I'm taking part in a UKTI trade mission to CTIA Wireless in San Francisco in a couple of weeks time. Three days of networking, talking and meeting, including a 07:30AM networking breakfast organised by the Canadian Consulate.
I would never consider myself a champion networker, I'm not even sure what would constitute one. However, I'm really looking forward to it.
Steve Ballmer of Microsoft is giving one of the keynotes and I understand he's an entertaining speaker. I saw Bill Gates speak a few years ago and he seemed more other-worldly. Though it was in London so he could have been jet-lagged.
It's not all good news mind you. Seems I'm going to miss the keynote from Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of FaceBook as well as the mBlox party because I'm flying home on Wednesday night after the mission program finishes.
The real focus of the trip is to find out what the US and Canadian markets would make of business messaging, Esendex style. There is a lot of talk in the press and blogs at the moment about people in the US embracing text messaging, be that SMS or other, thanks to American Idol and other media embracement of this communication channel. However, the vast majority of the commentary focuses on the consumer.
It's the same in the other markets we operated in. I think the MDA in the UK are the only body that I've come across who have consistently talked about, and researched, business messaging.
Are US businesses ready?
We have a reasonable number of US customers already, especially given we've never really promoted ourselves across the pond, so I'm confident. But, there's nothing like talking to people and that's what my trip is about, to find out.