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CeBit America 2005 Cancelled

Dried up funds prompt organizers to cancel next year's New York trade show.

Without commitments from exhibitors, Hannover Fairs USA decided it was too risky to spend the money necessary to prepare for the show, which was to be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from June 28 to June 30, 2005. It would have been the show's third year.

Modeled after the huge CeBit trade show held annually in Hannover, Germany, CeBit America was to offer exhibitors separate locations focusing on technology for specific industries, such as financial services and telecommunications.

Exhibitors, however, were unwilling to plunk down their money soon enough to make Hannover Fairs feel comfortable about spending the money to retain the convention center, service vendors and other show-related services.

"Unfortunately, with marketing budgets being reduced, it's getting more difficult for companies to commit early enough in the cycle," said Brock McCormack, director of marketing communications at Hannover Fairs. "Vendors and facility management needs to be paid, and we need a certain amount of cash flow."

In the bigger picture, the cancellation is a reflection of changing attitudes toward technology trade shows since the heady days of the late 1990s, when a booming market left companies with large marketing budgets.

The dot-com bust that followed the boom launched a recession from which the recovery for many companies is less than a year old.

"Even though things have stabilized and we hear companies are coming back and there's more investment, the people involved in [marketing] are much wiser and are more judicious in how they spend their money," McCormack said. "With reduced budgets for trade shows, these companies are most likely scrutinizing their expenditures more."

Indeed, Comdex, once the largest technology trade show in the United States, was cancelled for this year, because of a lack of support from major technology vendors. Media Live, Comdex's owners, plan to return to Las Vegas in 2005.

Hannover Fairs, on the other hand, does not plan to bring back CeBit America. "At this point in time, I would say no," McCormack said.

The company's other shows will continue as planned, including CeBit Asia, CeBit Australia, CeBit Bilisim Eurasia, CeBit Broadcast, Cable and Satellite and ISCeSatellite and Communications.

This story courtesy of TechWeb News

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