Involved in the industry long before its partnership with Cox Communications, showNets consists of professionals behind the Internet installation of many familiar tradeshows.
Whether they know it or not, more than 150,000 attendees and over 3,200 exhibitors on 2 million square feet of exhibition space used Internet services provided by showNets at International CES this past January at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).
“We began working with Cox a year ago and formalized our relationship in August 2013. Both of our companies have experience and presence in Las Vegas, and both are either headquartered in or have major facilities in Georgia,” said David Bishop, managing partner, showNets. “Cox funds the heavy equipment, and we are the brain trust that knows how to do Internet for tradeshows. We indicated what equipment we needed, and they delivered it to us, and we worked together to provide a network environment for exhibitors and attendees.”
For CES, exhibiting booths required 900 to 1,200 unique Internet connections.
“Everyone thinks all Internet service is the same. We tailor the networks specifically for an event,” added Bishop.
A crew of 58 worked together with the goal of doubling the speed of the convention center’s network.
“The event was very successful, and the network performed beautifully. It was great to see the cooperation and teamwork between Cox and showNets. The total effort delivered a very high-quality service to the event,” said Bishop. “Additionally, Cox supplied client service representatives to ensure the highest level of service was being provided to CES exhibitors.”
Cox realized it needed a strategic partner experienced in servicing tradeshows. The company sought out showNets prior to being awarded the Internet service provider contract at LVCC over the long-time service provider, Smart City Networks, in August, according to Bishop.
Exactly after Smart City’s contract expired at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 29, 2013, showNets did a complete overnight overhaul of the convention center’s network. With hundreds of closets at LVCC filled with pipes and fiber optic infrastructures, the company’s goal was to get 80 percent of the job done using 40 to 50 people. To service exhibitors for a tradeshow the next day, the team physically stripped out the old equipment to reinstall the new network in under 30 hours.
“The Cox-showNets team absolutely worked a miracle that transformed the LVCC overnight, so it could support an event,” said Bishop.
The rebranded Cox-showNets team has done more than 25 shows together. This includes International Banking Industry Expo, Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA), NFR Cowboy Christmas and The Route Development Group Meeting.
Under the direction of Bishop, showNets started in 1997 to provide custom tradeshow Internet services as well as consulting.
“We’re not just Internet. We have a different business model. We like to be long-term partners,” said Bishop.
While working for International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) for 18 years, Bishop got IBM involved in tradeshow Internet services at the Internet World Conference in Boston in 1995.
“IBM remained in the business for a few years, but then decided to abandon that line of business. When they did, showNets picked it up in 1999 or 2000 at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, which helped put showNets on the map.”
For the last 15 years, showNets has provided Internet services for thousands of events and clients like Macworld, Google, Cisco, Salesforce.com and E3 Expo in almost every major convention venue in the country.