Friday, April 03, 2009

Impressions of CTIA 2009

I just came back from CTIA in Vegas, biggest US show for wireless. I was sick, but I dragged my body around for two days. I believe it was worth the effort.

  1. The show was smaller, but not too small. That made look the floor quite crowded at times. However, looking at the lines at Starbucks, there were way less people than the last years (unless the downturn makes people less interested in coffee). There was a show beside CTIA, about car washing. Another market that might not suffer too much in this economy ;-)
  2. The atmosphere was not upbeat but neither downbeat. Right in the middle, with a tilt towards upbeat (many people thinking the worst is behind us, see the numbers of RIM today if you need a proof)
  3. There was absolutely no news to report. No new devices worth mentioning. No nada.
  4. Networking was great as usual. The quality of the people that attended was very high (and with quality we mean rank in a large scale organization with cash to spend, of course)
  5. Best thing in the show was a real Formula 1 car, with a simulator that actually moved the car left and right, back and forth (for acceleration and braking). Awesome. I scored a pretty good time, but I wished I could have played a lot longer. Nothing to do with wireless, but hard to beat
My conclusions:
  1. I decided last year that it was going to be our last time exhibiting at CTIA. I have zero regrets. The show has no meaning left. It is after CES and MWC in Barcelona. Everything happens before it. Move it to September and we'll talk about coming back to exhibit
  2. It is worth going, even sick, because everyone is there. The networking is great. With the prices in Vegas this time (I got a room at the five stars Wynn for $119, and a free upgrade to a Tower Suite. Circus Circus was going for $17 a night...) and the cheap flight from the Valley, it makes it even better. You meet 10 people from the East Coast and your cost analysis shows a 50 times ROI. $200 for two days of back-to-back meetings are hard to beat. I will definitely be back next year.