It’s hard to believe that the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) will begin in three weeks for those of us who are attending the College of Technology sessions early in the week. Even more difficult to believe is that this will be my sixth IWCE to attend.
What amazes about IWCE is the variety of people who attend: public-safety personnel, information-technology professionals, utility-company representatives, radio-shop dealers and, of course, the myriad vendors that offer products and services to the various sectors. Everyone has a story, and they come from very different perspectives—some public-safety communicators and large vendors feel constrained by giant government bureaucracies, while many small dealers and vendors embrace their entrepreneurial existence but acknowledge that it can be lonely at times.
But regardless of the perspective, everyone at the show is trying to deliver the best possible communications to folks on the “front lines”—be it public safety, utilities, transportation or government—via a solution that provides the optimal fit for the end-user entity from a technical, operational and financial basis.
And, unlike many trade shows, an unusually high percentage of decision makers attend IWCE, which means the conversation and debate on communications topics will be especially relevant and informative, whether it’s in educational sessions or on the show floor. Sure, attendees like to fit in some fun when they can—and there’s no better place for that than Las Vegas—but most are looking for knowledge and relationships that can give them an edge as they try to deliver better communications solutions. During this tough economy, I bet attendees will be even more focused on this purpose.
In a time of tight budgets and even tighter staffing levels, it might be difficult for many to find the time and money to make the trip to IWCE, but doing so will prove to be money well spent. After all, these are times when everyone is trying to get more done with fewer resources, and being at IWCE can help arm decision-makers with the resources, knowledge and contacts necessary to achieve this challenging mission.