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CTIA 2012 Returns To New Orleans, Moved To May

2/24/2011 02:40:46 PM Eastern

UPDATED! Washington - The
CTIA Wireless show will return to New Orleans in 2012 for the first time since 2005,
and the show will be held later in the year than ever, on May 8-10.

 Exhibitors "wanted to use the show as an
advantageous opportunity to launch products focused on back-to-school and
fourth quarter retail cycles," CTIA VP and show director Robert Mesirow said of
the date change.

Secondarily, CTIA
public affairs VP John Walls pointed out, pushing back the show until early May
gives exhibitors and attendees some time to recuperate after January's CES and
February's Mobile World Congress, which has been pushed back next year from
mid-February to Feb. 27 to March 1.

The main reason
for the date change, however, was to give handset manufacturers and service
providers the ability to promote new products and services before the
back-to-school selling season and provide all parties, including retailers, a
leg up on what to plan for around the fourth-quarter holidays, he said. "We
spent time over two years monitoring the opinions of exhibitors and attendees,"
Walls noted.

The show is returning
to New Orleans because it "provides our attendees with a centrally located and
culturally rich destination" and because of $92.7 million in improvements to
the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, $400 million in hotel improvements, a $250
million upgrade of the Louisiana Superdome, and an increase of 300 restaurants
since 2005, CTIA said. The convention center is one of the largest meeting venues
in the U.S., and it's centrally located not only for attendees coming from
other countries, the association added.

CTIA's spring
show  hasn't been to New Orleans since
2005, but the decision to leave New Orleans for Las Vegas in 2006 show had
nothing to do with 2005's Hurricane Katrina, Walls said. Instead, CTIA planned
before the hurricane to leave New Orleans because of "a lack of support at the
time." There were fewer hotels than there are now and fewer flights into and
out of the city, he pointed out.  Such
issues have since been "addressed in abundance," he said.

CTIA has also
worked with the city to ensure enough cabs are available at the convention
center when the show lets out for the day, a spokesperson also told TWICE.
End-of-day cab shortages were a chronic problem in past years, attendees have
complained.

This year's show
is scheduled for March 22-24 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando,
Fla., where about 40,000 attendees are expected to show up.