TIA, USTELECOM Get Back Together for 2007 Event

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the United States Telecom Association (USTelecom) announced Wednesday that they will renew their partnership for a single telecom industry event in 2007. The new event, NXTcomm, will be held June 18-21 in Chicago at McCormick Place and will replace both GLOBALCOMM and TelecomNEXT in 2007.

The two associations TIA principally representing vendors and USTelecom principally representing service providers and entertainment companies had partnered since 1988 to produce SUPERCOMM, the industrys largest trade show. The organizations parted ways after the 2005 event, which was traditionally held every year in June. This year, each group held its own event USTelecom with TelecomNEXT in March and TIA with GLOBALCOMM in June.

The announcement of the split in 2004 was met with immediate criticism from SUPERCOMM exhibitors that did not want to invest in two events back-to-back.

When asked if exhibitor complaints following the 2006 events prompted the recombination, USTelecom President and CEO Walter B. McCormick Jr. deflected the question to moans and groans from the press corp. He said, The decision came with a new vision for a new world.

TIA President Matt Flannigan, who is set to retire from his post at the end of the year, conceded, the industry was clamoring for one strong show.

When asked whether the initial breakup was a mistake. McCormick said, The world was different two years ago.

He added that both shows in 2006 were successful on their own. Its a case of one plus one equals more than two, he said. USTelecom claimed 10,000 registrants and about 150 exhibitors at its TelecomNEXT show. GLOBALCOMM recorded more than 18,500 and more than 500 exhibitors. SUPERCOMM, by comparison, was usually 25,000-plus and 600-plus exhibitors.

Indeed, many exhibitors and attendees participated in both events to test the waters, making 2007 the deciding year for the success of the respective events.

McCormick chafed at the characterization that NXTcomm would be SUPERCOMM born again. He said, Its all about the new converged world.

In a press statement, McCormick elaborated: NXTcomm will be about doing business about advancing an industry of central importance to the modern information economy and showcasing whats next across the colliding worlds of information, communications and entertainment.

NXTcomm will be a 50-50 ownership venture held in an independent company that will be overseen by a board of directors with equal representation from the two trade associations.

Las Vegas is being considered as a possible location for 2008.

Telecommunications Industry Association

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