When Downsizing Means Upgrading: CTIA Drops to One Annual Conference

Faced with pressure from competing tradeshows and its members, the wireless trade group CTIA plans to go from two shows a year to a single “super show.”

Are you finding that your two big meetings aren’t living up to expectations? Perhaps you should take a cue from CTIA, The Wireless Association, and combine them.

A lot of small events take place in the second half [of the year], but there isn’t one large event with gravitational pull.

The move, according to an article from CNET News, was prompted by high competition with the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is held in January. The new “super show,” which will launch in the fall of 2014, will combine CTIA’s spring and fall events and will serve as a launching pad for new product announcements, Reuters reported. More details:

The Background

CTIA hosted a large tradeshow in the spring and a smaller, more business-focused one called MobileCon in the fall. Though the spring show was the larger of the two, it often fell short of attendance expectations and often lacked “big” product announcements since it came on the heels of CES. Also in play was the Mobile World Congress, held in February in Barcelona.

CTIA’s members—which include Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Inc., and Sprint Nextel, according to the group’s website—can make product announcements whenever and wherever they would like, and many choose to do it at CES.

The Plan

By canceling the larger show and combining it with the fall show, CTIA hopes to break new ground in product announcements and high attendance, especially before the rush of the holiday season.

“I believe the show will be bigger than the two combined,” Rob Mesirow, show director and vice president of the CTIA said in an interview with CNET.  The new name of the “super show”? Super Mobility Week.  

The new show will hit at a time when many powerful executives can make room in their schedules, which will make the CTIA show a priority, not a second thought.

“A lot of small events take place in the second half, but there isn’t one large event with gravitational pull,” Mesirow said, “and what we found is companies are looking for a place to make product announcements for the holiday season.”

The plan seems to be working so far: According to CNET News, Sprint plans to make the fall CTIA show a key component in its plans for announcing products and services. According to a press release from CTIA, several high-profile partnerships are in the works to better place the show in the top running for consumer electronics.

Is the move a good one for CTIA? Has your association changed the timing of its show to better leverage competition?


Chloe Thompson

By Chloe Thompson

Chloe Thompson is a contributing writer to Associations Now. MORE

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