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Supercomm Trend Watch

4:30 PM -- Two pre-Supercomm observations:

1) The last day of the show is a Friday, and I fully expect the exhibit hall to be a wasteland. But I've had a pleasant surprise this week: I've been able to book a substantial meeting slate for that day. Vendors are turning out for the show, and they're not all bailing on Thursday night.

Good news for the show's organizers, in a limited way. At least the vendors showed up, albeit in the new tradeshow mode of smaller booths or modest meeting rooms. Big booth days are ending, as pointed out here. (See also: The World Just Got More Interesting.)

Less easy to interpret is this one:

2) We've gotten many briefing requests with a distinctly old-school Supercomm air. Optical gear. Forty and 100-Gbit/s news. Equipment for the middle of the network. So much for the Broadband Life.

Some of them might be like migratory birds, coming back to the show out of instinct. Some might have signed up before the show changed dates and focus. I'm sure Supercomm is glad to have them, but how sustainable is this? Would they come back in 2010?

It's possible. Some, as one vendor was telling me, might still crave the big stage of an industry-wide show. It's going to depend on whether this year's show gives them the carrier attention they want.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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