With the markets yo-yoing and financial uncertainty abounding, it may seem like a hard sell to get execs to attend industry conventions right now. But organizers for CTAM Summit (Nov 9-11, Boston) are hoping that the industry sees the current situation as all the more reason to attend. "From our perspective, everyone’s on guard. You’re not seeing yet any real direct impact on the business. But in a week now, things could change that normally take months and months," said Rogers chief strategy officer Mike Lee, who is serving as Summit co-chair with ESPN svp marketing Katie Lacey. "This is the most content rich [Summit] itinerary I’ve seen since I’ve been working [with CTAM]. As you go into harder times, it’s more important to have best practices, disciplines to weather the storm." Perhaps others feel the same. While NAMIC had predicted that attendance for its annual conference earlier this month would be down, it ended up attracting a record crowd of nearly 850. SCTE‘s Expo in July surpassed last year’s attendance. Right now, Summit is tracking on par with last year, which drew 2700+ attendees, according to CTAM chief Char Beales. Beales said the extra time between last year’s Summit (held in July) and this year’s fall event gave everyone more time to devise "the most thoughtfully created program we’ve ever had." There’s more focus on learning than in the past, with focus on 5 fronts: MSO marketing, network marketing, digital media, product development and business services, Lacey said. The last 2 are new tracks for Summit. Next month’s gathering includes a panel looking at intl lessons learned on the quad play from PCCW of Hong Kong’s CTO Paul Berriman and France Telecom‘s vp, biz dev Jean-Marc Harion. Tues’ closing lunch session will feature Grand Tam honoree/ Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge along with Merrill Lynch‘s Jessica Reif Cohen, Canoe CEO David Verklin, RealNetworks’ Rob Glaser and Discovery‘s David Zaslav. This marks the last CTAM Summit before the event is combined with other cable forums, including SCTE Expo and ACC‘s Forum next fall under the "Cable Connection" week (www.cableconnectionweek.com). What Beales deemed to be an "uber committee" would meet during Summit about planning for next year’s week of consolidated events in Denver. On the fun front, we hear ad agencywww.cableconnectionweek.com Events Network will have Ziggy Marley perform and MGM will host a sneak peek of the new James Bond movie, "Quantum of Solace."

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