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Sony to skip fall Comdex

Sony has decided to skip fall Comdex, continuing a recent trend of large technology companies abandoning the industry's signature tradeshow.

Sony has decided to skip fall Comdex, continuing a recent trend of large technology companies abandoning the industry's signature tradeshow.

Sony last week informed Key3Media, the show's organizer, that it will not be buying floor space at Comdex, to be held in Las Vegas the week of Nov. 17 to Nov. 22. However, the Japanese electronics giant intends to have representatives at the show to meet with customers.

Representatives from Key3Media were not immediately available for comment.

Sony will be hosting its own tradeshow, Dream World 2002, in Yokohama City, Japan, from Sept. 13 to Sept. 15, where it will demonstrate a range of products from the entertainment and electronics units of the company. In addition, Sony Chief Operating Officer Kunitake Ando is scheduled to give a speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 9.

"These are two huge events for us this year on either side of Comdex," Sony spokesman Greg Dvorken said. "We felt that we could get our message across effectively through these two events. We cover so many product areas, and we've never had one show where we could show the true strength of the company. Other shows target specific industries or product areas."

Depending on the response to this year's show, Sony is planning to make Dream World an annual event held at different locations, according to Dvorken. This year, Sony will demonstrate its Vaio, imaging, music and Wega television products. Sony also plans to participate in other shows next year, such as CES.

Sony's decision to pull out of Comdex is a bit of a surprise considering Ando gave a keynote address during last year's show. But the company is not alone. Last year, Gateway joined IBM, Dell Computer and Intel in skipping Comdex. None of these companies is listed on the Key3Media Web site as exhibitors for this year's Comdex, although their ultimate plans could not be determined late Friday.

Last year, attendance was estimated at 125,000, well below the typical range of 150,000 to 200,000. The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were considered a major reason for the decline, although the overall slump in the technology industry also played a role.