It’s (almost) time for WISPAPALOOZA 2018! And noticeably, the biggest-ever version of WISPA’s flagship industry event. Come October 8th, 2018 and over 2000 Fixed Wireless internet service providers (WISPs), industry executives, experts, vendors, consultants and others will gather at the magnificent Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino. 

For 5 days (Oct 8-12), participants will spend hours and hours learning about the latest trends in the industry, sharing their wisdom with others, checking out the latest & the greatest industry gear and solutions and most importantly, having fun!

Just by looking at the size of the Exhibit Hall for this year’s event, one can see that Wireless Internet Service Provider’s Association (WISPA), the apex member-driven organization which hosts the event was getting ready for a massive turnout at this year’s WISPAPALOOZA 2018. I’m sure they were overwhelmed by calls of potential exhibitors who missed out when last year’s show was fully booked (and some exhibitors had to make-do with smaller exhibit tables) and made plans to have a bigger space this year. And why not? The industry is growing at a phenomenal pace and new innovations come to the market almost every day and this large event happens only once a year so bring them all!

In terms of the agenda, this one promises to be another jam-packed adventure. This calls on WISPs to have more than 1 person attend the show in order to drive maximum value (many critical sessions are scheduled simultaneously). It’s best if staff from different functions can attend sessions customized for their part of the business and the team overall gains the most value.

WISPAPALOOZA 2018 will have a full agenda of 60+ interactive sessions, collocated training/events as well as a new Multi-Dwelling Unit (MDU) Track – 5 sessions hosted by the Multifamily Broadband Council.

Knowing that it’s not humanely possible for one person to attend all the sessions and some teams might not be able to be part of all what WISPAPALOOZA 2018 has to offer, we decided to have a close look at the event’s agenda and came up with a list of must-attend sessions for everyone’s benefit! In case you are interested, the full schedule and event participation options is available on WISPA’s website here.

 

WISPAPALOOZA 2018 – Must-Attend Sessions

 

1. Regulatory: Spectrum update

  • When: Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 3.00 pm – 4.00 pm (Session One)
  • Why: With fixed wireless providers in the fight of their life for spectrum, it’s imperative to understand how the current scenario related to CBRS allocation affects WISPs. It will be a good opportunity to learn measures that WISPA and members can and must continue to take in order to have a strong voice in front of the regulators.

 

2. Business: Scaling your company from 1,500 to 10,000 customers

  • When: Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 8.00 am – 9.00 am
  • Why: 1 in 3 WISPA principal member is within the 500-2000 subscriber base, according to WISPA data. Starting a WISP and acquiring the first few hundred customers is tough but scaling a business from a small business to a large ISP with thousands of customers requires a lot of planning, processes, resources and hard work. WISP owners will surely learn some tips and insights from other owners who have reached the big WISP mark in this one.

 

3. Marketing: Marketing tools on a limited budget

  • When: Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 10.30 am – 11:30 am
  • Why: Most start-up WISPs or smaller ISPs are started by entrepreneurs with a knack for technology and networking. Very often, they realize that a big challenge in being successful is not network-related but marketing – both in terms of spreading awareness and company message as well as fighting out with competition in the area. With financial resources being a key consideration, this session will talk about a variety of marketing tools that WISPs can use on a limited budget for maximum impact.

 

4. Technical: Connectivity as seen through your customer complaints

  • When: Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 4.30 pm – 5.30 pm
  • Why: Network owners and managers often look at their network connectivity from a network element’s perspective. Whether all network elements are up or down. In reality, a customer doesn’t care about network elements but the experience in his/her devices. Customer complaints, if regularly unresolved, often lead to churn and loss in profitability for WISPs. Therefore, it’s imperative to look at network management from customer’s POV. This opens up discussion on Quality of Experience (QoE) and measuring & optimizing it. This is what Preseem is all about.

Interestingly, Dan from the Preseem team will be a part of this panel so don’t miss out on some real QoE insights as well as real-world data on customer churn & connectivity from WISPs.

 

5. Advanced Tech: Network Monitoring: More than Just Up/ Down

  • When: Thursday, October 11, 2018, 3.00 pm – 4.00 pm
  • Why: The title of this session is what the Preseem team has been shouting from the rooftops for quite some time now 🙂 Network monitoring is not a black or white scale or up/down. There’s a lot of gray in this spectrum and it relates to subscriber’s Quality of Experience (QoE). It needs to be measured and optimized to ensure lower churn, reduced support calls/costs and increased revenue. Better QoE leads to happier customers and that leads to long-term profitability. WISPs will learn all about advanced network monitoring from customer’s POV in this one. Dan from Preseem will also be a part of the panel on this one so get ready for some real-world insights.

 

While these sessions are great for sharing knowledge and best-practices, the real-value, many previous participants, have said comes from the insightful interactions one has with other participants. It’s where the magic happens. WISP owners are known to be extremely supportive of others starting out or facing business challenges and share their wisdom and personal experiences openly. A lot of critical information, especially related to industry products and services comes from the vendors as well. That’s why, WISPA has two unique events to encourage conversations between WISPs/owners themselves and with the exhibiting vendors and experts.

In addition to the sessions above, make it a point to attend the following 2 events –

  1. Exhibit Hall Reception
  • When: Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 5.30 pm – 7.00 pm
  • Why: With over 140 exhibitors set to display the latest wireless gear and software solutions, one cannot miss this reception. It’s the perfect opportunity to interact with vendors and experts and check out their innovations first-hand. It’s also suggested to form effective business relationships with key staff at companies that can help your WISP get the best deals and support in the future. There’s also many collocated events and training sessions which offer in-depth product information, hosted by a variety of vendors, on offer during WISPAPALOOZA 2018. In fact, Preseem will also be conducting an exclusive event – QoE Seminar, one day before the event kicks off. More details here.

 

2. CEO Round tables

  • When: Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 9.00 pm – 12.00 am and Thursday, October 11, 2018, 9.00 pm – 12.00 am
  • Why: “Pick their brains” is how WISPA is promoting this event and rightly so. CEO Round Tables offers WISP owners (new and established) the best opportunity to talk amongst each other about important business aspects and get real, honest feedback and suggestions. This is the most candid opportunity to get answers to any kind of business challenge that one may be facing from those who have had similar experiencing running a WISP operation. Select topics are picked for these sessions based on mutual interest and then discussed and debated in a friendly fashion. Many WISPs believe such honest conversations to be a real value-add during WISPAPALOOZA.

 

That’s all! There’s a lot to do at WISPAPALOOZA 2018 so get out there, network, learn and most importantly, have fun!

If you’re interested to know more about QoE monitoring and optimization for your network, make your way to Booth #702 in the Exhibit Hall between Tuesday, 9th Oct-Thursday, 11th October, and the Preseem team will be happy to meet you. More details here.

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