Dick's Comdex Comments 1997

I went to the 1997 Fall Comdex on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday November 24-26. Las Vegas was jammed - over 220,000 attendees and 2100 exhibitors. I think every taxi in Las Vegas was on the streets.

There are plenty of reports on the contents of Comdex. I made the following observations related to the demographics of the show.

Even with all the exhibitors, products and services, and state-of the-art technology for anyone with an interest or a need to know, Comdex is a 'guy' thing. I made several informal surveys of attendees and came up with a male-to-female ratio of between 5:1 to 10:1.

The ratio in the exhibits, however, seems closer to 1:1. Some exhibits, like Intel's, are staffed with knowledgeable folks of both sexes. Many exhibits, however, seem to have a high proportion of what one woman termed herself, 'rentals.' These folks are presumably local contractors hired for the show to staff functions at the exhibits that do not require product knowledge. What a term for a human being - when I hear 'rental', I think of an apartment, not a person!

Rentals seem to come in four categories - functional, non-functional, ornamental, and gratuitous.

A small proportion of exhibitors look to be providing attractions that have little or nothing to do with their products. These attractions seem to be predominantly oriented to the male attendees.

I wonder how helpful this is to product promotion. It seems to me to lend a carnival atmosphere to some of the areas, and since I tended to avoid these, promoted me away from their products.

There are plenty of alternatives in Las Vegas for entertainment after the show.

Comments? Contact Dick through http://www.hodgman.org/contact/.

Last modified on 2003 January 09

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