Economy Scrubs Ziff’s DigitalLife Expo for 2008

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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New York, NY – The ailing U.S. economy prompted Ziff Davis Media to cancel this year’s edition of its DigitalLife Expo in the 11th hour even though the 2007 consumer show drew a record attendance.

Paul O’Reilly, vice president of the company’s Consumer Group, said the plan is to bring the show back in 2009. “Poor economic conditions have created a very different and difficult dynamic for us this year and we weren’t confident that we could present a show experience that was consistent with the successes of prior years,” O’Reilly told Trade Show Executive. “We are hopeful a bigger and stronger DigitalLife will return in 2009.”

DigitalLife 2008 was scheduled for September 25-28 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York. The consumer show was coming off a record year in 2007 in which it drew a reported 54,700 attendees. Show management said the exhibit floor covered 250,000 square feet.

The event was held in the run-up to the Christmas shopping season, and in the past, featured the latest consumer electronics and video gaming products. Some products were just reaching retail store shelves, so DigitialLife offered the opportunity for consumers to gain some hands-on experience.

Media outlets also gathered fodder for product reviews and stories on the latest gift ideas for holiday shoppers.

Industry sources said the show was lacking in innovative product launches this year. New products announced last year at the show were from Dell, Polk Audio, Hewlett-Packard and other electronics companies.

Ziff faces an uphill battle in resurrecting a canceled show. COMDEX and other shows that were canceled or postponed never regained a solid footing.

Reach Paul O’Reilly at (212) 503-3951 or paul_oreilly@ziffdavis.com