Texas Show Says it's Staying in Shape


Organizers of one of the few remaining regional cable shows report their event is alive, well and ready for its 2003 edition this week.

The Texas Cable & Telecommunication Association's annual show, now dubbed the CableConnects 2003 Regional Broadband and Technical Expo, should draw about 1,900 attendees this week. That would be par with 2002's attendance level, said president and COO Amanda Batson.

In December, the TCTA board decided to make the San Antonio meeting, scheduled Feb. 18 to 21, a more regional affair. Invitations went out to potential vendors and operators in Arizona and New Mexico, as well as to international companies.

Batson said attendees will arrive from 23 states and countries, including the manager of a cable operation at a U.S. Navy base in Iceland.

To attract new and continuing attendees, the show has expanded its sessions on basic business issues, from customer service to technical operations.

"For all of us, the major challenge is how, as an industry, to respond to the evolution in things like ad sales, which continues to be a challenge," she said. A two-and-a-half hour session will be devoted to that topic.

A long-form session will also address workforce diversity, featuring the president of the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the CEO of Creative Civilization, a major local ad agency.

Batson expects one well-attended session to feature brokers discussing financing options for small system owner-operators.

The Texas group also drew on the expertise of sister organizations, so the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing will present a program on how to drive the digital-TV business.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the American Cable Association will also be represented.