By D. Channing Muller Posted May 31, 2011, 10:10 AM EDT
International Telecoms Week kicked off May 22 with an opening reception for 1,700 attendees at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. England-based telecommunication and mobile company Vodafone sponsored the second annual kickoff party as an avenue to promote a new marketing message to the world.
“We had a long discussion with [Vodafone] and they decided the opening reception would be the best avenue for them to get the message out that they represent the wholesale market as well as the mobile market around the world,” said Kelly Southam, operations manager for the conference.
Hargrove Inc. created branded bars and room decor in the telecom brand’s signature colors of red and white. Theme food stations showcased nine of the cities around the world where Vodafone has offices—iconic images like London's Big Ben, the Statue of Liberty in New York, and Eiffel Tower in Paris decorated each one, where the hotel served local cuisine from each country.
With nearly 145 companies from around the world represented at the conference, organizers added the welcome party to the agenda last year as a way to get the networking among attendees started early. “A lot of people come in from Europe on Saturday because [flights] are less expensive [on that day] and without knowing a lot of people, they don’t know what do on Sunday before things start Monday,” Southam said.
Vodafone C.E.O. Vittorio Colao welcomed guests shortly after arrivals before turning the night over to the Rollex Band, which entertained until 9 p.m.
The conference’s exhibit floor and seminars took place May 23 through May 25 with companies like AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and 142 other international companies represented.