New Orleans: The Future Is Back

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With the cable industry’s biggest convention returning here in seven months, organizers felt it important to invite exhibitors in to see the convention center, visit the hotels and walk the streets to get a feel for how ready the city is for 15,000 attendees to descend next May.

The answer seems to be: As ready as the city was the eight times the National Show was held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center before Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005.

At least that seemed to be how those 30 or so representatives of network groups such as Showtime, Fox Cable and Turner Broadcasting System, as well as technology vendors such as Fujitsu Network Communications and Juniper Networks, reacted after touring the refurbished convention center and asking questions about available labor and hotel renovations.

“To me, it seemed pretty much the same,” Kathy Govier-Hirsch, event marketing manager at Turner Network Sales, said after the meetings on Oct. 17 and 18. While portions of the city are still suffering and that’s not to be discounted, “for the purposes of The Cable Show, I think the city is ready.

“And I’m looking forward to going back,” she added. “I love New Orleans and I think people in the cable business really want to bring this business back to the city.”

This was the first time the National Cable & Telecommunications Association has invited exhibitors to tour the upcoming National Show venue, NCTA senior vice president of industry affairs Barbara York said.

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