Computer Dealers Exposition

Definition of Computer Dealers Exposition

The Computer Dealers Exposition, also known as Comdex, was an annual trade show held in the United States from 1979 to 2003. It was one of the largest and most prominent events in the technology industry, showcasing new products, services, and advancements in the field of computer technology. The event aimed to bring together manufacturers, dealers, distributors, and end-users under one roof, facilitating business networking and promoting the growth of the industry.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Computer Dealers Exposition” would be:kəm-PYOO-tər DEE-lərz ek-spuh-ZI-shuhn

Key Takeaways

  1. Computer Dealers Exposition (COMDEX) was a major annual technology trade show, serving as a hub for showcasing innovative computer technologies and products.
  2. COMDEX was initiated in 1979 by Sheldon Adelson and ran until 2003, attracting thousands of exhibitors from around the world and becoming the largest IT event in the United States.
  3. Despite its prominent success, COMDEX was eventually overshadowed by specialized trade shows and was cancelled in 2004, marking the end of an era in the history of computer technology exhibitions.

Importance of Computer Dealers Exposition

The technology term Computer Dealers Exposition, commonly known as COMDEX, is important because it was once one of the largest and most influential trade shows in the technology industry.

Held annually in Las Vegas from 1979 to 2003, COMDEX brought together technology manufacturers, buyers, developers, and enthusiasts, serving as a platform for showcasing new products, establishing partnerships, and sharing ideas.

Many groundbreaking products and technologies made their debut at COMDEX, shaping the development of the industry and driving innovation.

While the event no longer exists, its impact on the growth and evolution of technology, as well as its role in creating a global community for industry professionals, remains significant.


The Computer Dealers Exposition, commonly known as COMDEX, was an annual event that played a pivotal role in the growth and development of the technology industry. The main purpose of this exposition was to bring together various stakeholders from the technology sector, such as computer manufacturers, software developers, and dealers, under one roof.

This collective platform allowed participants to showcase their latest innovations, engage in meaningful discussions, and facilitate strategic collaborations that could bolster the advancement of computing technology. Attendees at the event would range from technical enthusiasts seeking to learn about cutting-edge trends to businesses seeking ways to improve their operations through the integration of modern IT solutions.

COMDEX provided a valuable opportunity for networking and the exchange of ideas; businesses could benefit not only from new product launches and demonstrations but also from the expert knowledge shared through keynote speeches, panel discussions, and workshops. It was a catalyst for driving the technology market forward, as it encouraged fierce competition among companies in areas such as operating systems, computer hardware, and networking technology.

While COMDEX was discontinued in 2004, its legacy is still seen in how it shaped the technology landscape, heavily contributing to the rapid evolution and adoption of computer technologies in modern society. Today, similar large-scale technology expositions, like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), continue to be the stage where technological advancements are unveiled and global collaboration takes place, reinforcing the importance and value of such events in the world of technology.

Examples of Computer Dealers Exposition

The Computer Dealers Exposition, also known as COMDEX, was an annual computer and technology trade show that took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, between 1979 and

Throughout its existence, COMDEX played a significant role in the launch and demonstration of various technologies and products. Here are three real-world examples:

Microsoft Windows:At COMDEX 1983, Microsoft introduced its first version of Windows, which would become one of the most widely-used operating systems globally. This event marked a significant milestone for Microsoft and the overall personal computer industry, helping to shape the way users interact with computers for decades to come.

Compaq Portable:The Compaq Portable, often considered the first successful IBM-compatible portable computer, was launched at COMDEX in 1982 by Compaq Computer Corporation. This “luggable” computer allowed professionals to carry their work with them and use IBM-compatible software on the go. The Compaq Portable played a vital role in Compaq becoming a strong competitor in the computer industry.

Apple’s LaserWriter:At COMDEX 1985, Apple introduced its first laser printer, the LaserWriter, which helped to usher in the era of desktop publishing. The LaserWriter supported PostScript, a page description language that enabled high-quality text and graphics output, and helped popularize the use of Apple’s Macintosh computers in businesses and graphic design.

Computer Dealers Exposition FAQ

What is the Computer Dealers Exposition?

The Computer Dealers Exposition (COMDEX) was a leading computer trade show and conference that took place annually in the United States. It showcased the latest innovations in computer hardware, software, and other related technologies by various computer and technology companies.

When was the Computer Dealers Exposition held?

COMDEX was held annually from 1979 to 2003, with the main event usually taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada during the month of November. Some other events were held in other locations across the United States and internationally.

Who organized the Computer Dealers Exposition?

COMDEX was organized by The Interface Group, a company founded by Sheldon Adelson, Robert Lorsch, and Richard Katzeff. Later, it was acquired by SoftBank Corporation in 1995 and then by Key3Media in 2001.

Why was the Computer Dealers Exposition significant?

During its prime, COMDEX was the largest computer trade show in the world. It attracted thousands of exhibitors and attendees, providing a platform for technology companies and developers to showcase their latest innovations and products. Many significant technology announcements and product launches took place at COMDEX, playing a key role in shaping the development of the technology industry.

What happened to the Computer Dealers Exposition?

Due to various factors including financial problems, competition from other trade shows, and changes in the technology industry, COMDEX faced a decline in the early 2000s. The last COMDEX event was held in 2003, and in 2004, the parent company Key3Media filed for bankruptcy. The COMDEX brand was eventually acquired by United Business Media, but no further events have been held under the COMDEX name.

Related Technology Terms

  • Trade show
  • Technology vendors
  • 1

  • Exhibition booth
  • 2

  • Networking event
  • 3

  • Product demonstrations

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents