Your Guide to WISPAMERICA 2019
For three days starting March 19th, wireless internet service providers (WISPs), experts, consultants, and leading vendors will congregate at the Duke Exhibition Center’s ballroom in Cincinnati, Ohio for training, networking, and fun. WISPAMERICA 2019 is one of the two flagship events organized by WISPA every year. This year’s event will feature over 50 interactive sessions that cover a diverse range of topics, including technical, regulatory, business, marketing, HR, and legal.
Over 90 exhibitors are expected to showcase a wide range of wireless gear, tools, and solutions for attendees. It’s expected that this year’s event may just break all attendance records to date. And that’s saying a lot, given last year’s WISPAMERICA in Alabama had over 800 participants!
Beyond the formal sessions and exhibit hours, WISPAMERICA 2019 will start with a variety of training and events scheduled by different vendors.
In addition to the business-related activities, don’t forget all the fun! It’s a gathering of WISPs after all. For instance, vendors are planning activities from a games night to a VIP cruise on the Ohio River aboard the ‘Belle of Cincinnati,’ among others.
Above all, WISPAMERICA 2019 promises to be a great time for ISP owners and managers, employees, and exhibitors.
5 Must-Attend Sessions at WISPAMERICA 2019
WISPA is known to curate a variety of sessions in order to cater to the diverse needs of participants. If you’re a startup WISP or representing your WISP on your own, it’s not humanly possible to attend all the sessions. Therefore, based on our past experience at WISPA shows and feedback from other WISPs, we’ve taken the time to curate some must-attend sessions at this year’s event.
1. Advanced Tech: Rolling Out IPv6
- When: Tuesday, March 19, 2019, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m.(Session 2)
- Why: With IPv4 out of available IP addresses and the mega capacity of IPv6 to allocate IP addresses to a growing web world, it’s extremely important for ISPs to manage the transition. Predicting future demand and ensuring that your network is capable of working with IPv6 are other important considerations. Above all, this session will share important info on how ISPs can roll out IPv6 and should be an interesting one to attend.
2. Regulatory: Connect America Fund Update: Phase II, A-CAM and Phase III
- When: Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 8 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. (Session 3)
- Why: Connect America Fund phase II had a large number of WISPs win huge amounts of government funding to roll out high-speed broadband internet to rural America. While any government funding project has its pros and cons for the industry, this is nevertheless very consequential given the amounts of money involved. This session will highlight the latest updates on CAF funding and future rounds as well. For any fast-growing WISP looking for government funding, this will provide good insights.
3. Business: Scaling Your WISP
- When: Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. (Session 3)
- Why: Starting a WISP is hard. However, ask any WISP with 100-500 subscribers and they’ll tell you the biggest pain point is scaling up. In other words, how do you go from ‘a few subscribers’ to a full-fledged business providing internet and other services. This session at WISPAMERICA 2019 will include tips and tricks shared by other WISPs who’ve gone through the scale-up journey before. This should be a must-attend for anyone in the ‘high-growth’ phase.
4. Business/Finance: Grants vs. Debts from Executive View (Funding)
- When: Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (Session 5)
- Why: Rural broadband growth is a known government priority. As more and more government agencies announce ambitious funding plans, it’s imperative for service providers to weigh such opportunities against more traditional sources of funding, including debt. In this session, WISPs and experts will share how grants stack up against debts from a top-management/executive level.
5. Marketing – Cool Marketing Tools to Help You Succeed
- When: Thursday, March 21, 2019, 9:45 – 10:45 am (Session 8)
- Why: Marketing is one of the core functions for any business or ISP’s growth. Most WISPs, as they grow, spend a lot of time on the network and keeping-everything-running side of the business. This impacts long-term growth and the business’s ability to outshine the competition. Such owners/network managers realize that after they’ve established the basic infrastructure, getting customers signed on isn’t trivial. This session should offer a good insight into some of the marketing tools used by other ISPs in succeeding as a business.
Exhibit Hall Reception
- When: Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 4:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
- Why: WISPAMERICA 2019’s exhibit hall was sold out over two months ago. It’s packed with over 90 exhibitors ready to showcase their products and services to the industry. Beyond exhibitors gaining valuable feedback and potential sales from such shows, it’s interesting for participants/WISP owners as well. You get a chance to voice your feedback and give potential product development ideas, as well as establish long-term relationships. As you grow your business, these can help secure advance offers and special conditions as well as beta access to cutting-edge developments. Don’t miss this one (there’s delicious food and drinks as well)!
If this is your first time attending a WISPA show, don’t forget to:
- Pack comfortable shoes (there’s a lot of walking!)
- Attend as many sessions as possible
- Participate in all informal/owner networking sessions
- Have fun!
If you’re interested in learning more about QoE monitoring and optimization for your network, make your way to Booth #104 in the Exhibit Hall during WISPAMERICA 2019 and chat with the friendly Preseem team!