The past year has been a virtual whirlwind – literally and figuratively – as the pandemic forced significant changes in how we work, learn and interact. The tech and telecommunications industry rose to the occasion, responding to the needs of schools, healthcare providers, businesses and consumers for the vital broadband services that enabled us to stay safe, health and connected.

Chip Pickering, CEO of Incompas recently provided us with an excellent overview of Incompass and their upcoming industry event.

INCOMPAS is extremely proud that our member companies, many small and locally based providers, who were at the forefront of keeping America connected and going the extra mile to ensure that underserved communities have not been left behind.

But this isn’t the first time our member companies have led the charge in reinventing the way we communicate. They’re the ones who invented it.

40 Years of Advocating for Competition

2021 marks the 40th anniversary of INCOMPAS – founded as Association of Long Distance Telephone Companies (ALTEL) then the Competitive Telecommunications Association (COMPTEL) before rebranding as INCOMPAS in 2015.  While the change to INCOMPAS better reflects the diversity of our industry and our member companies, one thing has never changed: our core mission of advocating for competition policy and fostering business opportunities across the industry.

The association started in 1981 with a mission to open the long-distance telephony market and over the past four decades has expanded its work to increase competition in all facets of the communications marketplace in order to foster greater innovation, new networks and services, lower prices and more choice.  Over the last four decades, INCOMPAS and its members have been at the forefront of a revolution in the communications sector, opening markets to competition and driving online innovation and delivering broadband to unserved and underserved markets and creating economic opportunity and growth.

Much like the association, the membership has evolved with the expansion of our mission. In addition to the traditional service providers that have been at the core of the association for the past 40 years, INCOMPAS members now reflect the diversity that exists in the industry and includes companies deploying fiber infrastructure like Crown Castle, FirstLight Fiber and Tilson Technologies, as well as content and wireless companies such as Amazon, DISH, Google, Microsoft, Netflix and Twitter.

And our ranks continue to grow. In just the last year, we have added new broadband and wireless networks builders of all sizes, including Allied Telecom Group, Bridge Internet, Dobson Fiber, Independent’s Fiber Network, Local Linx, Powerhouse Management, RS Access LLC, Spectrotel Inc., Telnyx LLC, Tristar License Group and Zayo. The association also joined forces on advocacy with other associations, including our newest affiliate member, the Cloud Communications Alliance.  And we’ve seen growth in our marketplace members with hardware and software vendors, and consultants, such as Comstar Supply Inc., Patterson Advisory Group and Rev.io, just to name a few.

Momentum Building for 2021 INCOMPAS Show

The momentum continues as we look toward the 2021 INCOMPAS Show this fall.  Last year, at the height of the pandemic, we hosted a virtual trade show and brought attendees insightful commentary from industry luminaries, such as Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell, former Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, Sen. Roger Wicker, Rep. Mike Doyle, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, FCC Commissioners Brendan Carr and Geoffrey Starks, and a host of executives from service providers, including C Spire, FirstLight Fiber, Ligado Networks, Tilson and ZenFi Networks.

We also kicked off free, interactive monthly thought leadership webinars designed to highlight our member companies and policy issues. These sessions have focused on industry and company response to the pandemic, our blueprint for broadband success, infrastructure funding and programs, remote learning and women in the tech.

Now that the country is reopening, we look forward to bringing everyone together in-person at The 2021 INCOMPAS Show, taking place October 25-27 at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.   Excitement is building for the show as service providers and their vendor partners make plans to host meetings, showcase their latest offering and network face-to-face for the first time in 18 months.

The INCOMPAS Show will continue its tradition of being THE place where the deals are done. There, network builders, service providers and vendors of all types have an economical and efficient way to meet in a single location – saving travel costs and time – to seal deals, and discover new, innovative products and services. Through our history of hosting The INCOMPAS Show, we have fostered hundreds of millions of dollars of deals in the communications industry and built a vibrant ecosystem that enables companies in all facets of the industry to meet, develop partnerships and do business.

This October in Las Vegas you can expect to find the highest ratio of key decision makers and top-level executives of any other show in the industry. The vast majority of those attending in the past have said that INCOMPAS Shows connect them with the people they need to meet, driving improved sales and travel ROI.  And it's not surprising, considering that 60% of INCOMPAS Show attendees are C-Level, SVP/VP or directors among, ensuring attendees can meet directly with key decision makers and buyers.

At the 2021 show, we’re making meeting easier than ever, with an online platform for connecting with other attendees and scheduling meetings in advance. Plus we’re bringing back the Deal Center – dedicated space for impromptu meetings – and the Buyers Forum, hour-long sessions each day for speed-meeting with buyers at top service providers.  And we’re planning a great educational agenda with thought-provoking keynotes, panel discussions, workshops and sessions on a variety of relevant topics, which will premiere during the show and be available to watch on-demand afterwards, as well – ensuring attendees don’t have to miss a thing.

Join us In Las Vegas, INCOMPAS as we celebrate our 40th anniversary, bringing industry leaders throughout the association’s history together and wrapping up the show with a poolside party.

We hope to see you live and in-person in Las Vegas in October. For more information on the show, visit show.incompas.org.