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Globalcomm Rallies in Show Poll

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
6/24/2005

The two tradeshows rising from Supercomm's ashes are fighting for your support -- and the lead in our poll. And lately, GlobalComm supporters have been fighting harder than their rivals.

Since our last story about Light Reading's Show Wars , 36 people have voted for United States Telecom Association (USTA)’s TelecomNEXT as the next show poised to dominate the post-Supercomm industry, while 127 have voted for Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)’s GlobalComm show. The USTA camp still enjoys a slight lead, overall, though. Fifty-one percent say TelecomNEXT will be the most popular show and 49 percent say it will be GlobalComm. On Wednesday, however, Globalcomm trailed 54 to 36 (see LR Poll: USTA Takes Show Lead).

Meanwhile both USTA and TIA are making Big Show preparations for 2006. TIA apparently expects a turnout similar to that of Supercomm 2005; it will hold its 2006 event in the same place -- the McCormick Center in Chicago. Supercomm was expecting to draw around 30,000 people this year, up from 26,000 in 2004. Around 670 companies exhibited on 309,000 net square feet of space, according to TIA.

USTA will hold its 2006 TelecomNEXT show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, the largest meeting facility on the Las Vegas Strip with nearly a million square feet of exhibit space available.

Both the USTA and TIA are Washington-based and known primarily as advocacy groups; USTA represents U.S. telcos, while TIA represents telecom equipment manufacturers. Both organizations were part of putting on the Supercomm show.

Interestingly, the Supercomm fallout has divide the loyalty and budgets of potential exhibitors, according to the Light Reading poll. As of Friday afternoon, only 9 percent of poll takers said their companies plan to participate in both shows. Forty-four percent of poll takers say they will exhibit exclusively at the TelecomNEXT show, while 42 percent say they will exhibit only at the GlobalComm show.

The fact that companies are picking one show or the other shouldn't be surprising. It's tough -- and expensive -- for companies to commit to exhibiting at two large shows that are only months apart.

According to the sample budget that Supercomm provides potential exhibitors, the cost to staff a 10x10 booth with four people could run anywhere from $10,000 to more than $31,000 depending on the amount of marketing muscle flexed and the level of creature comforts enjoyed [ed. note: grass skirts extra].

Still, some larger vendors will support both shows.

Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) spokeswoman Ariana Nikitas says her company plans to exhibit at both TelecomNEXT and GlobalComm in 2006. Nikitas says Tellabs has not yet decided if it will spend as much money on the two Supercomm offshoots as it did on Supercomm 2005, where it had a two-story booth with lots of promotional signage and meeting rooms. Tellabs exhibits at about 100 shows a year, Nikitas says.

Light Reading will close the Show Wars poll on Monday, so there's still time to make your opinion known if you haven't taken the poll yet.

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

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