ITEXPO begins in:   New Coverage :  Asterisk  |  Fax Software  |  SIP Phones  |  Small Cells
March 2007
Volume 10 / Number 3

Win-Win Situation

By Richard “Zippy” Grigonis, The Zippy Files


One of the few downsides to being a journalist is to be forever precluded from winning corporate contests, particularly those held by one’s own corporation. It’s got something to do with Journalism being a sacred trust, which it actually used to be when I was a kid and got to read real newspapers such as the two greatest of them all, the dearly-departed New York Herald Tribune and New Jersey’s Newark Evening News. Now, of course, we’ve got Anna Nicole in the headlines, and I could be appearing on American Idol if I just had the gumption.

In any case, Yours Truly was present at TMC’s ITEXPO East show in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, patiently waiting for the last event of the last day, when Rich Tehrani, with his usual aplomb, presided over the Grand Finale of the show — the drawing for a sunny yellow Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV. The lucky fellow who won it turned out to be from my home state of New Jersey: Ari Zoldan, of Launch 3 ( a company that invests in communications companies worldwide. (See the camera phone photo that accompanies this piece.)

In a sense, however, everybody at ITEXPO East was a winner. Exhibitors loved the attendance traffic, a big increase over our previous show in San Diego. Attendees got to meet and greet a host of new up-and-coming companies. Analysts and venture capital people were poking about everywhere. And corporate types intent on purchasing one of those new-fangled IP phone systems showed up with their “short lists” and asked lots of questions. ITEXPO East had all the hallmarks of a successful show.

Expo/conferences are funny things. Some of them go through life cycles, like a living organism, or move in lock-step with the current robustness of their industry. One mistake (or a series of them) can lead to a death spiral — take Computer Telephony Expo, for example, which was once the hottest thing going in telecom and is now just a quaint memory. (Of course, if it hadn’t vanished along with Computer Telephony magazine, Yours Truly wouldn’t be here, dutifully enlightening our readership.)

In the case of the ITEXPOs, we’re now on a roll, one which doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon. Many denizens of corporate America as well as the telecom industry come to our ITEXPOs to be educated, informed, to spread some gossip, to chat up some new item, and ultimately to do some business. Representatives of both enterprises and service providers can be found at an ITEXPO, talking, negotiating, buying and selling. I’ve been in telecom media since 1994, and I must admit that TMC is the most accommodating, make-the-customer-feel-good company in this business — they’re also the nicest bunch of guys I’ve ever worked for, which is not too surprising, if you’ve ever seen my resume!

Our next big show will be at the Los Angeles Convention Center, a big futuristic building that regularly appears as a backdrop in commercials and science fiction movies such as Starship Troopers. I have no doubt that things will be even more busy there than they were in Fort Lauderdale, which is good. More happy buyers and sellers. IP Communications is on the march!

I don’t even mind not winning the Toyota — after all, I don’t drive!

Richard “Zippy” Grigonis is Executive Editor of TMC’s IP Communications Group.



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