Disintermediation, baby. Lots of ways to meet the market on the market's terms w/o spending on booths (or booth babes, as the case may be).
Btw, loved the IAEM response to E3's recent downsizing as published in the August 7 IAEM News & Industry Report (members only). Yes, that was a grand argument about video gaming being only a segment of the "Sports, Travel, Entertainment, Art and Consumer Services" sector as defined by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)," thus not indicative of a trend in trade shows in general.
Who said it was? Nobody would think so. At least not until they hear IAEM's argument... then red flags about show expenditures might start popping up.
But IAEM's argument in defense of large shows only went South from there...
"The CEIR Sports and Games sector is the largest sub-sector of the entertainment industry. The hottest sub-sector in entertainment was video and computer games in 2004, and that is expected to continue on a strong growth path."
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' "Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2005-2009," online games will surpass PC games to become the second-largest category in 2006 and will reach $3.8 billion in 2009, representing a CAGR of 42.2 percent. Wireless games will be the fastest-growing sector, reaching $2.1 billion in 2009, growing at a 49.3 percent CAGR."
And what does any of the above have to do with trade shows? Nothing. Industries can grow as large as they'd like without the need for a big industry event.
This is a one-off Mr. Hacker. E3 just wasn't needed. The market said so, despite your prostestations. That doesn't mean the world doesn't need MAGIC or CES or SEMA. It just doesn't need a huge gaming show at the moment.
The market has spoken. Unfortunately, so did IAEM at a time when it might have been best to keep silent instead of proferring a position that holds less water than my kitchen colander.