With less than two weeks before The Cable Show, I’m personally excited about heading back to New Orleans for the first time in four years (the last time our conference was held there). Of course, in 2005, Katrina hit New Orleans & the Gulf Coast and we were told that our 2006 Show, scheduled to be held there, would have to move elsewhere. Given our long relationship with the Big Easy, we quickly made a commitment to bring the Show back there as soon as we could.
Things really look great in New Orleans. Staff members have been going down for months; one trip took place just last week. The Convention Center has been thoroughly refurbished and in terrific shape. The hotels have also been refurbished. The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau staff has been terrific in helping to put the Show together and they’re looking forward to your arrival.
Take a look at this video for a more detailed examination of what you can expect to see in New Orleans.
The trip my colleagues took last week was related to the CableCares initiative. Part of the whole motivation to go back to New Orleans is to help out the region, which is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina more than two years after the devastation. In neighborhoods around the city, nicely restored homes can be seen next to ones still boarded up. Some homes still have front yards occupied by FEMA trailers. Local restaurants, some boarded and some with smashed windows, still quietly sit abandoned along city roads.
Our team visited schools that were used as FEMA staging sites and have reopened in the last year for students again. Other schools are entirely composed of mobile classrooms. All schools noted their supplies are limited and are extremely grateful for the help we are giving.
So, CableCares is a key part of The Cable Show ’08. We’ve organized a number of activities including a book drive, the rebuilding of playgrounds, the Battle of the Bands fundraiser, among others. Some companies are also organizing their own activities: The Sportsman Channel is bringing its Hunt.Fish.Feed. initiative to New Orleans.
We encourage you to sign up for some of these on-site activities, which will take place on the weekend of May 17-18. If you’re not available, there are other ways to participate. For example, through our initiative to rebuild school libraries, for every donation of $250 we collect, we can outfit an entire classroom with a complete set of classroom books requested by the teachers.
Let’s pull together and show New Orleans that the cable industry cares.