SDN architectures

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:

  • BTE will attract the largest, most qualified audience of senior telecom decision makers in North America in 2014.

  • You won't be haunted by memories of Supercomm -- or did I already mention that?

    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

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    [email protected] 1/28/2014 | 1:00:35 PM
    Ticks the boxes Chicago - YES

    In June - YES

    But not SUpercomm - YES

    So not at the McCormick Center - YES!!


    THis is going to be a humdinger of an event.... roll on June! 
    Steve Saunders, Founder, LR 1/28/2014 | 1:04:04 PM
    Re: Ticks the boxes it really is exciting... and not in a pathetic geeky way. Just looking at the keynoter list made me drool slighlty ... Google, Sprint, DE.... epic line up.  
    [email protected] 1/28/2014 | 1:12:05 PM
    Re: Ticks the boxes we need a pic of Steve drooling over the keynote list.... for the marketing materials...
    Carol Wilson 1/28/2014 | 3:05:41 PM
    Re: Ticks the boxes Well, I'm already drooling over the keynote list and planning to add more show-stoppers. 

    The one thing I'd add is that, unlike other conferences, for this event what happens in the conference sessions is connected to what happens on the demo floor. These aren't things competing for your attention, they are complementary and both are essential to the overall value of BTE. 

    As someone who went to every Supercomm but one and hundreds of other events over the past almost-29 years of writing about telecom, I can safely say BTE will be an event like no other. 

    The only down side is there also won't be any of those foam toy thingies to add to my collection. 



    pdonegan67 1/29/2014 | 4:26:53 AM
    Delighted with the backhaul turnout Yes, I'm personally delighted that two very old (make that "long standing"....) friends of Light Reading who have provided many a great carrier keynote at our annual Backhaul conference in New York are booking June flights to Chicago this year so that they can speak at our Big Telecom Event.

    They will still get to share their fabulous, fresh from the battlefield, insights into their favourite subject of the backhaul network, where it's at, where it's headed and what the potential show-stoppers are. After all, what would a Big Telecom Event be without a substantial backhaul section?

    Compared with our New York event, the main difference in Chicago will be the incremental opportunities the two-day event affords to see, speak, learn and network on how the evolution of the backhaul compares with what's going on in other network domains. All in the context of SDN and NFV.

    Oh. And there's the pizza. We haven't warned them about that yet.


    brookseven 1/29/2014 | 10:35:24 AM
    Chicago....not so sure...  

    So, I always think of Supercomm fun and folly as 2000 in Atlanta with the temporary cubes on the floor of the Georgia Dome.  By the time the show got to Chicago it was already dying.  

    Of course, my own worst memories were of Supercomm 2004 fielding infinite questions about FiOS and Tellabs.



    mendyk 1/29/2014 | 11:25:20 AM
    Re: Chicago....not so sure... The Georgia Dome overflow annex was memorable. So was the humidity. But my all-time trade-show memory is CTIA in New Orleans in July 2000, when Bernie Ebbers had to deliver a keynote minutes after finding out that the Worldcom/Sprint merger was dead, sealing the fate of his Ponzi scheme.
    Sarah Thomas 1/29/2014 | 12:22:12 PM
    Re: Ticks the boxes My very first day in this biz as an intern was at Supercomm, or NXTComm or whatever it was in 2006. If only I knew then how much more exciting trade shows could be! But I stuck around anyway and cannot wait for the BTE!!!
    Steve Saunders, Founder, LR 1/29/2014 | 1:41:13 PM
    Re: Delighted with the backhaul turnout well, another big difference to NY last year is our event won't be colocated with an enterprise event - something that made no sense to me at all.

    And, this one is bigger, obv. And, my band is playing at this one (War Toad... epic)

    TeleWRTRLiz 2/4/2014 | 11:14:03 AM
    Yes but.... Will Elton John be there?
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