West Coast Expo touts technology for business and consumers
“Technology is and always will be the wave of the future. There’s just no end in sight. This is the train you’re forced to ride, if you’re in business. You either get on or get run over. But it’s also fun if you line up with it.”
—Natalie Cole, publisher and chief executive officer of Our Weekly
The West Coast Expo’s (WCE) founders and business partners Natalie Cole and David Miller conceived it as a signature event to be looked forward to by the business community every year.
Their goal is to bring a diverse, multicultural component to local commerce, ideally encompassing the surrounding western states in years to come, and, of course, bringing in a cash return for participating businesses.
Miller, Our Weekly’s chief operating officer is optimistic and upbeat about the potential for growth in the inaugural year of this, his latest enterprise. Since the highly lauded “information age” is now several decades old, he promotes communications as the hot commodity for consumers and small entrepreneurs seeking to establish a foothold in this tenuous economy. Miller sums up his economic assessment by declaring that “the smartest way of doing business is to stay on top of technology.”
West Coast Expo director Myra Wallace echoes this sentiment and expresses her own hope for what Expo guests will take out of the venue. “We see the technology pavilion as a place where we can take the fear and intimidation out of the mind of the consumer, and replace it with easy, user-friendly options,” she says.
Acknowledging the shift in ethnic diversity, the wireless business industry seeks to make its promotions more attractive to the multicultural populace, which makes up an estimated 35 percent of its market. As the associate director of that marketing team, Verizon’s Christina Gonzalez revealed her company’s plan to offer services tailored to these specific groups at WCE.
To highlight the speed of their latest 4G technology, the Verizon exhibit will feature demonstrations of an assortment of tablets and 4G (fourth generation technology) handsets along with live 4G streaming.
One of the most visible components of their consumer promotion is their FiOS bundled home communications service. As the first major American carrier to offer residential access to fiber optics networks (superior to traditional electrical transmission methods by virtue of greater bandwidth, less electrical interference from power lines, utility cable, and metallic objects), Verizon offers customers Quad-play-wired voice, data, and wireless services. Quad-play is a unique package that incorporates Internet, telephone, and television service within one bundle.
FiOS also offers its Flexview technology for home entertainment. This is Verizon’s version of video on demand that enables the viewer to enjoy their video purchases on televisions, personal computers, or other hand-held devices within their home environment.
In keeping with the Expo’s focus on small business expansion, Verizon is also showcasing its ability to utilize the Intuit software program for business and finance applications.
Meanwhile AT&T, which is another WCE sponsor, has demonstrated its commitment to improved consumer support via its $18 billion improvement on its network infrastructure in 2010, and a pledge to equal that amount during the current fiscal year. Specifically included in this upgrade are 1,465 targeted areas in the Los Angeles metropolitan area alone.
Angela Gibson, director of AT&T External Affairs, sums up their corporate policy.
“AT&T’s continued commitment and investment into our communications infrastructure is an immense benefit to small businesses and residents,” she says. “The network upgrades will make a positive impact in the day-to-day activities of small businesses and residents as they communicate with customers, associates, contractors and family and friends.”
AT&T and Verizon will share the Technology Pavilion at the WCE with a host of other corporate sponsors. Expo visitors are encouraged to keep an open mind, and take advantage of all the exhibits including features not necessarily on their immediate agenda, since as Miller emphasizes “what works today may not necessarily work tomorrow.”
FRIDAY, AUGUST 12TH
WCE OPENING BREAKFAST 8AM
Expo Floor near Main Stage
Hosted by Motivational, Speaker, Les Brown.
PRESS CONFERENCE 9:30AM Main Stage
Our high profile press conference will recognize our Sponsors, Partners & Political supporters.
OPENING CEREMONY 10:15AM Lobby
Anyone entering the West Coast Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center first saw the imposing banners featuring the two forces behind the event—Natalie Cole (CEO) and David Miller (COO)—hanging overhead observing the goings-on like watchful parents. Then they took in the panorama of the event—aisles of vendors and sponsors on each side—on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
A lively crowd showed up at Club Nokia, hosted by AEG/L.A. Live, to demonstrate support at the West Coast Expo’s pre-event mixer. They noshed on Wolfgang Puck finger food, imbibed favorite beverages, schmoozed and, of course, chatted up the Expo. The event was held Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m.
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