I’m back in the office today after a long week prepping for and subsequently attending Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO and Green Technology World Conference.
The advance team hit the ground running last Saturday, and it seems we didn’t stop ‘til we got back to JFK Thursday afternoon, and even then a quick scan of the accumulated e-mail showed there was more to do. As concerns e-mail, there’s ALWAYS more to do.
My overall impressions of the event (I’m sorry I don’t do impressions…
) are as follows:
Exhibit Hall: The exhibit hall was abuzz from beginning to end. There was a constant flow of attendees, and my informal polling of exhibitors showed that they were happy with the number as well as the quality of leads they were receiving.
Anecdotal evidence suggests the hall was full of service provider attendees, but I heard exhibitors talking up the end user community as well as resellers who were in attendance. As expected, there was a bit of something for everyone who attended and for those who came to showcase their wares.
Conferences: The quality of the sessions was high. I want to take this moment to thank the speakers who gave generously of their time to help us educate the conference attendees. As one of the organizers of the conference program, I am truly grateful that you took the time to join us in Los Angeles this past week, and I look forward to seeing many of you again in Miami, in January.
The attendance at the conferences was steady, and my personal observation was that in addition to the Trixbox certification/training and SIP trunking seminar, some of the more popular areas of the conference were the Service Provider, SIP, Unified Communications, and Essential Issues sessions.
I was also impressed by the level of questions the attendees asked, and it was gratifying to see just about every session end with compelling Q&A that escalated into a follow-on conversation in the hallways. It appears that the people, they hunger for knowledge.
Events: There were a few notable events taking place outside of the exhibit hall, including a poolside reception hosted by Fonality, a poolside party on the roof of the Standard Hotel hosted by Global Touch Telecom... And I didn’t fall into the pool at either event, so that’s a positive takeaway! :)
Green: While there was always an available seat to be had in the inaugural Green Technology conference sessions, the quality of the presenters and the content in general was amazing. And the attendees were some of the most dedicated conference-goers I’ve seen in quite a while, with questions always at the ready and a real serious interest in pushing the greening of technology. I enjoyed moderating two panel discussions at the event and I guess the mark of a good panel is that I learned a lot from my position behind the podium, and you’re likely to see the results in a series of upcoming articles on the Green Technology World Web site.
There are so many angles to the green initiatives sweeping every nook of our industry, and it’s important that the vendors and the media covering the greening of technology stop and take the time to listen to end users to ensure we’re all in tune with what the needs of the marketplace truly are.
I want to thank all those who participated in this first-ever Green Technology World Conference: speakers and attendees alike. I, for one see a huge opportunity ahead. Being at the first "anything" certainly has it's own merits, and I want to reiterate my gratitude to everyone involved.
Travel: Aside from a single bad experience at the check-in line at LAX — is it really necessary to travel with TWO small dogs, who feel the need to communicate... at 5am? — the trip in and out was smooth. I splurged a bit and cashed in some upgrade points and was able to enjoy the “front of the plane” experience, so that was certainly a plus. For all the wonderful restaurants LA has to offer, the challenging schedule of producing a trade show does not always lend itself to eating well. Evenings at Ciudad and Dodger Stadium produced the best meals. I can’t possibly recommend the bar menu at the Wilshire Grand. For a native New Yorker, I just don’t understand how you can serve flavorless pizza. You think it’s the safe choice, but… Maybe they just don’t know how to do Italian, because the following night’s chicken parm in the hotel’s “Italian” restaurant (again, how tough is it to do chicken breast smothered in cheese and sauce?) would have been better if it came in a box labeled Hot Pockets.
That’s it for my first run-through of impressions. I’ll have a more vendor-specific “what did I see at the show” entry later. It’s bagel day at TMC today, so I’m enjoying some breakfast.