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Marianne Paskowski

I Beg to Differ

October 8, 2007 1:16 PM

I don’t agree at all with the TVWeek editorial this week that suggests it’s a bad idea for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association to try to combine many of the various trade organizations events into two weeks in spring and fall.

I think it’s a swell idea, and inevitable. First of all this meeting Oct. 22 in New York getting all the groups together will not result in a decision; it likely will be just another step in what has been a seven-year dialogue among the groups.

Here’s what I would do. I would combine the NCTA national show with the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers under one roof. Why? The NCTA, from an exhibitor’s point of view, is by and large a tech fest that largely gets repeated another month or so later with the SCTE show. And the big-ticket item is the expense of having a booth on the floors of both venues. That’s a no-brainer.

Every one of the organizations has become a hydra-headed entity. Take Women in Cable & Telecommunications. It has a lunch in New York during Diversity Week in September, then holds a black-tie gala in Washington two months later in November and has a program running during spring break in New York.

CTAM, by contrast, has already made the first step. It’s moving its annual Summit from the summer to the fall and has already folded its old digital conference into the Summit. Good move. CTAM could further tighten its belt by folding its winter research event into the Summit as a separate track.

And then there’s the Cable Center holding its Hall of Fame dinner this week in Denver. Years ago that dinner was held at the NCTA show, and that’s where it belongs, especially because Denver is no longer the hub of cable, but a ghost town with a museum that few in this business actually believe should exist.

There are other ways to skin this cat. The new venues for cable operators are now the Consumer Electronics Show and wireless shows. Couldn’t cable find a way to piggyback onto some of those shows that are the venues of the future? I rest my case.


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Comments (6)


Thanks to you and TV Week for getting the discussion about cable event consolidation front and center at the water cooler. Every cable association's events were created to solve a perceived need -- from a specific target group or for funding. But, times change and the associations need to be looking at remodeling creaky structures to stay fresh and in sync with changing business needs.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Observer,

Thanks for your comments, I coulda, shoulda, and now will say more. Didn't mean to single any one group out, I meant to single them all all, including all of the non profits like Cable Positive. We all believe in their missions, but the industry has evolved and so must they.


sick and tired:

Thank you for having the courage(unlike me) to say what everyone else is thinking.Though not PC the truth is, no one has time or inclination to attend all the 'must attend' functions this industry is putting forward these days. The idea of consolidating into two weeks a year makes great sense for all involved. The associations will get better and more engaged participation, companies will not suffer the travel and opportunity costs and the individuals won't feel pressured to be places they don't need to be. We love our industry associations and each one of them does great things in their own right... putting them together will strengthen- not weaken- the whole. I applaud the effort. sick and tired

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Sick & Tired,

Appreciate the post. Now let's hear from the other side who think I'm full of hot air. I know you're out there.


leave us alone:

Hot air

Leave our industry associations alone. We love them each for what they bring to the table and one of the best things about our industry is our associations and the commeraderie and collegiality that comes with them. Without them, we are like every other mature industry. The missions are NOT the same for each association and they will be forever diluted without the opportunity to express their uniqueness. I agree with your publication. On this one.. you are all wet!
Leave us alone

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Leave Us Alone,

The problem is you will be left alone without support. Listen to what the heads of cable companies are saying. You need to change with the times. And I think that means forging new partnerships.

Thanks for the post.

Hot Air Here or All Wet, Or Right On,

You Pick

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