Five Reasons to be in Miami for the ITExpo

As it gets colder in Canada by the day, Miami is looking better by the minute. Weather, beach and Latin music aside, it's time to start thinking about why TMC's ITExpo is the place to be later this month for all things related to communications. Here are my fave five...

1. The ITExpo. Having cracked the 10 year barrier, TMC's flagship event has become a cornerstone of our market, especially for anyone focused on enterprise and SMB communications. Many shows have come and gone in this space, and ITExpo keeps getting bigger and better. There are lots reasons to be there, and you don't have to spend much time at the show's website to see why. Digium/Asterisk World is a reason all by itself, but there's much, much more to see and do. If you can only look at one quick link, try this one - it's a great summary from Rich Tehrani about who's coming and the sessions you can see there.

2. Smart Grid Summit. Self-promotion aside, this is our second summit with TMC, and it didn't take long to expand this into a three-day program. We know we're on to something good here, and I really believe this is one of the ways that the ITExpo experience is truly different from most any other communications conference. We have keynotes from Redline Communications, Fujitsu, the Secure Smart Grid Association, and Ron Sega, a former NASA astronaut. Our agenda and roster have pretty much filled out now, sponsorship and industry support has been strong, and we've added a BOF session with the SIP Forum to talk about their new Smart Grid working group.

3. 4GWE. We have followed in the footsteps of Carl Ford and Scott Kargman to partner with TMC for a vertical event. Their wireless event has been a success from the start, and provides a lot of depth into all things LTE and 4G. Whatever stolen moments I can take from my Smart Grid duties, I'll be checking out their sessions. A sidebar to this is the M2M event, which they also put together, and is another important vertical for emerging communications technologies.

4. Cloud Communications Summit. Just as we've followed 4GWE, our good buddy Thomas Howe has followed us. He's teamed up with TMC to put this one day event together during the Expo. Tom will always be Mr. Mashup to me, but this venture will be a great showcase for something much bigger. It's one of the big trends I'm following this year, and am hoping to contribute some content that will be included with material Tom is preparing for the attendees.

5. Telephony Startup Camp. I feel like I'm building a pyramid here. One step behind Tom is Larry Lisser - another colleague I've worked with on several occasions. Larry is one of the best guys out there for working with startups and getting them to market. He also had brought a new concept to TMC, and hats off to them for running with this is as well. The economy can't suck forever, and in time, startups will get their mojo back. There are lots of reasons to believe that we'll see momentum build in 2010, and Larry has put together a mini-event to showcase a series of startups. The lineup hasn't been announced yet, but it will be series of 15 minute pitches. I don't think ITExpo has done this before, and I think it's a great way to expand their reach and give startups a new platform to show their stuff. Larry's event runs Thursday evening, and I hope to catch it after we finish up our Smart Grid sessions.