Comdex To Return This Fall, Virtually


Comdex, once the largest annual IT products show in North America, is coming back.

Everything Channel plans to revive the show as a virtual event from Nov. 16-17.

Comdex once attracted more than 200,000 visitors and more than 2,000 exhibitors from around the world to Las Vegas before closing in 2003.

The Comdex name originally was an acronym for Computer Dealer Exhibition. Everything Channel plans to return the show to its original 1979 concept designed for the technology sales channel.

The parent company of Everything Channel is UBM, which acquired the Comdex brand as part of its MediaLive International Inc. acquisition in 2006.

"The original Comdex died because it stopped serving its core customers. We are giving Comdex a future by going back to its past," said David Levin, CEO of UBM, in a statement. "Our virtual Comdex is focused on serving the IT channel, value-added resellers, ISVs and all those people and businesses who make up the IT distribution system. Virtual Comdex works right alongside and complements the other products and services we provide for the channel and for the wider technology industry."

The virtual Comdex will include much of the flavor of the original Vegas shows, perhaps missing only the hour-long cab lines. The event includes a Grand Hall of Masters to showcase keynote speakers; a Conference Hall for technical product, channel and business conference tracks; an Exhibit Hall for virtual booths and pavilions from technology vendors; hospitality suites for virtual private meetings and briefings; and a media room for registered journalists and analysts. In addition, the CRN Test Center will offer live product reviews and demonstrations.

Virtual events are a growing part of Everything Channel's vision and Comdex will leverage Everything Channel's content, media services, education, consulting, research, and field sales and marketing, according to Robert Faletra, CEO of Everything Channel.

"The technology sales channel drives two-thirds of technology sales worldwide," Faletra said in a statement. "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."

United Business Media conducted 38 virtual events last year and the Comdex event will be developed by UBM Studios, which specializes in building virtual media solutions. UBM also has signed an agreement with InXpo to help deliver next-generation virtual events.