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Status Defunct
Genre Computer show

COMDEX (an abbreviation of Computer Dealers' Exhibition) was a computer expo held at various locations in the Las Vegas Valley of Nevada, each November from 1979 to 2003. It was one of the largest computer trade shows in the world, usually second only to the German CeBIT, and by many accounts one of the largest trade shows in any industry sector. The first COMDEX was held in 1979 at the MGM Grand (now Bally's), with 167 exhibitors and 3904 attendees. In 1981, the first COMDEX/Spring was held in New York City.



COMDEX was started by The Interface Group, whose organizers included Sheldon Adelson, Robert Lively and Richard Katzeff. In 1995, they later sold it to the Japanese technology conglomerate Softbank Corp. In 2001, Softbank sold the show to Key3Media, a spin-off of Ziff Davis. After going into a Chapter 11 in February 2003, Key3Media resurfaced as Medialive International with a cash infusion from Thomas Weisel Capital Partners, which had previously invested in the company. In November 2006, Forbes magazine reported that United Business Media plc had purchased the events assets of MediaLive International Inc.


COMDEX was originally open only to those directly involved in the computer industry, it was the one show where all levels of manufacturers and developers of computers, peripherals, software, components, and accessories came in direct contact with retailers, consultants and their competitors.[citation needed]

Colloquially known as "Geek Week", COMDEX evolved into a major technical convention, with the industry making major product announcements and releases there. Numerous small companies from around the world rose to prominence following appearance at COMDEX, and industry leaders sought opportunities to make keynote addresses. Most discussed the computer industry, history, trends and future potential. In 1999, Linus Torvalds attended the exhibition to talk about the Linux family of operating system.[citation needed]

In the late 1980s, COMDEX was opened to the general public, causing an explosion in attendance.[citation needed] It however diluted COMDEX's focus in the industry.[citation needed] Retailers and consultants complained that 'leading edge' customers, upon whom they relied for early adoption of new technology, were buying products at 'show specials' and then expecting the dealers to support those products.[citation needed]

Cities other than Las Vegas[edit]

After the Spring 1981 show in New York City and 1982 in Atlantic City, COMDEX began regular spring shows in Atlanta, Georgia from 1983 through 1988. Then alternated sites between Atlanta and Chicago. The final Atlanta Spring COMDEX was held in 1997; the last Spring COMDEX was held in Chicago in April 2003.

Early 2000s and closing[edit]

Following COMDEX Fall 1999 (in Las Vegas), organizers made major changes to their criteria for admission of mass media, rejecting nearly all previous mass media. It however offered regular public attendance for the general public.

In 2000, major companies such as IBM, Apple, and Compaq (now merged with Hewlett-Packard) decided to discontinue their involvement with COMDEX to allocate resources more efficiently. To reduce costs, many would-be exhibitors stopped renting out or scaled back official COMDEX booths on the convention center floors, and set up invitation-only suites in various Las Vegas hotels.[1] This also allowed exhibitors to concentrate their efforts on industry attendees rather than the general public.

COMDEX/Fall 2001 organizers at Los Angeles-based Key3Media Group Inc. said they expected attendance to fall from the previous year's 200,000 to 150,000. They also expected the number of exhibitors to decline from 2,350 to 2,000 and the square footage of exhibitor space to slide from just over 1 million to 750,000.

In June 2004, COMDEX cancelled the 2004 exhibition in Las Vegas,[1] effectively making the Consumer Electronics Show its replacement in Las Vegas.


A COMDEX event was originally designed to exist only on the internet without a physical meeting location. It was announced to commence during November 16–17, 2010.[2] The COMDEX website ( was operated by TechWeb, a United Business Media company.

Everything Channel and sister company UBM studios (both United Business Media Companies) partnered to deliver COMDEXvirtual ( to the global IT channel community in November 2010. Nearly 5,000 attended the event over the course of the two days, making COMDEXvirtual the largest independent virtual tradeshow in the IT industry. The agenda featured more than 100 speakers and nearly 50 sessions on topics ranging from cloud to mobility and virtualization, to address the event's theme—New Business Solutions: Embracing Disruptive Technologies & Changing Delivery Models. In addition to educational sessions, there was also an Expo Hall with nearly 30 exhibitors including IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Symantec, Panasonic, and D&H. COMDEXvirtual ( 2010 was available on-demand through May 17, 2011. The event was due return on November 15 & 16, 2011.


Interop is an annual trade fair for information technology organised by UBM TechWeb. It takes place at four different locations at various times of the year: Mumbai (India), New York (NY, USA), Tokyo(Japan), and Las Vegas (NV, USA). 2011 marked Interop's 25th anniversary and throughout that time, Interop has promoted interoperability and openness, beginning with IP networks and continuing in today's emerging cloud computing era. For every US event, Interop volunteers build a network (called the InteropNet) using tools from various vendors to demonstrate the latest technologies and interoperability. [3]

  • The former COMDEX website link ( currently redirects to the presently operating INTEROP (

See also[edit]

  • CES (Consumer Electronics Show) (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
  • CeBIT (Centrum der Büro und Informations Technik) (Hanover, Germany)
  • Computex Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)


  1. ^ a b Comdex Cancels November 2004 Tech Convention, 24 June 2004, By MATTHEW FORDAHL, redOrbit[dead link]Archived August 23, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Introducing the New COMDEX, the Next Generation in Virtual Events March 4, 2010, PRNewswire
  3. ^ Interop

External links[edit]