ConvExx Launches APPCON Show for Smart Phone Apps

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Las Vegas, NV – The number of applications for wireless smart phones hitting the market has reached blizzard proportions, and trade show veteran Chuck Schwartz and his team at ConvExx will launch a conference and exhibition this Summer that may become one of the more important events in this booming field.

APPCON 2010 debuts at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas August 24-26. It is the first “app” conference and expo that is open to all interested attendees and exhibitors, rather than being an exclusive corporate event staged by a single equipment vendor. “The mobile application industry is on fire right now, but most developer’s forums are restricted to a specific platform,” said Jeff Pressman, COO of ConvExx. “APPCON is the first event to open the doors for all platforms.”

The launch comes on the heels of App Planet 2010, which was co-located with Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona in February and drew more than 20,000 attendees. APPCON, which isbeing co-produced by Taptopiais thus far the only similar event in North America that is open to all comers. “There are already a lot of conferences out there that are being produced by one particular platform provider that help people work with that one particular platform, such as an Apple or Blackberry device,” Pressman said. “There is not a conference like ours that is independent of a particular manufacturer.”

Although ConvExx is best known for the SEMA Show auto products exhibition, it compiled a wealth of experience in new technology events with International CTIA Wireless, a pioneer trade show for the cell phone industry.

ConvExx is anticipating the sale of about 13,000 net square feet of exhibit space in the ballrooms of the Paris and a total of approximately 100 exhibitors. Since many of the exhibitors are likely to be start-ups and smaller companies, the ease of move-in and move-out at the casino and the budget room rate are considered selling points, Pressman told Trade Show Executive. He added that potential exhibitors also include various heavyweight smart phone manufacturers and software developers that see apps as a new and potentially profitable area to branch out into.

The exhibit hall will be relatively low-key by Las Vegas trade show standards. Exhibitors planning a large and glitzy display may be asked to tone things down so as not to overwhelm the other vendors. “For our first time, we want to make sure it is controlled and doesn’t become focused on one particular exhibitor,” Pressman said. “We aren’t limiting the exhibit size, but as the contracts come in and it looks like someone wants to take up too much space, then we will have conversation with them about controlling it.”

APPCON’s selling points will focus more on education and networking rather than on displays of products and services. The reason, Pressman said, is that mobile apps are in their infancy. While the event will eventually grow into a major convention center show with a large exhibit hall, it is currently made up mainly of bright individuals seeking to learn about the technology, marketing and people driving the industry. “Having the show on a smaller scale gives everyone a better opportunity to network,” Pressman said. “You can lose that at a larger trade show. We want to keep it on a scale where everyone can benefit.”

ConvExx is setting aside an area of the exhibit hall, dubbed Indie Alley, specifically for independent apps developers. There will also be Fast Pitch, the evening reception at which select developers will be given a six-minute slot on stage during which they can give their peers a demonstration of their particular new application. “Part of our strategy is making sure that everyone who wants to participate in the future of mobile apps can get their name out there and meet others who are involved in the industry,” said Pressman.

The inaugural APPCON promises to provide a memorable experience for the pioneers of the mobile applications industry that will lay the groundwork for what may become a must-attend annual event.

Reach Jeff Pressman at (702) 450-7662 x105 or jpressman@appconlv.com