Legendary tech trade show Comdex canceled

July 13, 2004

Like Ming, Rome, Greece and the Boston Celtics, the tech world saw an end to a dynasty last month.

Once the nation’s largest trade show, Comdex — the massive fall computer event — was canceled last week due to what owners cited as a failure of the industry’s largest companies to participate.

Although it was known primarily as a computer and Internet trade show, Comdex had become a central point for all things technology, including the broadcasting and digital display markets.

Executives at MediaLive International, the company that owns Comdex and other trade shows, said they decided to redefine the event and are hoping that it will re-emerge after a year’s hiatus.

Created in 1979 by Sheldon Adelson, a Boston financial consultant, Comdex gained prominence in the early 1980s with the emergence of the personal computer industry. The annual show became the place to showcase new computers and software, and it was a mandatory stopping place for industry luminaries.

Comdex reached a peak in 2000 during the Internet bubble when 211,000 people attended the show. Last year attendance fell to 45,000, and most of the world’s largest hardware and software companies decided to either abandon the event or to cut back their presence. The number of exhibitors fell from 2337 to 550.

For more info: www.medialiveinternational.com.

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