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Telcordia Dumps TradeshowTelcordia Dumps Tradeshow

OFC buys NFOEC from Telcordia, ending the show's 19-year run as a standalone event

May 26, 2004

2 Min Read
Telcordia Dumps Tradeshow

Telcordia Technologies Inc. has bowed out of the tradeshow business and turned over the assets and management of its National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (NFOEC) to the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC), Light Reading has learned. As a result, the standalone NFOEC, originally planned for September 12 to 16 in Anaheim, Calif., has been cancelled.

What will happen instead is that OFC will continue to have NFOEC programming and content at its annual show, which is scheduled for March 6 to 11, 2005, also in Anaheim. The combined OFC/NFOEC show will now have a broader focus, covering everything from technological advancements in components and equipment to technical education for service providers.

"[Telcordia] loved the show… but they understand that their core competency was not running conferences," says Elizabeth Rogan, executive director of the Optical Society of America, one of three non-profits that sponsor OFC.

Though it's getting out of the tradeshow biz, Telcordia is still going to work with OFC management to provider conference content and audience outreach for the NFOEC-related side of the combined show, Rogan says.

Put bluntly, Telcordia managed tradeshows about as well as a group of meeting planners could write Operational Support System software. While OFC ran over some speed bumps during the telecom recession, the show always remained much larger than NFOEC. In February, OFC show management says, the conference featured more 640 exhibiting companies and was attended by 15,000 delegates.

NFOEC, on the other hand, has been the kind of place where journalists ribbed show management for their Spartan media facilities. It was the kind of place where company mascots constantly worried that their giant foam heads were in harm's way (see NFOEC Scrapbook and Ciena Mascot Assaulted at NFOEC).

The NFOEC 2003 show, held in the cavernous Orange County (Fla.) Convention Center, was among the most poorly attended in recent years. Officially, the conference says it hosted 3,000 attendees and 150 exhibiting companies. Contrast that with NFOEC 2001, which boasted in its marketing materials that it expected more than 15,000 attendees and more than 350 exhibitors.

Rogan won't comment on what OFC paid for NFOEC, or whether the combined conference will have any revenue-sharing with Telcordia.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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