Others will remember ECOC for the lack of signage (sponsored by Intel), which made finding it and then navigating the halls a trifle difficult. They're also likely to recall the organizers' blaring public announcements – particularly the ones haranguing journalists to "get on over to booth X where the exhibitor is waiting to tell you about its products."
Originally, the organizers sent a list of about 400 journalists to exhibitors, many of whom took it to be a list of reporters planning to go to ECOC. In fact, it was a list of folk to send press releases to, and it was wildly out of date. A couple of the journalists on the list had been dead for two years, PR firms told Light Reading. Between 30 and 40 live journalists actually showed up.
That's more than Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) managed to do. It was notably absent from the show, even though Nortel's advert adorned the back cover of the catalogue. A total of 10 companies pulled out of exhibiting at the last minute, according to the show organizer. Quite a few of the 250-plus companies that did exhibit said they were disappointed by the low turn-out of visitors – which looked as though it might total 2,500, the organizer said.
Still, ECOC was bigger and better than last year, and plenty of exhibitors used the event to announce their latest developments. As might be expected, many of the announcements were subdued – and the emphasis was on products that promised a decent return on investment rather than on technology that might revolutionize telecom networks.
There were some exceptions to this rule. Here's what we considered noteworthy:
— Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading