NXTcomm Bets on 'Even' Vegas Dates

Craig Matsumoto
NXTcomm News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

No more Cubs games, no more Green Mill, no more Magnificent Mile shopping...

Yes, the organizers of the soon-to-debut NXTcomm tradeshow announced today it will pack its bags for Las Vegas in 2008 and 2010, after it debuts in Chicago in June. The show is the second combined effort of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and United States Telecom Association (USTelecom) , the groups that owned and operated the Supercomm tradeshow series.

Why change sites now? "Part of that, I think, is just trying to recognize the different groups and the different venues," says Jim Forlenza, director of business development for NXTcomm.

NXTcomm is the successor to the old Supercomm show, which the TIA and USTelecom ran until 2005. In 2006, the pair then broke up, each going on to do its own show. The TIA ran Globalcomm in Chicago last year, while the USTA debuted TelecomNext in Vegas.

Industry executives called the split ill-advised (the real words are a lot stronger). Light Reading learned they even tried to gang up on the trade associations to demand trade-show reunification. Before they could act, or bring in some political muscle, the shows were combined into the new NXTcomm. (See Gearheads: The Shows Must Not Go On, Vendors Table TelecomNext Turmoil, TelecomNext: McCormick Strikes Back, and Globalcomm & TelecomNext Rejoin Forces .)

In a sense, this means neither trade association has to look like the loser in the power struggle that followed Supercomm. NXTcomm will spend even-numbered years in Vegas, which was home to the USTA's annual Telecom shows, where the association held its annual meetings. (See What's Next for TelecomNext?)

The organizations haven't decided where to go for odd-numbered years. Chicago remains a possibility, Forlenza says.

The change of scenery might help bring new blood into the show, as Vegas "gets us closer to that whole West Coast entertainment industry," Forlenza says. That indusry has been getting more important to telecom as the buzz around IPTV and Internet video has grown.

NXTcomm 2008 will take up the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Forlenza has no worries about the show looking like a ghost town in the bigger venue. "We have some plans to be able to fill the additional space," he says. "There are things on the table that will add elements to the show." [Ed. note: Things on the table? Try bug spray.]

The NXTcomm 2007, in Chicago, is expected to draw 20,000 attendees and more than 450 exhibitors.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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