CTIA is the wireless association. The initials stand for Cellular Telephones Industry Association, though they simply go by CTIA these days. The organization was created in 1984 and lobbied the U.S. government to pass both the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Telecommunications Disclosure & Dispute Resolution Act.
Starting in 2014, the CTIA launched its annual Super Mobility Week in Las Vegas every September. Partnering with MobileCON and InterDrone helped grow the event, which includes learning sessions and exhibits from device and accessory manufacturers, distributors, installers, repair, carriers, and more in the wireless industry.
Everything wireless is represented during Super Mobility Week, and it’s quickly become a premiere technology conference, drawing sponsors, speakers, and exhibitors from big names like Verizon, Samsung, DreamWorks, and the FCC.
If you’re looking to be a part of the wireless industry, CTIA’s Super Mobility Week is the place to start.
Admission to Super Mobility Week
Super Mobility Week is currently being held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, which is connected to both the Venetian and Palazzo casinos on the Las Vegas strip.
The event is typically held the second week of September. Super Mobility Week 2015 took place from Sept 9-11, and preregistration and pre-show events were held on Sept 8. Tickets can be purchased on the CTIA Super Mobility website. The link provided is for 2015 – change the year in the URL to correspond to the event you wish to attend.
Admission starts at $180 for CTIA members, and $195 for non-members. These tickets will get you on the exhibit floor. Education passes (entry to educational sessions, the Mobile Intelligence Conference, keynotes, exhibits, and and MobileCON’s Thought Leadership Conference) are $750 for CTIA members, and $950 for non-members.
In addition, VIP and Super Passes allow even deeper access to the event, including a VIP break area and partner events. These packages run upwards of $2500.
Media passes are free and media registration (along with qualification guidelines) can be found here.
Super Mobility Week Tickets
Super Mobility Week passes are in the form of a plastic ID card with a scannable QR code. Whereas E3 uses heavyweight paper for their badges, the CTIA Super Mobility badges are thick plastic, so there’s no need for a protection pouch.
Passes are picked up onsite starting one day prior to the start of the event.
Super Mobility Week Sessions and Afterparties
Although the exhibit floor does have its charm, the real draw to CTIA Super Mobility Week is the educational sessions and keynotes. Here’s a link to video from the 2015 Keynote speakers, which included Jimmy Wales, Jefferey Katzenberg, Bob Pittman, and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, along with c-suite execs from the major mobile carriers.
Along with these keynotes, several educational tracks are available for all levels and skillsets. Here you can learn detailed information from industry thought leaders on every aspect of the mobile and wireless industries as we move into the Internet of Things.
As with any expo, trade show, and conference in Las Vegas, the best business deals are often made in the clubs afterward. Corporations bring celebrities in celebrities (in 2015, Under Armour brought Mike Tyson, while Rok Mobile hosted Danny Trejo) and rent out nearby clubs in order to announce the launches of their new products.
If you can’t get into Super Mobility Week, try to get into these clubs. Arrive early and post up at a table – people will cycle through looking for that extra seat across from you, and you’ll have one-on-one time with some of the the mobile industry’s most powerful leaders.
What to Expect at the Super Mobility Week
Being a Las Vegas tech conference, Super Mobility Week draws companies from all over the globe. Both Chinese and Korean companies have large sections on the exhibit floor, as do international and global conglomerates from all walks of life. There’s a nice range of large megacorps and startups to meet every need.
The main exhibit floor is on the second floor, but there are conferences, meetings, and events held throughout the Sands Expo & Conference Center. Shuttles run to and from the Sands to several offsite events, including InterDrone, which was held at the Rio in 2015.
At any given moment, there are close to a dozen educational sessions happening. Planning ahead of time goes a long way in making for a smooth conference.
Aside from mobile phones and tablets, you’ll see drones, smartcars, smart appliances, robots, virtual reality gear, and much more.
Connected health and fitness is represented at Super Mobility Week, and you can use a combination of apps, gadgets, and professional assistance to stay in shape while there. The 2015 conference featured spin classes, a step challenge, and a unique yoga experience by festival favorites, Drishti Beats.
What to Bring and Wear to Super Mobility Week
There’s no specific dress code, though business casual seems to be the generally agreed-upon median. It depends on what you’re there for – you’ll need comfortable clothes to walk and sit through much of the events, but presenters, exhibitors, and others often choose business professional.
Concessions are hilariously overpriced – though only media and VIP attendees are provided with lunch and breakfast, it’s possible to scavenge enough sustenance from walking the exhibit floor. In the late afternoon, many happy hours are hosted, and you’ll find wine, beer, and trail mix throughout the booths.
Bring some clothes to workout in – in addition to the experiences above, the focus on a connected world and the IoT (formerly known as M2M) is sure to draw more and more fitness-related activities to this mobile-tech-themed conference.
Dr. Brian Penny is a former business analyst and operations manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work has appeared on The Street, Main Street, Hardcore Droid, Huffington Post, Gaiam, MindBodyGreen, and BBC.