Perhaps you have the unenviable position at your firm of being sent to all the monster trade shows to solicit, network, and report back on the “next big thing” in the tech world. It can get a little tiresome—as soon as you return from the event, there’s another, bigger one right around the corner.

Are they all worth attending? Probably not.

I scoured the Web for some hot industry topics and the conferences and shows that address them. Here’s a quick rundown of some upcoming events you might want to consider.

Wireless Internet
July 26-28, 2000 at Chicago’s Drake Hotel

The event, sponsored by the International Quality & Productivity Center, will explore the future of wireless Internet and its applications. Topics include:

  • Determining which business models are set to survive WAP.
  • Increasing revenue opportunities by developing successful content, applications, and commerce for WAP.
  • Marketing WAP services effectively to different user groups.
  • Understanding the youth market.
  • Assessing the capabilities of the wireless device of the future.

Vendors such as Nokia Mobile Phones, Bell Mobility, and Geoworks will also be on hand to demonstrate their products and answer questions.

Web-Enabled Project Management
August 7-9, 2000 at Chicago’s Hyatt Regency

The Institute for International Research presents this two-day conference on practical project management solutions and new products. Topics include:

  • Leveraging in-house knowledge centers and subject matter experts.
  • Selecting the right software to conduct Web-based PM in-house.
  • Planning and estimating projects in a Web-enabled environment.
  • Identifying communication challenges faced by virtual teams.
  • Using the Web for communities of practice.
  • Protecting collaborative work from intentional and accidental tampering.

Presenters include AT&T, ESI International, GTE, KPMG, Oracle, PricewaterhouseCoopers,, and WebProject Inc.

LinuxWorld Conference and Expo
August 14-17, 2000 at the San Jose Convention Center

Linux enthusiasts will come together to discuss the future of open sourcing at this four-day event. Free boot camps and testing will be part of the expo, as well as a Linux showcase, which features a time line of the history and development of Linux and the Linux community.

Orbit/Comdex Europe 2000
September 26-29, 2000 in Basel, Switzerland

This new European version of Comdex will provide a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in the technology industry. The full-range exhibition will focus on business-to-business opportunities and be aimed at decision makers throughout the industry.

Speaking of Comdex, the Fall 2000 version—the world’s largest IT event—takes place November 13-17, 2000 in Las Vegas. This year’s theme, “Technology Decisions for the New E-conomy,” targets three major groups: the enterprise, small and medium business users, and the channel. Scheduled speakers include Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Oracle’s Larry Ellison, and EDS’s Dick Brown. Exhibitors include Qualcomm, Cisco, Ericsson, Novell, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, National Semiconductor, Creative Labs, 3Com, Palm Computing, and Kodak.

ASPWorld Conference and Expo
October 3-6, 2000 at the San Jose Convention Center

Organized by IDG, this event is being hyped as the first to provide IT pros with education, training, networking, and service evaluation opportunities from ASPs. The conference will focus on providing the information and resources business decision makers need to explore and implement ASP outsourcing for their organizations. The show floor will showcase pure play ASPs, Internet service providers, telcos, software vendors and developers, and original equipment manufacturers.

Global Information Security Summit
October 16-17, 2000 at the International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

This inaugural event, organized by the Information Technology Association of America, will bring the world’s industry and government leaders together to discuss the critical issues of information security and infrastructure assurance. Goals of the summit include:

  • Raising awareness of security issues.
  • Promoting cross-national and cross-sectoral collaboration.
  • Identifying policy needs.
  • Highlighting information security’s best practices and case studies.

Attendees will address topics such as international legal and legislative framework, law enforcement and cyber crime, vertical market trends, research and development, and facilitating global partnerships.
Of course, there’s a lot more out there. We’d like to hear which IT events you’ve found most helpful in gathering information, networking, and selling your products and services. To share your thoughts, post a comment below or send us a note.