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TK's MORNING BUZZ: We're in the Midst of the DVD Revolution, the Hottest Consumer Product Launch in Years... and There's No Trade Show?!

16 Jul, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Shock or indifference?

Friday morning's news that the January VSDA convention most likely won't happen, and the future of the show is one big question mark, didn't arouse more than a spark of interest. I figured our phones would be ringing nonstop, and our email baskets would be packed.

But no dice. Even the VSDA discussion board, that hotbed of indie patter, had not a single thread or posting about the aborted show.

Is everyone in shock that the VSDA convention -- for many of us an annual rite, an annual ritual, for as long as we can remember -- may be history? Or is there simply a general lack of interest in the show, which has been suffering an attendance slide since the middle 1990s due in large part to continued consolidation in the independent retailer sector?

Let me remove myself from Advanstar Communications, which produces the show in partnership with the VSDA. Let me speak as a longtime industry observer and a guy who genuinely cares about the home entertainment business.

I think it's an absolute crying shame that an industry valued at nearly $20 billion can't have a huge annual convention where all members of that industry convene for a once-a-year "summit." Seminars, talks, exhibits, demonstrations, product presentations, networking -- surely there's a need for some event that has something for everyone involved in this business.

We're in the midst of the DVD revolution, the hottest consumer product launch in years, if not ever. Consumers are spending more money on packaged home entertainment -- VHS and DVD, rentals and sales -- than they ever have in the past. And there's no trade show?

Readers, I'd really like to hear from you on this one. I find it embarrassing that our industry can't support a trade show. What do you think?

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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