Sunday, July 30, 2006

Death of a Trade Show??

So the rumor mill is running rampant today that the Entertainment Software Association is planning announce the cancellation of the E3 trade show as early as tomorrow (Monday). Reports are varying in their reporting, with some places saying the show will be reduced in size and moved to a new venue, while others hint at a total cancellation of the event.

I'm sure we'll find out the truth of things (and the fallout from it) over the next few days, but in the meantime, I want to get your opinions on the matter. Just how important ARE shows like E3 to the entertainment industry? Is it better to have a huge production like that, with everyone in the industry gathered under one roof? Or are smaller, more frequent company specific press junkets the way to go? Is it better to shine the spotlight brightly on the industry once a year? Or should we cast a dimmer light on our world throughout the year?

As someone covering the various industries, I can see good and bad in both ideas. On one hand, it's a lot easier to get a LOT of coverage when everything is together in a central location. Also, with the amount of media coverage garnered by shows like E3, the industry as a whole gets a lot of publicity. Plus, even if they're not necessarily in the same league as the big guns, the smaller production companies/developers/etc. can at least play ball in the same park.

On the other hand, it would be nice to see announcements, coverage, and all sorts of tidbits in the industry spread out over the course of a year. Why wait until May to show off your latest gaming revolution (or "Wii" in Nintendo's case)? It could also be easier to put together a broader coverage of the industry in the scope of that coverage. And then there's the geographic advantages. Market coverage can get a little more saturated when the coverage is spread from the West Coast to the East Coast and everywhere in between. At least as long as the media or publishers are willing to foot the travel expenses. Keep in mind that for a lot of media outlets, travel budgets are already through the roof.

So ... those are a few of MY thoughts ... what about yours?

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