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By now, we’re all re-imagining what tech events look like in the post COVID-19 era.  While this Podcast was recorded prior to the pandemic, some of the guiding principles discussed in this program still apply.  When you think about what’s tangible and realistic to achieve with events versus overhyped promises, the insights from this program are apropos.  In episode 7 of the NEDAS Live! Podcast series, Ilissa Miller, President of NEDAS, CEO of iMiller Public Relations and co-founder of the IND-DCA, and Steve Yapsuga, Co-Chair of the NEDAS Advisory Council and North American Director of Sales for Comba Telecom, welcomed Steve Multer. Steve is a master of corporate storytelling and an icon in the world of technology events and conferences.

As an involved member of the technology event sphere, Steve is keenly aware of the changes and trends that occur in industry conferences both regional and national. He notes that over the past 15 or 20 years, a big source of talk has been the supposed demise of corporate events — whether that be a meeting, tradeshow or otherwise. However, the people who believe the end has come for these types of events have been proven wrong again and again. At the end of the day, people have not lost the drive to get together in person, shake hands and have face-to-face conversations.

So, what is the goal when it comes to bringing the industry together in this way? Well, Steve asserts that the key purpose here is breaking through the noise created by 5G and other emerging trends to decipher what is real, what is tangible, what is realistic and what can actually be accomplished versus what can be promised. While 5G is on everyone’s lips, Steve notes that in reality, many are still operating in a 4G or even 3G world. So, creating a successful event now comes down to adding an element of realism — not just focusing on hype and buzzwords. That management of expectations to form actionable and achievable goals can be the difference between an event that loses popularity and investment and one that stands the test of time.

Of course, events still have the standard focus on early adopters and innovators; they’re asking who is pivoting, how things are changing and where the money is being spent. When you break these events in the telecom and tech spheres down into national/global events and more local/regional events, Steve notes that often the bigger the event goes, the less business is actually accomplished on the show floor. On the other end of the spectrum, smaller events in key markets across the U.S. tend to allow industry personnel in attendance to get together and have more opportunities for networking and vital conversations that catalyze change.

This is exactly why NEDAS, an association located at the intersection of wireline and wireless with the goal of promoting education and collaboration, established regional conferences in key areas such as Washington D.C., Boston and New York City. While all types of events have their benefits, tapping into eminent markets while still allowing decision makers to foster real discussion and problem solving is the key to creating a connected future. Even as the world grows increasingly digitized, it’s clear that delivering opportunities for face-to-face discussion and networking will never go out of style.

To read the previous blog about NEDAS Live! Episode eight, please click here.

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