SCTE/ISBE announced that its original plans for Cable-Tec Expo 2020 have been cancelled and alternative arrangements are under consideration. The move came after the organization received notification that the designation of the Colorado Convention Center as a temporary medical facility has been extended through the rest of the year.
SCTE/ISBE said the executive order came from Colorado Governor Jared Polis. Cable-Tec Expo 2020 was set to take place October 13-16 in Denver.
"We are deeply disappointed Cable-Tec Expo 2020 cannot proceed in Denver as planned," Mark Dzuban, SCTE/ISBE's president and CEO, said in a statement. "SCTE/ISBE's senior leadership team is assessing the situation and giving careful consideration to alternative arrangements. Rest assured, SCTE/ISBE remains committed to supporting our members as the industry and the world grapples with COVID-19 and will honor all eligible requests for refunds."
SCTE/ISBE didn't detail what specific alternative arrangements for this year's event are being reviewed. It's possible that parts of the event could be put online as part of a virtualized offering. If so, the organization might take an approach similar to that of The National Association of Broadcasters, which developed a multi-day, online-only event after NAB 2020 was cancelled last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are encouraged by the unyielding support we have received despite this year's uncertainty, proving Cable-Tec Expo remains as relevant today as ever before. This is evidenced, in part, by a record-matching response to our recent Call for Papers," Dzuban added. "We will share additional information as our path forward solidifies in the days and weeks ahead. In the meantime, thank you for your patience and we hope you remain safe."
SCTE/ISBE had already teed up a special Cable-Tec Expo workshop track for the pandemic – "Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic" – to examine new strategies for managing workforces and maintaining operational performance amid changes in network usage, including how some operators have shifted capacity on residential networks as millions of consumers work and school from home.
The situation for Cable-Tec Expo will also impact the 2020 Cable TV Pioneers dinner, which was originally set to take place the evening of October 13. Light Reading was also on tap to host two breakfast sessions during the Denver event, as well as an afternoon forum on cable business services. We'll have more to say about our plans to virtualize those session shortly.
Update: The Cable TV Pioneers announced last week that the organization is in the process of selecting its 2020 class and is "making plans for a new and exciting celebration in lieu of the live, major banquet originally scheduled the evening before SCTE/ISBE Cable-Tec Expo." The organization intends to announce its 2020 class in early July and is currently studying a range of options for the 54th Annual induction celebration, which it intends to hold on October 13, 2020, as previously announced.
"As event details become formalized, they will share this information and news among members, sponsors, nominees and friends," the statement added.
Cable Tec-Expo is part of a wave of industry events that have been cancelled, postponed or altered into online versions because of the pandemic. Among recent examples, IBC 2020, initially set for September 11-14 in Amsterdam, was cancelled after organizers determined that there's still too much uncertainty about whether the event could be held safely this fall even as parts of Europe start to reopen. IBC is likewise looking into a digital, virtual alternative to an annual on-site event that drew about 57,000 attendees last year.
- IBC 2020 canceled due to COVID-19
- SCTE Foundation seeks Oakes Scholarship applicants
- COVID-19 workshop track created for Cable-Tec Expo 2020
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading