Optical components

NFOEC Scrapbook

Having just returned from sunny Bore-lando, Light Reading's editors would like to take a moment and reflect on what we learned at this year's NFOEC conference.

First of all, if you were looking for signs of that roaring "economic rebound" that the folks in Washington keep talking about, NFOEC Orlando was definitely not the place to be.

Basically, the house was empty. Folks were at a loss for words. And we didn't meet many folks that felt good about being there.

"If I had known it would be like this I wouldn't have come," said Marco Pagani, president of Nortel's Optical Ethernet division.

Our thoughts exactly.

The fact that the show was held in the cavernous Orange County Convention center didn't exactly help. Good thing it wasn't held across the street in the brand-new-and-especially-cavernous-but-not-quite-finished convention center.

Of course, looking down the hallways, it was hard to tell whether you'd picked the right place.

Happily we shared the space with the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, who were yukking it up in the room next door. Their market seemed to have a little more hop. Maybe it's time to start Light Surgery? Sure, this place made it look worse than it was. The giant rooms didn't help. Don’t get us wrong, the quality of attendees was superb. But, seriously, why couldn't we all have just met at a local bar?

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rbkoontz 12/4/2012 | 11:26:35 PM
re: NFOEC Scrapbook No, not shocking that NFOEC was such a dud. Shocking that you missed the REAL show in Orlando! The APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) show rocked the house at the Sheraton! I really wanted to see a photo of Raynovich on a leash - that would be a first.
Scott Raynovich 12/4/2012 | 11:26:34 PM
re: NFOEC Scrapbook We meant to get a photo of the dog trainers, but they were an unruly bunch. By the way, are you implying that I'm dog-like or merely well bred?
st0 12/4/2012 | 11:26:33 PM
re: NFOEC Scrapbook Scott,
at least the booth is full of people look at each other... Any new gadgets on show? Any toys like Cinea dog? Anybody show off new stuff? You are the eyes and ears for us ground hogs now. No shadow for the spring?

-st (buy you a coffee at next boom time:)
rbuerli 12/4/2012 | 11:26:31 PM
re: NFOEC Scrapbook Any new developments to report or observations made while attentively attending the technical sessions ?

Tradeshows are passee unless you look for an other opportunity to party (fine with me - I bring the beer that was missing at the show) ... webex, customer involvement and focus groups are more effective specifically on a tight budget.

rzerockzeron 12/4/2012 | 11:26:31 PM
re: NFOEC Scrapbook ...directly from his Orlando NFOEC hotel room...observations by RZ:

-Surf convention seems to ride a wave (dude)
-Food ain't too bad (but stick to the fish)
-actually double the people showed up to the talks than last year in Dallas (but then, up from 10 to 20)...or was it that rooms with 200 empty chairs look more full than rooms with 1000 empty chairs?
-from their convention, dentistry looks like more stable than engineering (customers can not cut capex/opex spending or they'll look like my aunt Jenny when she removes her dentures)
-CIENA, FUJITSU and ALCATEL had no booths...too bad, my kids needed the toys!
-Booth babes are back (blond bimbos provided visual entertainment & were doing promotion for a noname web site...LR, no photos?)
-Sylvan learning centers convention-goers are all blond, good-looking yet this whole thing looks like a cult
-Nfoec job fair: 5 jobs posted...nope, mcdonalds is not hiring
-too many people in the hotel pools.

In the words of Steve Chaddick (Ciena): give me my bubble back!

That's about it. See ya next year (then again, maybe not)

fogyorfoggy 12/4/2012 | 11:26:25 PM
re: NFOEC Scrapbook On page 2 it says:
> That didn't work. We politely inquired why
> the show's organizers were surfing the Net
> while we filed stories by carrier pigeon.

Nice to see that they had RFC1149 connectivity up at least!
Vesting 12/4/2012 | 11:26:25 PM
re: NFOEC Scrapbook It appears that NFOEC is converting back towards its orignal purpose. A conference where ideas and thoughts are shared. It was never intended to be a trade show. That came about when too many vendors had too much money to spend and conference leaders were eager to get their hands on it.

Some observations:

Most of the presentations are leaning back towards a commercial for their respective companies. They got away from this for a while but it's migrating back.

The fact that an RBOC is no longer sponsering the conference should speak volumes. If Telcordia continues to be the only sponser it will be dead withing three years.

Although I agree that the trade show was sparcely attended the conference attendence appeard to be about the same as last year. More attendees are just not interested in being acosted by vendors when they have no money to spend, the vendors don't really have anything new to show and the trinkets are few and far between.

It was interesting that most of the larger booths were for vendors that have no sales and no revenue.

The photograph of the empty lobby is an attempt by Light Reading to over exagerate the low attendance. For those of you that were not there this is a photo of the lobby interfacing the convention center to the parking lot. Most of the attendees stayed at hotels well within walking distance of the convention center and never came near this lobby. Unless it can be confirmed that this photo was taken just prior to the begining of a conference day or just after it was closing I would expect this lobby to be empty.
Come on guys how about a little truth in journalism.

And finally I do seam to remember seeing a Light Reading Booth. No one seamed to be interested there either. Do I detect a little bitterness?

gea 12/4/2012 | 11:26:23 PM
re: NFOEC Scrapbook Vesting:
Sounds like you're on the money.

I remember the days when NFOEC was really about dirty, gritty rubber-meets-the-road issues that the big Telcos were facing. It was a nice, close-nit community of practical folks discussing potentially useful issues. The tradeshow portion was a nice addition, but things changed when I heard NFOEC being described as a "show"...big money came in and the tenor changed in a way that I didn't think was really appropriate, but all the $$$ floating around wasn't a bad thing either.

As for Telcordia being the sole sponsor, from what I understand that didn't happen for good reasons. Telcordia couldn't manage it's way out of a wet paper bag, and if they are the sole sponsor I agree the thing will collapse soon, even IF telcom entered a new bubble phase.
busted 12/4/2012 | 11:26:22 PM
re: NFOEC Scrapbook The Sheraton, what a pit that place was! Like a Super8 with a nice pool and lobby.

Doesn't NFOEC screen these guys?
Soup 12/4/2012 | 11:26:19 PM
re: NFOEC Scrapbook Booth babes were coming back. Woo hoo! The Surf show across the street was lots better, though.

The NFOEC show floor was pathetic. Overall, there seemed to be about four exhibitors to each attendee. I stopped and chatted at every booth, and finished the whole show in a couple hours. Most amazing/sad were the 100 Avanex guys being French-like and burning the heck out of their rapidly disappearing cash. I predict an Avanex bubble is currently echoing the overall telecom bubble, driving toward the same outcome. Sell high.

Anyway, if this was an indicator of the market, then none of us has any hope.

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