One of the industry’s major conferences, WIA’s Connect (X), has been cancelled…at least the live event in Miami has. In keeping with the theme of bringing the world together via wireless connectivity, the show will go on however, and be rebranded as “Connect (X): All Access. The date has been set for May 19, according to the WIA press release.
WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein spoke with Inside Towers yesterday about the new format. “We want to serve the role of bringing the industry together,” Adelstein said. “This is a crucial time, and we still want to bring top industry leaders together to discuss the challenges we face, workforce development, trends in capex and more.”
WIA Board member and Treasurer, and CEO of Vertical Bridge, Alex Gellman, said “We’ll miss the socializing but the content will be as good or better. The lineup is very good and so are the training materials. All of my company has been through it.” Gellman said the new format is well worth investigating. “It will be impressive,” he said.
The virtual option, which Adelstein said received strong support from his board, is one they have been considering for a while. “All of the resources generated from the conference go to support advocacy interests. We’d much rather have them go there then to some hotel we’re not using.”
WIA Chairman David Weisman, and President & CEO of InSite Wireless Group, said, “This is an opportunity for the wireless infrastructure industry to practice what we all preach: mobile connectivity and 5G continue to provide all of us with new ways to stay connected and involved in a manner that defines how we all work and live.”
The event will not only feature talks from industry leaders, but also a virtual exhibit hall for those that had planned on displaying their products and services. “We are expecting it to attract more eyeballs from national and international viewers than would make it to Miami,” Adelstein said.
WIA Secretary Jay Brown, President and CEO of Crown Castle, said, “All exhibitors, sponsors, attendees, and partners of Connect (X) should look forward to the virtual experience that will be Connect (X): All Access. I am confident that Connect (X): All Access will deliver emerging content on an innovative platform.”
WIA said attendees have “several options for your existing investment in Connect (X) 2020, beyond Connect (X): All Access” and can research them via a feedback form. Connect (X) 2021 will be held in Boston May 25-28, 2021.