The organisers of the Comdex trade show have slashed back at IBM, following the giant?s surprise announcement that it would not exhibit at next year?s Comdex/Fall.
Last week, IBM officials said they felt the Comdex/Fall trade show was too product-oriented, and didn?t fit in with IBM?s ambitions to position itself as a solutions vendor.
But Jason Chudnofsky, president and CEO of organisers ZD Comdex & Forums, has responded with a strongly worded statement in which he disputes IBM?s motives and claims that IBM, essentially, walked out in a huff when another company got the booth it had its eye on.
In the statement, Chudnofsky reveils the workings of the Comdex booth selection procedure. Potential exhibitors each get their turn to pick a free booth from the Comdex floor plan, in a predetermined order. Apparently, IBM is high up in this booth selection order.
Chudnofsky said: ?IBM arrived to take part in the regular booth selection process following a number of preparatory conversations with IBM to identify their requirements for the 1998 event. Despite these conversations, IBM decided upon a different set of booth requirements and informed us of these at the booth selection process.?
According to Chudnofsky, IBM demanded changes to the configuration of the booth which Comdex staff could not agree to. While IBM was still trying to make up its mind, another company with a lower place in the booth selection order selected the disputed booth. After which ?the IBM team left the booth selection process without any further discussion of alternatives?.
Chudnofsky adds: "If IBM is genuinely concerned about the effectiveness of the Comdex event in meeting their objectives, we are concerned to engage in whatever conversations are required to understand their issues, and to work directly with them to develop solutions."
But, he concludes, "since booth space at Comdex events is at such a premium, it is especially important that we apply policies and procedures which are designed to ensure fairness".
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