Tuesday, March 3, 2009

FOSE reversal - expo is free to all

If somehow you have missed it, FOSE occurs next week at the DC Convention Center.

Over the last several weeks radio spots for FOSE were saying the expo was "free for DOD and Federal employees". The FOSE web site now says the expo portion is free for DOD, Federal employees and government contractors.

This is not the first time this reversal has occured. A few years back, under the previous owner (Post Newsweek Tech), FOSE did this when the contractor community balked at paying $50 to see exhibits. It seems overall attendance may be down again, and the last minute jolt might help. I understand the need to monetize the event in as many ways as possible, but charging contractors for the exhibits does not work and with fewer people in the exhibit halls, the show floor looks like a ghost town.

If you'd like to register, go to

I will not be attending for the 2nd time in 25 years. I will be leaving the country on the 11th and will have several things to do prior to that. Even if I were in town, there are fewer reasons for me to attend. High among my reasons for not attending is the lack of parking in the vicinity of the DC Convention Center. I hate going there. Whoever designed this place had an obvious Metro bias which does not servve the best interests of the event producers.

Last year I was at FOSE to do a live radio broadcast from the show floor, and it was fun having several of my friends who were exhibiting as guests on the show. This year my radio station - WFED, www.FederalNewsRadio.com - opted not to go, as did some of the exhibitors who were on my show.

I would like FOSE to succeed, but the age for the mega-tech show may be passing. MacWorld and others are going away. Some tech trade pubs are folding. VAR Business just put out its last issue and will now be part of CRN.

If companies have marketing dollars, apparently they are looking for other places to spend them.

FOSE must reinvent itself if it is to survive. It would be great to have one big event that attracted the IT community (other than the Input holiday party), but it is going to take some radically new thinking.

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