Tradeshow Vibes: International Telecoms Week (ITW) 2022

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
National Harbor, Maryland
May 9-12, 2022

5,600 (1,500 In-Person & 5,000 Virtual in fall 2021; 6,939 in 2019)

Exhibitors: 64
Sponsors: 68
Speakers: 144
Media/Analysts: Unreleased

Calysto Overview

International Telecoms Week (ITW) 2022, the telecom and wholesale show, circled back to the DC area to celebrate its 15-year anniversary. The inaugural event in 2008 was held in Washington DC, with subsequent annual gatherings taking place in Chicago and Atlanta.

ITW is one of the largest global conferences in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry. The show historically draws thousands of global leaders and decision makers from hundreds of countries and carriers worldwide, representing all sectors of the international telecommunications connectivity market. This year’s gathering drew 5,600 delegates from more than 130 countries.
ITW 2022 marked the organization’s second hybrid gathering since the pandemic. ITW 2021 trialed a hybrid model last fall, reporting about 1,500 attending in-person and 5,000 participating virtually. With fears of the virus further subsiding in 2022, live attendance at ITW 2022 was up, though an exact breakout of in-person and virtual participation was not disclosed. Online participants were able to tune into a portion of the conference sessions, panels and roundtables.

Connections, Connections, Connections!” Networking and re-energizing business connections are by far the biggest draw of the event. Attendees were thrilled to be back for face-to-face scheduled meetings with existing business partners and customers, but highlighted the value of “unintended collisions” with industry peers that often lead to new business relationships and/or sales!

Additionally, ITW provides an unmatched opportunity to hear from leading experts about the latest trends, cutting edge technologies, and what’s next for the telecom industry. Keri Gilder, CEO of Colt Technology Services, noted that network infrastructure companies are seeing a premium from private equity investors, and cloud providers are seeing robust growth as well.

Biggest Buzz Coming Out of the Show

While the vast majority of news announcements were around partnerships and building out #telecom infrastructure across the globe, “sustainability” is the new buzzword and a key agenda item this year. With the rise of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), businesses will soon be evaluated on their approach to environmental sustainability, how their company operates and their impact on society.
Business success is no longer just about economics. Rather, a company’s approach to ESG will determine whether investors, stakeholders, consumers, employees and governments will choose to do business with them.
ESG is poised to make or break companies. How to reduce carbon emissions, “decarbonize” and become “carbon-neutral” while trying to scale data centers to meet today’s demands for bandwidth and capacity.

Major Themes

More than 140 speakers and panelists discussed a wide range of topics within three major themes:

  • Digital Transformation: The ITW Global Leaders’ Forum community held the kick-off keynote panel discussion around #KeepingTheWorldConnected through digital transformation. Experts weighed in on the current state of the digital infrastructure industry, the latest innovations, the future outlook and how organizations are investing in a digital approach to capitalize on growth.
  • Infrastructure: Physical infrastructure underpins all communications and is vital to connectivity and delivering services. Sessions covered all realms: Terrestrial connectivity, including fiber networks, data center planning and the Edge, as well as Satellite opportunities and Subsea international connections.
  • ESG: ITW kicked off with “ESG Day” as Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is fast becoming a top priority for many companies. Pressure is mounting to demonstrate how a business is making a positive impact on society and the environment, and their approach to ESG will be critical to the success of business dealings, not to mention attracting new talent.

The event included the launching of a new book called “Greener Data.” A panel of the book’s 24 authors discussed sustainability and how companies can “go green” by reducing carbon emissions and meeting rapidly changing government regulations.

New for 2022

ITW changed up its agenda this year, replacing a single keynote presentation with three keynote panel discussions, starting with “A Re-Imagined Purpose for Telecoms” that explored a new vision for the telecoms industry amid astronomical network investments, the metaverse and new regulations.

Members of the ITW Global Leaders’ Forum Community discussed the current state of the digital infrastructure marketplace. The future outlook is a positive one as the industry is at its most optimistic since 2017, according to a recent survey of the ITW GLF board. Finally, a panel of experts touched on the themes customer experience, innovation and automation and how network transformation and digitalization are part of this equation.

This year also marked the debut of the ITW 2022 Innovation Exchange open to all ITW attendees, adding a platform for businesses to showcase their latest and greatest projects and services.

PR: Media and Analysts

Capacity Media, the organizers of 24 global telecom events including ITW, rounded up the daily news coming out of ITW. The vast majority of announcements were around networking partnerships and expanding global footprints as demand for capacity and connectivity continues to skyrocket. Meeting today’s customer expectations for friction-free, always-on connectivity” is a must, and partnering to make this happen is key. A series of thought leadership articles and “big interviews” discuss the evolution of ICT in the face of new innovations, next-gen networks and fast-approaching ESG regulations. See Articles of Interest below.

Additional media partners for ITW included Fibre Systems, Inside Towers, Intelligent Data Centres, MEF, Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF), The SubOptic Association, TeleGeography, Telecom Ramblings, Telecom Reseller, VMBlog, Wire19, Women in Telecoms and Technoloy (WiTT), and World Teleport Association.

Up Next

International Telecoms Week 2023 is planned for May 14-17, 2023 in National Harbor, MD.

Articles of Interest

ITW is back, almost, in Washington
Capacity Media
Alan Burkitt-Gray
May 08, 2022

The changing face of telecoms
Capacity Media
Natalie Bannerman
May 11, 2022

ITW 2022: Risking the new, or risking the status quo?
Kelly Hill
May 11, 2022

The GLF publishes its third diversity, inclusion and belonging report
Capacity Media
Natalie Bannerman
May 11, 2022

Collaboration is key for ‘universal right’ of connectivity, ITW panel says
Capacity Media
Saf Malik
May 10, 2022

70% of IT decision makers considering relocation and expansion, finds FiberLight
Capacity Media
Natalie Bannerman
May 10, 2022

Greening the infrastructure
Capacity Media
Natalie Bannerman
May 11, 2022

What’s Lost When We Talk ‘ESG’ and Not ‘Sustainability’
MIT Sloan Management Review
Andrew Winston
May 05, 2022

Top Moments of International Telecoms Week (ITW) 2022

#ITW2022 | #KeepingTheWorldConnected


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