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Comdex 2002
A very different Comdex
by Jim Bennett (November 17, 2002)

The skies around Las Vegas are partly cloudy with some sun, and the traffic flow is strangely muted -- there is a hush in the air. Words of caution abound, as more terrorist alerts, aimed at U.S. interests come from Washington

Yesterday, several sources proclaimed this is the last Comdex in Las Vegas. Further investigation indicates that major forces are in play for this important trade show

Key3Media's situation is especially troubling and sources indicate that it is considering Chapter 11 Bankruptcy that will allow its restructuring or sale to another event organizer. In 2002, the company's losses approached $700,000, before the Las Vegas event. Key3Media has been delisted from the NY Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Only about 1,000 companies are expected to exhibit this year, compared with the over 2,000 exhibitors in prior years. People are also attending fewer conferences, due to the technology slow down and the problematic world economy.

The PC sector may be rising slightly, but certainly not like the nineties and the Y2K replacement buying. The public is now concerned about terrorism, the economy, their jobs, children -- not the latest "widget". It will be some time before we see the 10 to 15 percent annual growth of the recent tech sector "go-go" years.

All of this gloom can turn sunny IF compelling technology and user centric designs really deliver useable and sustainable functionality. This includes affordable and wide spread wireless technology at home, office, vehicles or aircraft.

The all important customer is voting for the winners in this technology game, with their hard earned dollars. Products such as e-books and voice recognition still struggle, because they don't live up to their own hype. The Digiscents peripheral novelty burned through tens of millions of dollars, in a heartbeat, and got nowhere. Others still struggle along, while others are now gone due to today's business environment where results count.

The Reviews OnLine editorial team is on the lookout to discover unique products and services that are relevant in today's challenging world. Although the Comdex show is smaller that prior years, there is plenty to see and do. Comdex deserves to continue, if it can provide a useful service to and fulfill the real needs of individual, business and governmental attendees.

Copyright 2002 Jim Bennett All rights reserved.

   
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