The Cable Show – One Man’s Dance Card

Many times following the Cable Show, what sticks with me most are moments of sheer propinquity.  It might be a conversation I’ve stumbled into, a demonstration on the exhibit floor I’ve happened upon, or some session I found myself in by accident.  More often that not, I find that if I just keep myself moving and keep my eyes and ears open to possibilities, good things will happen.

That said, I’ve found it’s also a good idea to go into each show with a game plan.  So with that, let me detail just a handful of sessions and scheduled events I really don’t want to miss this year.

(And please don’t take my exclusion of the general sessions below as anything meaningful or significant.  I believe anyone who makes a living in the cable industry owes it to themselves to attend the general session at the Cable Show, and that not doing is a little like playing professional roulette.  I, therefore, simply assume that if you’ve bothered enough to read this, you care enough to attend each and every general session.)

Socially Acceptable: Community Engagement in a Socially-Driven Interactive World
When:  June 14 at
12:30 pm
Where:  The Park

What had at first felt like something of an afterthought — namely, this whole concept of a “park” dedicated to technology and innovation — has quickly become the one aspect of this year’s Cable Show that has me buzzing with anticipation.  I’m especially interested in seeing the wireless, interactive applications in the hour-long, three-demo segment listed above.  In fact, if there weren’t so many other things to do at this year’s show, I might just bring my tent, sleeping bag and some smores and just camp out in the “Park.”

Thoroughly Modern Marketing: CMOs on the State of the Art
When:  June 14 at 12:30 pm
Where:  The Park

Very few people in this industry are any more politically astute than CTAM’s Char Beales, and no one is less likely to hang a panelist out to dry.  But on the same token, few people appreciate the value of marketing, have a finger more squarely on the pulse of shifting marketplace trends, and know which tough questions need to be asked of a CMO more than she does.  As both the producer and moderator, Char promises to make this session a can’t miss affair.

The Wow Factory: Technologies that Advance the Cable Vision
When:  June 15 at 11:00 am
Where:  S404

I love blue sky technologies as much as the next guy, but I also like them presented to me in a next-generation sort of way.  In other words, show me the portal between the world we’re living in today and the one that lies out there somewhere.  This panel promises to be a unique opportunity for me to have my cake and eat it too, as all the panelists have both feet firmly planted on cable firma.  What’s more, with a guy like Mike Hayashi up there, there’s a good chance that whatever I learn, I won’t need a translator to learn it.

Consumer Voices: Digital Natives – Habits and Habitats of the Next Generation
When:  June 15 at
12:00 pm
Where:  The Park

I know the industry has done these kind of live focus groups before, and done so to varying degrees of success.  But this one feels different, and has me intrigued — especially if moderator Karen Stump is able to deliver on the “next generation” portion of her session’s title. Sure, the data will be largely anecdotal, and no doubt there remains something uniquely parochial about the Chicago mindset — even, I would guess, when it comes to the point at which digital technology, social media and wireless communication all intersect — but still, count me intrigued.  And I can’t wait to hear what some of my fellow Chicagoans have to say about their toys and how they use them.



To read more from M.C. Antil, visit his blog at


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