In conversation with Simon Bull, senior consultant at COMSYS and chairman of the VSAT2012 conference.
What do you believe are the highlights of the VSAT2012 conference?
The VSAT2012 conference tagline – VSAT Vertical Value – really points to the key focus this year. VSAT2012 looks at a VSAT industry that is both anticipating and is indeed undergoing some major changes and the event brings together the most innovative operators with successful business models in service and case studies in key verticals.
Event at a glance:
Dates: 11 – 14 September 2012
Venue: Lancaster Hotel, London
VSAT2012 will be the place operators and end-users need to be in order to understand the timescales and complex changes taking place and identify the possible threats and potential opportunities that the new environment will bring.
In terms of issues, your conference will be tackling a wide-range from bandwidth issues to the MSS and mining sectors. What, in your view, are the big issues of the day for the industry?
COMSYS has been integrally involved in the and we track it on a day-to-day basis. This experience and knowledge of what is going on in the industry means that each year we can base the conference on the key issues affecting both operators and users right now.
Where is money being made now and where are future areas of promise? Where are resources being stretched and where do we need to be cautious? What new equipment or technology is making a difference and what will it mean in dollars and cents? We also try hard to contextualise the industry for our participants and have presentations from across the industry and across the globe, highlighting real customer applications and our delegates include VSAT operators, users, equipment vendors, space segment operators, government departments, military and financial – a true ecosystem.
This year, as you mention, we have topics tackling a wide range from bandwidth issues to MSS and mining sectors, but we also discuss GSM backhaul, retail, mobility, government networks, utilities, oil and gas and broadband, to name but a few.
Bandwidth consumption is most definitely a major issue and how the industry is moving toward more cost-effective bandwidth platforms – a continual drive to a lower cost-per-bit. Although, to some degree, this threatens commoditisation, it is also a highly specialised segment of the market and operators, in particular, need to understand where the value is going to be.
In terms of visitors, what is the trend that you have seen over the past few years?
COMSYS started the VSAT Conference in in the VSAT industry into one place. The premise was based on our key requirement that delegates should not just be able to network but should get valuable, usable information from the presentations. We have been consistent with that belief and that’s the reason we have seen delegate numbers increase significantly every year.
In fact, in both 2010 and 2011, the conference was sold out and that’s the reason why this year we will be moving to a bigger and better venue – the Lancaster London Hotel. We provide a venue where attendees can meet and introduce, learn, network and do business in a club-like atmosphere.
What avenues are you offering for interaction among participants?
As I mentioned, attendee interaction is what the conference is all about and there is a great deal of networking scope throughout VSAT2012, including exhibitions, lunches and several evening receptions.
What is, in your opinion, makes for a successful VSAT2012?
Delegates who are informed, make connections and find deals.