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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Maybe the VSDA Convention Will Resurface Again in July in Vegas, But January's Just Too Busy

13 Jul, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

The potential demise of the annual VSDA convention is a sad thing indeed. Inretrospect, moving the show to January was a mistake and I sincerely hope theassociation -- working with our parent company, Advanstar Communications -- cansalvage the show and reschedule it at a later date.

But in any event, the writing has been on the wall for a long time and, if you get right down to it, what really did in the VSDA convention is this: a dwindling base of independent video specialists, to whom the show has traditionally catered; and diminishing studio interest in reaching out tothose who remain.

The VSDA convention has been moving downhill for the better part of a decade. The lavish studio-sponsored parties were the first to go, replaced by more sedentary affairs culminating in multiple studios gathering to host one cocktail party and the disbursement of drink tickets (generally two perretailer, a far cry from the booze-swilling days of yore).

The studio presentations were next out the door, followed by the grand show floor exhibits. Last January's VSDA convention was a shadow of conventions past, with only two major studios even bothering to exhibit on the show floor and the others taking out meeting rooms a la NARM.

I still think this model, the NARM model, if you will, is viable for the VSDA to pursue at some other time -- any other time than January, traditionally a busy time in the video retail trade, particularly with all those new DVD households looking to feed their newly acquired machines.

And I sincerely hope we do see the show resurface again, at some other date, maybe back in July in Las Vegas. As so many of you do, I have a great scrapbook of convention memories. The VSDA convention has been a big part of my life for the last 15 years and I'm just not ready to say good bye.


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