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CTIA reinvents fall enterprise conference

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:52pm
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

CTIA is overhauling its fall conference with a complete brand realignment and a concerted effort to shift the focus of the show toward an audience primarily of CIOs and CTOs.

"With regard to the fall event, it's always been an enterprise-focused event, but also had consumer content-related topics that were incorporated into the event, and that's just no longer the case. We're really 100 percent focused on the enterprise," said Rob Mesirow, vice president of CTIA, in an interview with Wireless Week.

The show, which was previously branded CTIA Enterprise and Applications, will now be called MobileCON. CTIA has actually cut 2,100 square feet of the expo floor to remove those companies that didn't have an enterprise focus.

Major carrier partners such as AT&T and Verizon are backing the new focus of the show, as are newcomers such as SAP and IBM that will highlight security and enterprise-related topics. MobileCON is slated to run from Oct. 9-11 at the San Diego Convention Center.

With the refocus on the enterprise solidified, CTIA is moving quickly filling in remaining vacancies in its schedule. Mesirow said the final day keynote will be a mobile commerce roundtable. Right now, that roundtable is scheduled to consist of Michael Abbott, CEO of Isis; Dekkers Davidson, head of mobile for Barclaycard; and Hill Ferguson, head of global products and payments for PayPal. Others are to be announced.

Previously announced keynotes for the first two days of the event include: Robin Bienfait, CIO of Research In Motion; Scott Griffith, chairman and CEO of Zipcar; Sanjay Poonen, president of technology and innovation products of SAP; Steve Trilling, chief technology officer of Symantec; and Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of global business services at IBM.

"What's really changed here is that it's really more of a user conference meets tradeshow format," Mesirow said, noting that the event will be concentrated into certain areas, with networking, exhibits and educational content all happening right on the show floor.

“One thing that we’ve learned is that these enterprise professionals want to learn from each other. They don’t really want to hear from vendors or the carriers, they really want to hear from their peers about how they’re overcoming the obstacles,” Mesirow said.

One thing CTIA is expecting will be a big topic for attendees is security.

“We’ve actually hired a vice president of cybersecurity in-house here at CTIA, because security is such an important topic,” Mesirow noted. “We can’t talk about cloud or BYOD until people know that their networks are going to be protected.”

After a series of keynotes and boardroom sessions, MobileCON will kick off with a networking reception to accompany the opening of the show floor on Oct. 9, the first day of the show.

The revamp of the fall show will not affect the CTIA Wireless show, which takes place in the spring.

"This is really just to get focused on where the industry is headed, and a lot of the companies in the mobile ecosystem are targeting the enterprise space right now," Mesirow said.

Stay tuned for more upcoming breaking news from MobileCON, as Wireless Week will be the official publisher of the show daily for the conference.

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