Next Up, Nxtcomm
After bullying vendors through the mail and slyly suggesting they'd be sued if they all worked together in a boycott of TelecomNEXT, USTelecom President, Walter McCormick, has buried the hatchet with regard to the great tradeshow feud of 2006.
In addition to developing a taste for crow (Mmmmm... gamey!), USTelecom is likely going to eat hundreds of thousands of dollars in cancellation fees from its Las Vegas venue, which was -- as they reminded us weekly -- locked and loaded for TelecomNEXT 2007 with dozens of speakers already booked.
USTelecom never released its attendance figures for the inaugural (and only) TelecomNEXT. And with good reason, too. They were embarrassingly low compared to the heydays of Supercomm.
But the TIA doesn't come out of this smelling so great, either. The TIA updated its attendance figure for the first (and only) Globalcomm no less than three times after the show had closed. And each time the figure mysteriously got higher. Six months from now, Globalcomm may just make its 20,000-person goal.
And, by the way, the signs could have used some work.
Both organizations apparently lost sight of why the industry liked Supercomm: It was the no-brainer tradeshow in the U.S. telecom market with an established reputation. A lot of money could have been made by making it better, as opposed to making it deader.
So how will Nxtcomm be different? The press release says "NXTcomm will be a 50-50 ownership venture held in an independent company that will be overseen by a Board of Directors with equal representation from the two trade associations."
The reality is the two organizations can run a combined show, without actually having to hold hands in public. It's a marriage of convenience if there ever was one. Maybe it'll work out well for all involved, and the industry will get the big telecom show it wanted. We'll see.
— Phil Harvey, Conference Feud Editor, Light Reading