eComm Conferences In the Visionaries

ecomm_lg.pngVoxilla readers are invited to take advantage of special discount pricing to attend eComm 2009, the conference on emerging technologies dedicated to “rethinking” the trillion dollar telecommunications industry happening next week at the San Francisco Airport Marriott, March 3 -5.

With a stated goal of discovering and presenting ways to fill the gap between what telecom operators are doing (or allowing) and what the innovation community COULD do, conference organizer Lee Dryburgh hopes to bring together visionaries, bleeding-edge technologies, real-world startups and people involved in cutting-edge academic projects to explore what he calls “the democratization of communications.”

Follow after the jump for selections from Voxilla’s exclusive interview with Dryburgh and information on how to get your tickets to eComm at 20% off the list price.


Lee Dryburgh

Lee Dryburgh

Here we are, not fully three months into the year, and the communications/electronics industry has already seen major conferences in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami and Barcelona, Spain, in addition to a new social communications event that recently concluded in New York.


What distinguishes eComm from events such as the Macworld Conference and Expo, CES, ITEXPO, Mobile World Congress and the new SocComm?

I think what the first three represent is given by their name alone; each is good and fulfills a clear purpose. You know what MWC is by reflecting for a moment that it is a congress and its run by the GSMA (a trade-industry body). The Emerging Communications conference – eComm – is distinguished by the fact that it’s the only event focused on showcasing and accelerating communications innovation. It positions itself as “The world’s leading-edge telecom, Internet communications and mobile innovation event”.

Dryburg wasn’t shy about offering his take on SocComm, a one-day event held in New York in January, that now looks to reprise itself in June:

SocComm is a new event for marketers run by self-promoter Jeff Pulver; his previous show VON went bankrupt last year leaving some US vendors unpaid, in addition attendees and sponsors were left out of pocket when the European show failed to materialize. What was quite disturbing about that case is neither Jeff nor anybody else at VON made a statement in public to say it would be cancelled and people trying to get information in order to get money back found they could not get answers – in fact, if people posted comments to Jeff’s blog he simply deleted them. Not very social I’d say!

Do you think the contracting global economy can sustain the health of so many high-tech trade shows/conferences over time, or might some of these events do well to begin employing the technology to permit “virtual” attendance?

Quite frankly there are too many events. I look forward to the global economy rectifying this! We’ve only got so much time, energy and money so it’s important to have fewer but better defined events, i.e. clearly distinguished with mission and purpose. Virtual attendance efforts have been dire and will continue to be. It will never reach anywhere near the results of bringing the best telecom/comm thinkers, doers, entrepreneurs, hackers, innovators etc. together in one venue, to live and work together under one roof for days.

How would you describe the typical attendee at eComm? Will it be primarily interesting to researchers and high-level academics, is it a forum for people to develop business and marketing relationships or is it more like a forum for discussion of conditions at the edge of the communications galaxy?

It’s a critical forum for anybody or any company who [is] accelerating communications innovation. It’s all of the above and more because to fulfill its mission, eComm must stir the right conversations which span over disciplines and industry boundaries.

Do you expect any major news to break at the conference or announcements of new “disruptive” technology?

I know it will! And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank both the companies and individuals who have chosen eComm next week to make debuts and other important announcements.

Among the speakers slated to present at the three day conference are Alan Duric, co-founder and CTO at Telio;
Alec Saunders, CEO at Iotum; Brad Templeton, Chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation; Christopher Allen, founder of
iPhoneDevCamp; David Beckemeyer, CEO at Televolution; Ge Wang, Stanford professor, co-founder of Smule and director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra; Irv Shapiro, CEO at IfByPhone, and many others. Click here for the full list of presenters.

Register here and use the promo code “Voxilla” to receive 20% off the registration price for what is sure to be a stimulating and engaging meeting of the minds dedicated to shaping the vision of the post-telecom era.