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COMDEX, the mega-trade show that defined the computer industry for nearly a quarter century, has gotten a virtual makeover with new interactive features that were demonstrated live for the first time Tuesday.
The new COMDEXvirtual event, the brain-child of Everything Channel, a United Business Media (UBM) company, in partnership with UBM Studios, marks the official return of COMDEX after a seven year hiatus. Everything Channel is the parent company of CRN.
UBM CEO David Levin and Everything Channel CEO Robert Faletra provided a tour of the interactive COMDEXvirtual environment Tuesday. The live online event will be held November 16 and 17 at COMDEXvirtual.com.
COMDEXvirtual aims to provide the same vital environment that used to attract thousands of attendees to COMDEX each November, anxious to learn about new products, find new technology directions and network with the industry's movers and shakers. The new virtual event features 11 conference tracks, 100 speakers, 27 exhibitors and over 11,000 registered attendees. COMDEXvirtual registration is open, and attendance is free.
"COMDEXvirtual is a unique platform for technology vendors to connect with sales prospects, to develop new prospects, to develop new businesses and to understand and communicate and share best practices about revenue streams and monetizing new opportunities," said Levin. "COMDEXvirtual does that with global reach, great efficiency and cost savings both for the exhibitor and also for the attendee."
Faletra said that global reach has resulted in what amounts so far to about 12 percent of the registered attendees (about 1,300) coming from outside the United States including a significant number of attendees from India. He said that 94 percent of the registered attendees are solution providers.
Faletra provided a tour of the interactive environment including the Expo Hall where attendees can interact with vendor staff in groups or via one-on-one chats and exchange "virtual cards." Furthermore, he said, attendees can download a wide variety of materials including data sheets, case studies and e-books.
"All exhibitors will have real-time access to booth reporting," he said. "They will be able to see who has entered the booth, how long they stayed, what they viewed and what they downloaded. All this activity tracking and data will make event follow up more targeted and meaningful for everyone."
Faletra even showed off an interactive VAR Bar where attendees can gather in a "relaxed environment" and a hospitality suite that includes a gaming table, a nod to COMDEX's former home, Las Vegas. "So fear not, networking is alive and well at COMDEXvirtual," he said.