The Lone Maverick is at it again.
This from Tradeshow Week's Nov. 8 issue.
Battle of the IT Shows Alan Meckler, CEO of Jupitermedia, has set his guns at Hannover Fairs USA’s CeBIT America by launching a new technology show in the same city, New York, and on overlapping dates. He made the announcement two weeks prior to the debut of his Enterprise IT Week, which challenges MediaLive Intl.’s COMDEX in Las Vegas when it visits the Las Vegas Convention Center Nov. 18-22. The declaration has upset Hannover Fairs USA, which began its targeted enterprise event just this year to spread the CeBIT brand to America.
Given it's TSW, there's no link to the article, you have to read (buy) the print version.
Those of you who've followed this blog and it's predecessor (Xiled in Sofia) know that I have the highest esteem for Alan and wish there were more colorful promoters like him in our industry. But I'm wondering if he's stretching with this announcement.
After all, if you go to Alan's blog (no permalink, so go to the Nov. 6 entry), you'll see that his Vegas launch of Enterprise IT Week is only at 50 exhibitors. Given that Comdex is predicted to be only about a third of its former hugeness, that's still a couple hundred exhibitors and probably more than a couple hundred thousand nsf larger than Alan's Vegas event.
CeBIT's New York launch this past summer was probably less than HannoverUSA envisioned when they commited to the US market (despite Mark Dineen's official comments) (btw, the audited attendance was 8,510), but wasn't all that bad, especially considering the business environment in which they were selling against (NASDAQ was still in the pits during their sales cycle).
Conventional show management thought dictates that you don't expand a franchise until it's firmly established. Then again, "conventional" is not a word you'd use to describe Alan Meckler. Instead, what he's doing with this NYC launch is straight out of the Proctor & Gamble playbook - make the other guy spend more to get market share.
Alan's company, JupiterMedia, has had tremendous success at launching niche events utilizing Internet.com's content areas (Search Engine Strategies, 802.11, etc.). Although Alan made his reputation with the now-defunct Internet World (the 1998 sale of which freed him to build his new publishing empire), and much of his current staff came from Penton's IT division which sold Internet World, the current climate is not conducive to launching horizontal IT events.
I'd tend to think that the only way Meckler will get traction is if his events challenge the the concept of the 'traditional' corporate IT event by concentrating less on exhibit sales and more on creating value and ROI - perhaps a format that bears greater resemblance to a Gartner IT Symposium than the old Internet World. That would likely play well in the NYC market.
Then again, I don't put anything past him. We'll know in a couple of weeks how the Vegas launch did. This will be a story worth following.