What Happens in Vegas, Didn't Stay Very Long

Carl Ford : 4G Wireless Evolution
Carl Ford
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What Happens in Vegas, Didn't Stay Very Long

In my opinion, CTIA, which took place in Vegas last week, suffered quite a bit for a number of reasons.  Now that CTIA is no longer fighting the battle with GSMA, the event was suffering from survivor's guilt. 

The show could have been about the iPhone.  It seemed that anyone and everyone (except Docomo) walking the aisles of CTIA was carrying an iPhone.  Apple did not participate in CTIA and beyond the announcement that Skype is now on the iPhone, there was no Apple iPhone presence at the event. Without the iPhone presence at the event, applications became the subtext of the show. RIM announced its' new app store along with a series of new partnerships with content providers.  Although the show was active and there was obviously business activity taking place,   there was no break out news or activity taking place. The most happening thing was the FierceWireless party! Maybe the event was just to close to Mobile World Congress.  Or is it possible that as the CTIA moves closer to the mainstream GSMA community, innovation will suffer? So although CTIA suffered from less foot traffic and a lack of major product announcements the event drew a crowd of wireless enthusiasts ready to embark on a very exciting time in the industry. 

Another aspect was Vegas itself is hurting....  I think the "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" ad campaign may be creating a backlash and creating the perception that Vegas events are boondoggles that may cause both employer as well as spousal concerns. .  Despite its efforts to be a family place, it's hard to imagine how Vegas can be the ideal family vacation destination.  While in a cab (the most expensive experience of the trip), I saw a mother walk past strip club billboards with grade school kids in tow - quite a contrast.  And the glitz seems hollow with few people walking into the chic stores and everyone walking by (Note no one ever seems to be happy in their walks between casinos in Vegas, the look resembles a troop on the last mile of a forced march). 

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