Actually this is more than a rumor. FOSE cornerstone exhibitors CDWG and Microsoft will not be exhibiting this year. The FOSE web site lists only 248 vendors signed up so far and many biggies are missing. Others AWOL include PC Mall and GTSI. Despite massive early web PR (starting last summer, and inlcuding the prerecorded phone call I had over the weekend), overall interest in FOSE seems to be way down. Even with the merger of the show with GovSec (they say it is two different shows in the same place at the same time, but it is really one big event), I look for attendance to be down.
Other major events, like MacWorld, have announced they are folding - and Apple has something other shows did not - truly raving, incense-burning fans with little Steve altars in dark corners of their basements. Mac-ism is a cult bordering on a religion.
On LinkedIn people are asking if the Comsumer Electronics Show (CES) is done. Has the day of the mega-event passed? Or will it morph? Is this something we want to save?
With all the Web 2.0 tools out there, any show that wants to stay alive better be seeking the help advice, buyoff from the significant bloggers, podcasters and tweeters in their respective markets.