews with MediaLive executives and other industry sources.