Comdex Cancellation to Hit Las Vegas Adult Industry

Rhett Pardon
LAS VEGAS — The Comdex show used to be the biggest convention of the year in Las Vegas.

Many in the adult industry recall it being the biggest event of the year for Sin City’s numerous strip clubs and escort services, and even the whorehouses in the outlying Pahrump, Nev., area.

But the once-gigantic show that featured a “Who’s Who” of tech companies was hit hard by the economic downturn and hasn't recovered.

On Wednesday, the tech industry received word that the show has been delayed indefinitely, maybe cancelled permanently.

San Francisco-based MediaLive International Inc. said that Comdex, scheduled to begin Nov. 14, is trying to solicit more industry support for the sales and marketing gathering.

Key3Media, which ran the show, was forced into bankruptcy protection and re-emerged as MediaLive.

Last year, the Las Vegas show had about 40,000 technology buyers, 550 exhibiting companies and 900 journalists. That was down from about 125,000 people in 2002, due in part to waning interest and a move by MediaLive to refocus the show away from consumer devices. Exhibit space in 2003 fell to 150,000 square feet from 325,000 square feet a year earlier.

In a press release, MediaLive CEO Robert W. Priest-Heck said: "While we could still run a profitable Comdex this year, it does not benefit the industry to do so without broader support of the leading technology companies."