Independent Show Heats Up Baltimore


Members of the American Cable Association and National Cable Television Cooperative are convening in a steamy Charm City to learn how to better control an industry that is constantly evolving.
Executives from small and mid-size cable operators and their families will attend The Independent Show in Baltimore from July 25-27. Held at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor, this year's conclave centers on the theme "Controlling Constant Change," featuring membership meetings, eight panel discussions, keynote addresses, technology and exhibition showcases.
Attendees can register on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and then meet and greet fellow show-goers at a welcome party from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., where they can socialize and engage in an interactive version of "The Game of Life" with various activity stations.
Monday begins at 7:15 a.m. with a "Christians in Communications Breakfast," where Richard De Witt of Marketplace Chaplains USA tells his story as the group's national client expansion director.
NCTC will hold its membership meeting at 8:30 a.m., with president and CEO Jeff Abbas presenting an overview of 2009 financial information and an update of 2010 business developments. The annual election of directors and other NCTC business matters will also be conducted.
ACA's annual meeting follows at 9:15 a.m., as ACA president and CEO Matt Polka will update members on the organization's business activities, elect board members, and present ACA Member Awards. The group will provide an overview of the progress made in 2009-2010 and what it's doing to prepare for 2010-11.
The first Independent Show session, "Cable's Change Artists: Cable Leaders Discussion Panel," is slated from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. with independent cable operators joining Abbas to assess the changes in the economic climate, relationships with programmers and broadcasters and the cable business model overall. (Click here for show agenda and list of panel moderators).
The luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. will feature David Rocco of The Cooking Channel's David Rocco's Dolce Vita series.
An "ACA Update: Washington D.C. - Where Change is Constant!" at 1:15 p.m. will bring attendees up to speed on net neutrality, the National Broadband Plan, USF and other topics from the nation's capital impacting their business. ACA's Polka and Ross Lieberman will lead the wide-ranging discussion of the ongoing changes in DC.
Evening activities are highlighted by "Monday Night at Camden Yards" as conference attendees will have exclusive use of Eutaw Street, which runs between The Warehouse and Camden Yards. The O's aren't in town -- not necessarily a bad thing given their less-than-stellar play this season -- but ballpark fare from a variety of street vendors, as well as an authentic Baltimore crab boil, live music and ballpark tours are on the menu.
A buffet breakfast, sponsored by NHL Network, faces off Tuesday July 27, which features four panel sessions: "The National Broadband Plan & Title II: Changing Broadband at the Speed of Light" from 9 a.m. to 10: 15 a.m.; "TV Everywhere: How It Works" from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.; "Protecting Revenue Anywhere and Everywhere" from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and "Programmers Forum: TV Everywhere" from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Lunch will be served with Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity at 12:15 p.m., while dinner comes courtesy of SyFy. After that, the Independent Operator of the Year will be saluted. Comedian Tommy Johnagin closes out the evening.
The Independent Show's final day showcases a pair of panels: "Getting Broadband in Every Home: How Do We Get There" from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.; and "Changes on the Horizon" at 10 a.m., when executives will address the continuing impact of Google and Apple and how cable can protect and expand its business with developing technologies.
Closing remarks are scheduled for 11:15 a.m., while the "Golf Tournament & Awards Reception, sponsored by Comcast Networks, will play out at the Lake Presidential Golf Course from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.