CeBit America Canceled - InformationWeek

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CeBit America Canceled

The show's owner, Hannover Fairs, says it couldn't raise enough money from tech companies to continue the New York show.

CeBit America 2005 has been canceled because organizers have been unable to raise enough money from technology companies to hold the New York trade show, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Without commitments from exhibitors, Hannover Fairs USA decided it was too risky to spend the money necessary to prepare for the show, which was to be held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center from June 28 to June 30. It would have been the show's third year.

Modeled after the huge CeBit show held annually in Hannover, Germany, CeBit America was to offer exhibitors separate locations focusing on technology for specific industries, such as financial services and telecommunications.

However, exhibitors were unwilling to plunk down their money soon enough to make Hannover Fairs feel comfortable about spending the money to retain the convention center, service vendors, and other show-related services.

"Unfortunately, with marketing budgets being reduced, it's getting more difficult for companies to commit early enough in the cycle," said Brock McCormack, Hannover Fairs' director of marketing communications. "Vendors and facility management needs to be paid, and we need a certain amount of cash flow."

In the bigger picture, the cancellation is a reflection of changing attitudes toward technology trade shows since the days of the late 1990s, when a booming market left companies with lots of money to spend on marketing. The dot-com bust that followed the boom launched a recession from which the recovery for many companies is less than a year old.

"Even though things have stabilized and we hear companies are coming back and there's more investment, the people involved in [marketing] are much wiser and are more judicious in how they spend their money," McCormack said. "With reduced budgets for trade shows, these companies are most likely scrutinizing their expenditures more."

Comdex, once the largest technology tradeshow in the United States, was canceled this year because of a lack of support from major technology vendors. Media Live, Comdex's owners, plan to return to Las Vegas in 2005.

Hannover Fairs doesn't plan to bring back CeBit America. "At this point in time, I would say no," McCormack said.

The company's other shows, however, will continue as planned, including CeBit Asia, CeBit Australia, CeBit Bilisim Eurasia, CeBit Broadcast, Cable & Satellite; and ISCeSatellite & Communications.

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