Urgent Matters

IWCE virtual show offers educational, networking opportunities

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Six webinars on a wide range of topics will be presented, and attendees will have the opportunity to browse virtual booths, pick up electronic literature, and engage in instant-message chat with vendors and industry peers--all from the comfort and convenience of their homes and offices.

On Dec. 5, IWCE—supported by IWCE’s Urgent Communications—will host its third annual virtual trade show, an event that previews the live IWCE in Las Vegas next March and provides an end-of-the-year update to the critical-communications industry in the most convenient manner possible.

Attendees must register to participate, but the registration is free. Once completed, you will be able to access the event from the comfort of your home or office via a computer beginning at 11 a.m. ET on Dec. 5. Upon entering the virtual environment, you’ll see many characteristics of a typical trade show—including a convention center-style plaza with a host of options.

If you’re looking for educational opportunities, check out our six interactive webinars that will be offered throughout the day—start by asking questions of a panel of FirstNet officials in the morning and conclude by making inquiries of some of the leading manufacturers during a “state of the industry” session. Of course, there will a host of hot topics discussed in between, such as the future of voice over LTE and migration plans for LMR networks and 911 systems, as well as the evolution of enterprise cloud and hosted solutions.

If you’re looking for specific product information, take a virtual “stroll” through the exhibit hall, where you can “step into” the booths of some of the top vendors in the industry. You can instant-message “chat” with representatives from these companies and/or browse through electronic literature that you can place into a virtual “bag” that can be referenced at any time.

Of course, for all the excitement about broadband networks, what users often are most interested in learning is what they can do with all of this bandwidth. With this in mind, one exciting new wrinkle in this year’s virtual trade show is our App Center, which will showcase the offerings from applications providers in the industry and will include the presence of AppComm, the new applications website sponsored by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO).

Whether exhibiting in the App Center or in a full booth, the IWCE virtual trade show gives companies an opportunity to show off their wares to a large industry audience—1,500 registered for last year’s virtual trade show, which was a 33% increase from the inaugural event—without the expenses associated with building a physical booth and transporting employees to support it. If your company is interesting in exhibiting, more information is available here.

Another benefit is that the virtual booth can be leveraged as a year-round asset—exhibitors can provide a link to their virtual booths to their potential customers for a full year; they also can update their booths throughout that period. This is a benefit to attendees, as well—you can listen to archives of the virtual trade show webinars for a full year or refer an associate to them (check out the archive to last year’s virtual event).

Of course, throughout the day, there will be plenty of opportunities to network with peers and conduct chat sessions with people you may only know by name. These chats can happen at any time—if you chat during an educational session, you won’t be disturbing other members of the audience. And, yes, you can even exchange virtual business cards with new acquaintances.

Now, the virtual trade show is not the same as an in-person event, which is why IWCE offers its annual trade show every year (get more information on the March event in Las Vegas). But the IWCE virtual trade show provides many experiences that are similar to those of a live event—at a fraction of the cost, while allowing attendees and exhibitors maximum flexibility to attend to work and holiday-season activities. So, please join us on Dec. 5 for the virtual event, and/or access the archived webinars and booths at a future time that is convenient for you.

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Insights from Donny Jackson concerning the most important news, trends and issues.

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Donny Jackson

Donny Jackson is editor of Urgent Communications magazine. Before joining UC in 2002, he covered telecommunications for four years as a freelance writer and as news editor for Telephony magazine....
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