Comdex lives again. The computer industrythat launched in 1979 and grew to be one of the largest expositions in the world before being canceled in 2003 has been reimagined as a virtual show.
The Everything Channel, a Framingham, Mass.–based division of UBM Media, London, which owns Comdex, will relaunch the event for technology sales professionals November 16-17, 2010. The virtual environment will be built on the InXpo virtual meeting platform in partnership with UBM Studios, UBM Media’s strategic agency.
InXpo and UBM Studios worked together to produce more than 30 virtual events in 2009 and have just announced a more formal alliance, making UBM Studios the firstmedia licensee of the InXpo platform. The team expects to produce more than 100 virtual events in 2010, including Comdex, and according to Kate Spellman, senior vice president, managing director of UBM Studios, 30 of those are already on the books.
“A year ago when you thought about a virtual event, you thought about a virtual trade show,” she said. “The definition is expanding to include training events, knowledge centers, anything that’s a business community.” Spellman has seen a definite increase in interest in hybrid events, where virtual elements are used to extend the reach of a live events and to increase interaction among attendees.
While no corresponding live event is planned for Comdex, a virtual event is ideal for the global nature of the audience, Spellman says. The event is expected to attract 35 “leading and emerging vendors,” she says, and about 3,000 attendees. The online Comdex experience will include keynote speakers, educational sessions, an exhibit hall, a product demonstration center, and networking opportunities.