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Alive?



channel live logoThe industry’s twice annual bash – Channel Live – held in the deep South and North of England is now an annual bash in the Midlands in September. This is either a sensible change or a bit of a disaster. The Southern event was by far the biggest and could attract day trippers while the Northern jaunt was smaller and cosier and required hotels for some of us. I suspect the Birmingham binge will require hotels for most now. We’ll see what happens but I suspect it’ll work.

The organisers tell us that:

“Channel Live is the UK’s only ICT trade specific conference, exhibition, thought leadership and networking event rolled into one. Only at Channel Live can Resellers, VARS and other Channel Partners openly discuss margin opportunities with vendors and solution providers.”

Which is a bit problematic as we’re not a re-seller of anything and don’t consciously do much thought leadership, whatever that is – we spend our time doing practical things like building our own telephony network. But I’m not there to discuss margin opportunities I’m there to support the Internet Telephony Service Providers’ Association, ITSPA, the industry trade body representing all VoIP companies. We have some talking slots and a small stand from where we’ll be handing out bottles of ITSPA beer – Internet Telephony Special Pale Ale, geddit?

We’re rounding up new members of course, and these events always more than pay back for us. Of course we have to disregard our own time and expenses – we man and woman the ITSPA stand as unpaid and un-expensed volunteers and we get sponsorship for the stand and beer. So I guess if they didn’t pay back we’d have to be totally incompetent – or just drunk.

But they’re also good events for meeting our suppliers and wholesalers and having a good chin wag about who’s doing what to whom. It’s always funny listening to the breathless presentations of this year’s new thing too, most of which we’re still waiting for since the first VoIP conferences of 12 years ago. This year no doubt it will be APIs (now called comms as a service, or some such nonsense) and AI.

If my headache is gone by the time it’s all over, I’ll put something on next month’s blog about it. But more probably not.

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