There are few events that I have been following since my teenage years and some of which have changed or are not around anymore. As a young nerd I grew up with the sole purpose of going to COMDEX, but I never got the chance. It was this behemoth of a show where, freebies aside, you got to be a part of the industry and see what was going on.
After 2003, the last year of the COMDEX conference, things seem to split into two groups: You had CES for the consumer stuff and Interop for the infrastructure and tech stuff. Effectively, the people who made the stuff work and the people who used the stuff.
The first time I got asked to speak at Interop was through Broadband Wireless World in 2005. I had a session to describe a deployment of this crazy technology, the yet-to-be-name WiMax. It wasn't just about the presentation, it was about being wrapped up and involved in the industry and being able to be more than attendee at one of these large shows. I remember the standing-room-only, 9AM session, vividly well. I worked my way through the hour-long presentation and was greeted with a line of attendees questions afterwards.
At that same show, years later and because of that presentation, I was offered a job (on the escalator at Mandalay Bay) that would take me from a local integrator level to working in the industry at a national level.
From COMDEX, to my first big presentation in Vegas, to a great job, Interop has always been a place where things happen for me. Aside from the exhibitors, the interactive InteropNet experience, the amazing sessions, and the phenomenal seasonal lemonades at Border Grill, it has also been a place to network. The relationships that can be built at this event, focused on getting 1's and 0's to work together effortlessly, can do the same for the attendees. For example, if you're lucky, you might get to know these knuckleheads too!
When I got asked to be a part of the event, I was stoked. And totally intimidated.
I tried to assemble what *I* would want to see at the event. I read through a ton of submissions to see what fantastic things people were doing and coupled that with what I was seeing in the wild.
In the end, I think we have a fantastic offering that canvases the wireless spectrum. From Wi-Fi and wireless services to real-world applications and usage. From point to point and multipoint wireless to retail analytics, it's in there.
I encourage you to attend. I encourage you to interact. And I encourage you to come up and say hi to me. If your job is asking you to go or if you're on the fence about it, come find me. Let me show you why I love this show and am so excited to be a part of it!
See ya in Vegas!
P.S. to read more about Interop, please visit http://www.comdex.com ;-)