With over 2500 exhibitors spread over four huge conventioncentres, 225,000 delegates and a very unforgiving exchange rate, manyAustralian IT companies may see Comdex as a beast too large to contemplate.
Melbourne-based Internet tools software developer Trellian is not one of them. Despite confessing that the whole exercise is somewhat of a gamble, Trellian CEO Ren Warmuz claims the $120,000 investment is paying off.
"Comdex is a very expensive and exhausting exercise but also a very important one," Warmuz says.
"There are so many computer people here from all over the world and when you start talking to compatible exhibitors, partnerships develop as a result."
The company, which started three and a half years ago with a simple downloadable search tool, has recently put its various products into boxes for retail distribution. It is using Comdex to expand its global network of distributors, resellers, referral partners and OEM bundlers.
Promotion of Australia and its IT industry is a bonus, according to the fiercely patriotic Warmuz. The Trellian booth at Comdex was bedecked in Aussie flags and manned by 10 staff from the Beaumaris office in Melbourne.
That alone helps to stand out a bit in a sea of American enterprises and was important in landing deals, he said.
"The US represents about 80 per cent of our market at the moment," Warmuz said. "We need a [major] distributor in North America and that looks as though it is going to come together as a result of this show."
"Success at a show like this is all about what you do, who you meet and how well you do the follow up," Warmuz said. "If you are proactive and plan meetings before you actually arrive, it makes it far more worthwhile. It is mainly the other exhibitors you meet that provide value in the whole exercise."
Warmuz said he has "made a lot of new OEM deals" as well as recognising a clear opportunity for placing Spanish boxes in US stores.
"Half of southern California is Spanish speaking and all the computer stores there stock Spanish versions of software. I was unaware of that previously."www.trellian.com