Formerly known as OSP EXPO, ISE EXPO is a fantastic networking and educational event for the telecom industry. Staying up to date is a must, particularly with the turn the industry is taking toward network virtualization. Based on what I saw at this year’s edition, I figured I would give you my recommendations on what you simply can’t miss out on at next year’s event. So, here’s my take:
1. Attend a pre-show training session
Take advantage of the training sessions that are offered to attendees. While some sessions require additional fees, the investment is well worth it: it’s an amazing way to learn about the new tools on the market while obtaining the opinion of a professional trainer on the best available tools. This year, I had the chance to attend the Testing and Troubleshooting FTTx Networks training by Light Brigade. The session included a presentation about the basics and trends in FTTx networks as well as hands on demonstrations of essential tools in the field, such as fiber identifiers, power meters, OLTS, OTDR, fiber inspection probes and more.
2. Download the show app
Download the show app on your smartphone to build your own schedule, obtain information about the presenters, the show and so much more.
3. Sign up for the demo zone
Not so keen about asking for a demonstration at an exhibitor booth? No problem. You can get all the highpoints in the demo zone. Here, attendees are divided into groups and assigned to different stations, where speakers give 10-minute demonstrations of featured products. This is followed by a short Q&A period. This formula gives you a sneak peek at the highlights and lets you maximize your time.
4. Ask keynote speakers questions
ISE always features noteworthy speakers at its events and this year’s edition was no different. Make sure to add these sessions to your schedule. Read the topic of discussion beforehand and prepare your questions in advance.
Among other impressive speakers: the opening keynote session about the transformation and the implications of SDN and NFV by Aamir Hussain, Executive Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer at CenturyLink, was one of my favorites. We know that networks are changing and that the transformation is happening quickly, but it was great to hear about the impacts of these transformations on fiber and copper networks from someone who has a far-reaching view of what lies ahead of us.
5. Stroll around the exhibition floor
At ISE EXPO, the show floor only opens once all morning sessions are completed. Aside from being extremely informative and very interesting to say the least, strolling around the exhibition floor is a great way to get free goodies! I brought back everything from golf balls to screwdrivers and even steak seasoning!
6. Throw (or attend) a get-together
Aside from having a great happy hour, ISE is an ideal setting for inviting key customers to socialize and for making new contacts. It’s also an excellent opportunity to leave the venue and get out and explore the host city’s attractions.
7. Identify seminars that interest you and learn about new technologies
ISE features many notable, fact-filled seminars. Topics covered included FTTx construction in the last mile, xDSL, Data Centers, G.fast, small cells and many more. During this busy week, I attended the G.fast and VDSL2 35b Deployment Challenges session. Presented by Andrew Long of EXFO, this was a great session in which to learn about G.fast or G series recommendations for Fast Access to Subscriber Terminals, its advantages, potential troubleshooting scenarios and differences with VDSL2 and other technologies. Missed this event? You can catch most of the content by watching this webinar.
In conclusion, ISE EXPO is a great event and I’ll make sure to attend next year on September 12 - 14, 2017, in Orlando, FL. I hope to see you there as well!