Ranging generally from computer expos to toy fairs to books exhibitions and music trade shows, product shows are designed to introduce the potential customers to major innovations in their fields. Frequently products shows involve a marketing investment from participating companies. Since costs usually include display design and construction, space rental, networks and telecommunications, accommodations, travel and promotional literature, trade show promotions are seen as a means of economic development.
Among the widest reputed product shows are computer expos, featuring generally organization or company booths, in which technologies and products are showcased. The largest and one of the most significant computer expos in the world, CeBIT is an annual event held in Hanover, Germany each spring. Originally a part of the Hanover Fair, the event achieved a status of a separate trade show in 1986. The subsequent years witnessed the rapid growth of CeBIT, which resulted in its decision to focus on the professional market.
Held each November in Taipei, Taiwan, Taipei International Information Technology Show is recognized as the world's second largest computer fair and the largest show of the kind in Asia, featuring participation from such major manufacturers as AMD, NVIDIA, Intel and more. The first expo was arranged in 1981, providing small and medium size businesses in computer industry with the place to display their products. Due to the great number of companies and organizations involved in the production of computer hardware in the region, Taipei International Information Technology Show has become a popular destination for those looking for new trends and hardware in the field. As of 2004 the Show had more than 1,300 exhibitors and 118,000 visitors, which makes it one of the largest and most influential product shows of the kind in the nation.
Rated among the world's most popular computer fairs, Linux Tag is a software expo, held annually in Karlsruhe, Germany and attracting visitors from many countries worldwide. It is sponsored by the German government and a number of IT-related companies. The show has also sponsored some projects, notably Knoppix, a Linux Live CD.
Open to journalists and industry professionals only, the European Computer Trade Show is an annual event on the calendar of the European computer and video game industry. Arranged first in 1988, it has grown to the important trade show, held in EXCEL Exhibition Center in London until it was moved to Earls? Court, London in 2002. During the period of 2001-2004 ECTS featured Game Developers Conference Europe, focusing on the development of computer games.
Seen as one of the world's largest product shows of the kind, COMDEX was a computer fair, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, annually from 1979 throughout 2003. The first show, held at the MGM Grand had around 150 exhibitors and 4,000 attendees. The decision of such major companies as Compaq, Apple Computer and IBM to cease their involvement with COMDEX has led to the show's decline in June 2004.