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RFID World Announces Date Change, New Strategy

CMP Technology, the media company that owns the annual RFID World event, today announced a three-year plan for its RFID business. In 2008, RFID World will be moved from its originally scheduled spring slot to mid-September. Then in 2009 and 2010, the show will return to the spring and be co-located with the business technology event Interop.
Jul 31, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

July 31, 2007—CMP Technology, the technology-focused media and marketing solutions company that owns the annual RFID World event, today announced a three-year plan for its RFID business. CMP's primary and most immediate change will be to move its flagship RFID event, RFID World 2008, from the originally scheduled spring slot to the fall, September the 8th through the 10th. Then in 2009 and 2010, the show will be moved back to the spring and co-located with the very large business technology event Interop in May. RFID World will be held in Las Vegas all three years.

"With this announcement CMP is committing to a long-term investment in RFID technology and the industry," Rob Keenan, director of CMP Technology's RFID World Group, told RFID Update. "We are making an investment in the RFID World properties to increase the attendance both in the US and globally." Keenan was appointed to head CMP's RFID business earlier this month.

Part of the reason for moving next year's RFID World to the fall was because the original dates of March 17 to 19 fell very close to those of competing show RFID Journal LIVE! 2008, which is scheduled for April 16 to 18. Furthermore, both events are to be held in Las Vegas. There had been concern among exhibitors that the closeness of the dates combined with the overlapping location might make it difficult to justify participating at both events. "The RFID industry has asked us to make a change, and we're responding," said Keenan. "We feel that by making the move to the fall in 2008, it will be best for our exhibitors, our attendees, and our event overall."

The decision to then co-locate the event with Interop in 2009 and 2010 is likely to surprise the industry. Interop is one of the largest business technology events in North America, according to CMP, with more than 25,000 attendees and over 700 exhibitors expected for 2009. Much of the show's content focuses on how distinct business technologies integrate and interoperate to drive enterprise value. Keenan explained that interoperability is a highly pertinent theme to RFID, which will ultimately become intertwined in the processes and systems of adopter companies.

Another key benefit is exposing thousands of IT decision-makers to RFID, which has the potential to elevate visibility and accelerate adoption of the technology among a wider business technology audience.

Despite the benefits, one potential drawback of co-locating with Interop is the possible perception that the RFID World show is being absorbed by a larger show and effectively going away. Not so, assured Keenan. "RFID World will be treated as an entirely independent event from Interop. It will maintain its own identity, its own registration, its own marketing budgets, and its own show floor." In fact, the RFID World Group is considering ways that it might work with Interop beyond the show in 2009 and 2010. One possibility is leveraging the Interop shows outside North America to expand the RFID World property globally, something Keenan indicated is a goal of the three-year plan.

Another goal is to grow the RFID Excellence in Business Awards program, inaugurated at this spring's RFID World 2007 by RFID Revolution and CMP. "RFID has seen some challenges and bad press in the last couple years, but there are a lot of really innovative and exciting things going on the market. We view the RFID Business Awards as our opportunity to have those things highlighted."

In addition to increased direct investment in the RFID events, Keenan said his group will use existing CMP channels to drive growth, as well as RFID adoption generally. Expect more coverage of RFID in familiar CMP business technology titles like InformationWeek, CRN, and EE Times.

Lastly, the company plans to launch a number of web-based initiatives around RFID. Keenan wouldn't comment on details, saying only that the initiatives will be launched later in the year.
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