CTIA has rebranded its fall trade show "MobileCon" as it focuses squarely on the enterprise market in the hopes of attracting a more focused audience to a show that has been searching for a clear identity.
Click here for a show floor slideshow from last year's fall CTIA event.
In an interview with FierceWireless, Rob Mesirow, vice president and show director at CTIA, said CTIA decided to drop the moniker it had adopted for the past two years--CTIA Enterprise and Applications--because IT professionals and CIOs thought that the term "enterprise" was more associated with a wired, business experience than a mobile one. "They see it as an archaic term," He said. "It wasn't progressive, it wasn't mobile. So we wanted something totally different." He said CTIA had done extensive polling and that MobileCon "scored off the charts."
The show, which officially opens Oct. 9 in San Diego, will be primarily focused on enterprise issues that span across a range of vertical markets, Mesirow said, including the adoption of the cloud, mobile security and bring-your-own-device issues in the enterprise market. "These are all things we need to address and come together on as an industry and move forward," he said, adding, "This is going to be big, big business."
Mesirow said CTIA had to "jettison" 21,000 square-feet of convention floor space because some pavilions and companies simply did not fit with the rebranded focus on enterprise. In 2010, CTIA renamed the show CTIA Enterprise and Applications (it was previously CTIA IT and Entertainment) to try to attract a more enterprise-focused audience.
The CTIA executive said that he could not recall any major companies deciding not to have booths at the show that had previously exhibited. He said the show will no longer include CTIA's "Hot for the Holidays" awards and displays, but that the trade organization is not doing away with the program.
Dell, IBM, SAP, Symantec and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) are among the headline companies at the show, Mesirow said. Mobile healthcare, transportation and energy are among the major vertical markets that have developed strong traction in the enterprise market, he added, noting that mobile commerce is also attracting more attention.
Mesirow said last year's CTIA fall show attracted 10,000 to 15,000 attendees, but he did not give a precise figure for how many CTIA is expecting this year. "I really am not as focused on driving 10,000 to 15,000 people. I'm more focused on getting the right people there," he said, adding that the focus is on delivering a "pure-play" enterprise event. "If I get 8,000 people and they're all the right people, that's a huge win because I know two years from now I'm going to have 20,000 people."
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