by By Tom Isler | November 01, 2008

Virtual tips: A blogger has advice for LinuxWorld.
Jason Perlow, a technology enthusiast and blogger, is a contributing writer for Linux Magazine -- but he no longer attends LinuxWorld Expo, a trade show produced by Framingham, Mass.-based IDG World Expo. He hasn't for two years.

In a post on the Tech Broiler blog at, Perlow says he doesn't think the show returns enough value -- using slightly coarser words. "The booth swag isn't even that good anymore," he adds.

What can trade show organizers do to win back people like Perlow? Maybe nothing. But Perlow suggests how shows can reinvent themselves to reach the desk-bound crowd:

•  Create a year-round website with a virtual trade show.

•  Produce education sessions using technology like WebEx or NetMeeting.

•  Upload all exhibitor marketing materials as PDF files, and tag them to make information easy to locate by topic.

•  Create an RSS feed for new product announcements from exhibitors.

•  Charge a modest fee for online access.

•  Create targeted newsletters for industry niches.

"Schlep out to San Francisco and pay big bucks again at the downtown Hilton, or pay a reasonable membership fee to access a website with vendor-supported targeted advertising and specialized multimedia content?" he wrote. "Guess which one I'll pick."

An IDG spokesperson says videos of select LinuxWorld conference sessions are available year-round, as are some exhibitor materials, and adding a virtual trade show, among other web features, is under consideration.