CTIA to merge trade shows into one event in September 2014

CTIA will merge its two annual trade shows into one "super" wireless industry event that will be held in the second half of the year. The change will occur in 2014 with the first CTIA super show, CTIA 2014, occurring Sept. 9-11, 2014,  at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas.

According to Rob Mesirow, CTIA's vice president of operations and show director, the new show will be a combination of the two former events--the annual spring confab that attracts all aspects of the North American wireless ecosystem and MobileCon, the mobile IT-focused event that tends to attract enterprise attendees and CIOs. MobileCon, which was held this past fall in San Diego, will actually be co-located at CTIA 2014.

Mesirow said that the new super event will focus on six key vertical markets within the wireless industry: networks; global consumer electronics; money; connected home; content, media and advertising; and machine-to-machine. He added that CTIA will be announcing strategic partnerships around each of those vertical markets and that he expects other events to co-locate with the event and help attract thought leadership in each vertical area.

Mesirow added that the association decided to debut its new super show in the fall so that companies can launch their mobile consumer products and services in time for the annual holiday buying season. He added that there are no other large mobile shows in the second half of the year that might compete with CTIA for attendees and exhibitors.

Over the past few years, wireless companies have complained about the difficulty of managing three major wireless events in the first quarter of the year. The Consumer Electronics Show, which is held every January in Las Vegas has become an increasingly important wireless event for device makers and operators. Likewise, many North American companies now exhibit and send employees to attend the Mobile World Congress trade show in February in Barcelona, Spain. That leaves companies with little budget and manpower left for CTIA's annual spring show, which until recently was typically held in March. 

In 2012 CTIA moved its annual spring show to May, instead of March, in order to distance it from the other events. In 2013, it will once again host its spring show in May, which Mesirow characterizes as the gateway event that will set the stage for what CTIA is planning to do in 2014.

The trade group will also host its annual MobileCon event Oct. 9-11 in San Jose, Calif. That event was rebranded in 2012 as MobileCon after being known as the "CTIA Enterprise and Applications" show, to accommodate  IT professionals and CIOs who thought the term "enterprise" was more closely associated with a wired business experience rather than wireless.  

For more:
- see this press release

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