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RFID World Sees Return of Its Founder

TechInsights, the integrated media company that hosts the annual RFID World, announced that it has hired Timothy Downs as an adviser for this year's event in September. Downs was founder of the show, and his participation could represent an injection of the vision that originally made RFID World one the industry's leading events.
May 15, 2008This article was originally published by RFID Update.

May 15, 2008—TechInsights, host of the annual RFID World, announced that it has hired Timothy Downs as an adviser for this year's event in September. Downs was founder of the show, running it from its 2002 inception through 2006. His participation in RFID World 2008 this fall could represent an injection of the vision that originally made RFID World one the industry's leading events.

In a conversation with RFID Update yesterday, Downs emphasized his goal for the show: that it be a service to both the industry, and to end users learning about and buying the technology. "We will find any way to bring in domestic and international buyers of this technology," he said.

Downs noted that the adoption of RFID has evolved considerably in just the last year or so, and that this year's show would reflect that. "At the end of the day, RFID has to solve a problem, a pain point, for a corporation. So what you're seeing is more emphasis on solutions than on the technology itself, like tags or readers," he explained. "It's a different time in the industry, and hopefully we can bring in a wide range of content, attendees, and exhibitors to capitalize on that."

Downs noted that RFID World serves a different role than the industry's other main annual event, RFID Journal LIVE!. "I've always believed that RFID World, with its lower pricing and positioning, appealed to a wider range of corporate buyers, even if they were just exploring RFID or were new to it. We always strived to bring in a more diverse range of people that are using and testing the technology."

Downs would not comment on plans for next year's RFID World, which was slated to be co-located with the very large business technology event Interop in May, 2009. TechInsights had announced that plan as part of a new strategy for the event, which showed lackluster performance in 2007 (see RFID World Announces Date Change, New Strategy). "If our goal of this show is to serve the industry -- and that is our goal -- then [in 2009] we will choose a date and location that serves the needs of the industry."

As for the upcoming 2008 show, it will be held at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas from September 8th through 10th. The industry will be watching closely to see whether the show recaptures the leadership it enjoyed as the first major RFID event.

RFID World was bought by CMP Media in early 2006 as part of that company's $12.3 million acquisition of Shorecliff Communications, which owned a portfolio of technology-related events and publications in addition to RFID World (see RFID World Show Acquired by CMP Media). Downs stayed on through about half of 2007. Earlier this year, CMP divided itself into four distinct groups: Everything Channel, TechInsights, TechWeb, and Think Services. At that point RFID World became part of TechInsights.
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