Confabs crush skeds

Companies find number of conferences to attend has doubled

CTIA, 3GSM, TelecomNEXT — it’s enough letters to drive an exec, and the people who manage his schedule, insane.

As the entertainment and mobile worlds move closer, many companies are finding that the number of conferences they must attend has essentially doubled. The crunch is particularly acute this week, with MIP TV in Cannes (April 3-7) overlapping Las Vegas’ CTIA confab.

While the conference explosion has been a boon for new players trying to get exposure, it can be a tedious proposition for execs at more established firms. “It’s to the point of craziness,” says Sprint’s John Burris.

The flood of confabs has execs at both content and technology companies alike frequently crossing over. Sprint goes to content shows like NATPE and MIPCOM on top of all the traditional (and new) mobile technology confabs. Disney’s Bob Iger and Time Warner Cable’s Glen Britt recently spoke at TelecomNEXT, and Britt will keynote at CTIA. Meanwhile, Qualcomm biz development director Omar Javaid and Ericsson marketing prexy Per Nordlof just spoke at MIP TV.

“We want to go to as many places as possible. But you simply can’t,” Burris notes.