Trade Shows: A Dying Phenomenon
Shows like Comdex are slowly but surely dying, and there’s a reason for that.
Trade shows need to meet two purposes: to tell its participants what is going on now and provide a platform to tell them (and the world) what is going to be going on.
The Internet has pretty much obliterated the reason for the first. One can generally find out a good deal more about products from one’s desktop, and can much more easily avoid or ignore the sales pitches.
For instance, Pioneer is demonstrating its dual 8X DVD burner. That’s nice, but once you say “we’re going to have a dual 8X DVD-burner,” anyone keeping up will know or can easily figure out what the ramifications of that will be. You don’t really need to watch one in action to believe them.
Then the question comes down to “when and how much.” In the case of Pioneer, it’s “maybe December, if the DVD Forum says OK” with a list price of $300, figure street price of $225-250.
No convention needed.
The second purpose of a trade show is to provide a media platform on which to provide new information not available on the Internet.
Unfortunately, that isn’t happening all too much, either. Rather, you get whatever the companies want to tell you, which is usually not what serious onlookers want to know to plan ahead.
Let’s see what will be important in the months ahead on the CPU front (which unfortunately, you’ll hear little about at the show).