LAS VEGAS: Media coverage surrounding Comdex Fall 2001 has focused
principally on two things: the fact that Comdex is smaller this year,
and the heightened security around the event.
"We have spent an inordinate amount of time answering questions about
those two issues," said Rick Moore, SVP of PR for Key3Media Events,
organizers of Comdex.
Comdex has shrunk by about 25% from last year, with about 150,000
expected attendees and 2,000 vendors, compared to 2,300 vendors in
Companies that might normally send 20 or 30 staff members this year have
cut those figures in half. Media outlets have also reduced their numbers
on the floor. "In the tech sector, there are a zillion newsletters, but
this year, because of finances, that number has been reduced a lot,"
But he is surprised that the reduced attendance is making news. "Comdex
really mirrors the industry," he said. "When the industry is going
through challenging times, we are identical."
Comdex 2001 also came under fire when the organizers released
information about security measures, which banned laptops from the
floor. The rule was later changed, but some media coverage has focused
on attendees waiting in long lines for security checks prior to
Key3Media increased the use of technology to reach out to media that
couldn't attend. "We've done some outstanding programs to utilize the
web to get show photographs up and set up interviews," said Amy Groden,
Key3Media's PR director. "We almost doubled the number of satellite
media tour hits booked prior to the show."
No doubt Comdex, which has been around for 22 years, will survive. The
event saw 400 new product launches, compared to 250 last year, and
keynotes by Bill Gates and John Chambers were widely reported upon.