The mouser was amused at the CTIA wireless show in Orlando, Fla., last week. The headliner for the events annual gala was Jerry Seinfeld, who did his usual analysis of the inane. He had a great time overtly flinging the cord of his microphone around the stage while he stood under a gigantic "Wireless Lifestyles" sign and had a field day with the CTIA slogan: "Live. Work. Play." "Why dont you just add YOU MORON?" Seinfeld yelled, mocking the banner.
Later, the Kitty was rolling in the aisle when the comic began a whole shtick about advertisements that tell you the name of the product but not what the product is. The Furball couldnt help but compare the routine to the recent cryptic ad campaign of one of the shows larger exhibitors. Sure enough, after the lights came up, Spencer heard an AT&T Wireless employee murmur, "I was petrified he was going to start talking about mLife. Thank God he didnt."
CTIA offered a buffet dinner at the gala, for which attendees had certainly paid good money. Sadly, the diners exceeded the amount of food. By 7 p.m., His Hirsuteness witnessed some of the most powerful members of the industry eating bologna scraps and olives out of plastic cups because that was all that remained of the buffet.
Meanwhile, a text-messaging dictionary from Logica Networks was among the tchotchkes handed out in the requisite trade show grab bag. The Katt can only assume the PR folks who put the "freebies" together didnt quite read the guide. Page 21 of the booklet included "BRBGP" (be right back gotta pee) and "BRBIGGAT" (be right back I gotta get a towel).
It all made the Puss ponder the state of trade shows in general. The recent Comdex in Chicago barely filled the north hall of McCormick Place and was dwarfed by an adjacent Welding and Metalworks show. The Katt also heard recently that Bill Sell, who oversaw Fall Comdex, had jumped ship from Key3Media to join CeBIT to work on a conference that would bump TechXNY, formerly PC Expo, from its Javits Center spot in June next year. Now it seems a noncompetition clause in his old contract has thwarted Sells plans.
Supposedly, Fall Comdex 2002 currently has about six times the number of exhibitors as Comdex in Chicago did. That sounds like a lot, until one considers that the show took up only about one-third of that north hall. "Who needs giant halls," laughed the Lynx. "Maybe I could turn my cubicle here at eWeek into a small trade venue."
Spencer F. Katt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.