WISPA2020's In-Person, Live-Stream Trade Show a Resounding SuccessSt. Cloud, FL., November 16, 2020 – The numbers, analysis and comments are in and it all shows that WISPA2020 – WISPA’s first trade show in over a year-and-a-half – was a resounding success.
The three-day in-person/live-streamed event held at The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, in late October featured 15 panels on a wide range of operational, marketplace and regulatory topics. The convention hall also doubled as an exhibition space for WISP ecosystem vendors, showing off their latest in gear, software and services for demo and purchase.
WISPA2020 – which was originally WISPA’s big yearly confab, WISPAPALOOZA – went through a number of revisions and modifications before landing at The Paris in a much scaled-back version of the annual show. Due to COVID-19 precautions, State of Nevada and Clark County safety requirements permitted events no larger than 250 people. In contrast, WISPAPALOOZA hosts about 2,500 individuals, including over 180 exhibitors in any given year.
Though scaled-back, WISPA leadership jumped at the opportunity. “The yearly Las Vegas show plays a tremendously important role in bringing the WISP community together, helping us all learn new skills and get the tools we need to keep the industry competitive and growing year after year,” said Claude Aiken, president and CEO of WISPA. “Even in light of the restrictions, the WISPA Board and a good number of our members wanted to go forward with a modified event to help them deal with challenges wrought by the pandemic, as well as the rapid evolution of our industry.”
The live-streamed show, which was run on the EventMobi platform, proved a powerful component in making WISPA2020 the success it was. A video feed of the live panels ran in sync with each panels’ slide presentations. This was then augmented by the platform’s live chat, allowing virtual show attendees the ability to ask questions and interact with the audience, panelists and content in real time.
“This is the toughest nut to crack with the post-COVID-19 reality conventions now operate in,” said Trina Coffey, WISPA’s Vice President of Events and Operations. “For the time being, shows are going to be smaller due to legitimate health and safety restrictions, and this demands a robust and interactive platform, which engages attendees and exhibitors so they get real value for their convention dollars.”
Added Coffey, “We believe this hybrid model we’ve created is something that will stick even after C-19 passes because it works.”
COVID-19 safety played a paramount role in the design and operation of WISPA2020. To this end, WISPA partnered with Clark County, the City of Las Vegas and hotel officials to closely monitor and control the event’s safety. This work ensured that no reported cases of COVID-19 resulted from the event.
“We were honored to have WISPA work with our teams within our Las Vegas Paris Hotel Resort,” said Patrick Espinoza, Director of Sales, Caesars Entertainment. “Ultimately, this partnership achieved success in providing a safe, healthy and rewarding conference for the greater good of WISPA Attendees and the Employees of Caesars Entertainment.”
“The pandemic has only amplified the velocity of growth and change our industry presently experiences,” noted Aiken. “WISPA2020 was the best way to interact with and energize our members as we move through these incredibly challenging times, and we’d do it again in a heartbeat should the circumstances call for it.”
WISPA’s 1000 members are composed of fixed Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) and the industry that supports fixed wireless broadband, including equipment suppliers, support services, and other components needed to run a successful business. Our members, and WISPs, in general, provide broadband access to over 6 million residential and business customers, often in exclusively rural areas.