Why We're NOT Bringing Back Supercomm
Greetings, Beloved Light Readers.
Just a line to let you know that I'm throwing a bit of a shindig in Chicago this summer -- an intimate affair of, oh, around 2,000 telecom industry decision makers and VIPs. Naturally the world's biggest communications industry names will all be represented -- Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Ciena, Deutsche Telekom, Google, Infinera, Sprint, Verizon, to name but a few.
And, of course, as a member of the Light Reading community, YOU are invited, too. In fact, it really wouldn't be the same without you!
We're calling our summer get-together Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (for reasons that should be obvious), and it takes place June 17-18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers in Chicago. (See Get Ready for the Big Telecom Event.)
Details of the event can be found by visiting the official show site.
But wait, you say, a big telecom event? In June? In Chicago?
At this point you're probably asking yourself a question that I've been hearing rather a lot recently: "Is Light Reading trying to bring back the Supercomm show?"
The answer to that is a definite NO.
In fact, Light Reading's Big Telecom Event -- or BTE for short -- is pretty much the opposite of a big exhibition like Supercomm: You might even call BTE the "anti-tradeshow" (or, as I like to think of it, an antidote to tradeshows).
So, what sets it apart from all other events, including dear, old, defunct Supercomm?
For one thing, this is the first major event that has been designed from the ground up to meet the needs of Light Reading's core community: senior telecom decision makers at service providers and carriers around the world. Instead of asking our paying customers (equipment manufacturers that advertise with LR, principally) what type of event they would like us to run, we decided to survey their customers instead (our customers' customers, in other words specifically, service providers and carriers that had previously attended LR live events). The thinking behind this was that if the service providers attend, the equipment manufacturers will follow. And they have.
Our research, which was conducted early in the summer of 2013, returned two unequivocal and, if you're in the events business, startling results.
First, put simply, service providers overwhelmingly want more time at in-person events: time, they tell us, they need to dig into the implementation and business case details of next-generation technologies and work out how they can apply them in their networks.
That's a non-trivial task, they tell us again, one that demands the event provide them with the environment and opportunity to drill down into not only the bits and bytes, but also the TCO (total cost of ownership) and ROI (return on investment) minutiae, both with experts from leading suppliers of these technologies and with their service provider peers.
Second, in a related finding, they don't want an exhibition hall filled with tradeshow booths. (In fact, they think the whole concept of tradeshow booths is sooooooo 2007.)
Light Reading went back to the drawing board to provide an event format that truly meets the informational needs of service provider attendees. The result is a unique colloquium that is all about networking, both in the sense of the technologies that are covered -- SDN/NFV and the carrier cloud, Ethernet, packet-optical transport, mobile backhaul, 4G/small cells, service provider IT (SPIT), content management, business services, and so on -- but also in terms of the types of interactions that take place between attendees and sponsors.
Instead of an expo with massive booths, the cornerstone of BTE is a living, breathing demo space housing a collection of the most impressive telecom solutions ever co-located under one roof. Exhibitors will focus on live application and service demonstrations that show how their technology helps service providers make money or save money in the real world. The vibe of the show floor is high-end and business-focused -- think dollars and sense, not pocket protectors and fiber splicers.
The demo floor at BTE will be complemented by a two-day conference created and hosted by Heavy Reading and its unparalleled team of leading telecom market and technology analysts.
In addition to creating and hosting the top-flight industry education panels, roundtables, and workshops for which Light Reading events are well known, Heavy Reading analysts will work directly with participants before the event to help develop effective plans for demos, and during the event to ensure each participant gets maximum value from its presentations. Sessions will cover the industry's hottest and most controversial topics.
Finally, we've been very careful to select a venue for our event that provides an abundance of space for extemporaneous sidebars and brainstorming -- a four-star hotel, specifically, as opposed to a drafty tradeshow hall. And for companies that want to talk privately, or sign a contract, 24 conference rooms will also be available.
In addition, we're also using the occasion of BTE to host our annual Leading Lights awards, which not only celebrate the companies and individuals that have made a dramatic impact on our industry during the past year but also provide us with the opportunity to host an amazing party you won't want to miss. (See Leading Lights 2013 Highlights, Leading Lights Soiree Snaps and Leading Lights 2013: The Wrap.)
I hope very much that you'll choose to join us in Chicago this year. Whether you are a service provider looking to participate in demonstrations of networking technologies and applications that deliver real insight, or an equipment manufacturer that needs a unique forum for discussing with customers how they can apply your products and services in real-world networks, I can promise you two things:
Click here to register for the BTE event at a special discounted rate: https://bte.tech.ubm.com/2014/registrations?_mc=ssllp.
Steve Saunders, Founder and CEO, Light Reading