The author of 12 computing books, Berst has contributed to leading tech trades including PC Week, Computerworld and Information Week. He appears weekly on CNNfn's "New Economy Watch" and is editorial director of "ZDNet AnchorDesk," one of the largest e-mail newsletters in the high-tech space. He's also the author of the daily "Berst Alert" column on the Web.
Nonetheless, Berst jumped at the recent offer to sign a multiyear contract to serve as executive producer of Showcase, the annual product demonstration conference produced by Upside Media Inc.
The fifth annual Showcase, slated for Jan. 22-24 in La Quinta, Calif., is expected to draw 1,000 attendees. Digital music, digital entertainment and ultraportable computers are just a few of the product lines that will be on display during Showcase.
"This is a chance to get a sneak preview of products that people won't get to taste for six months or so," Berst said. "We'll weed out the products that don't have [market] potential."
The conference "brings together the best b-to-b people," he said. "Before products can get to consumers they have to go through the b-to-b channel."