September 2004
Interview
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EMAIL INTERVIEW -  Jennifer LaFond & Ken Sinclair

Jennifer LaFondJennifer LaFond, Group Vice President, IDG World Expo

Jennifer LaFond, Group Vice President at IDG World Expo, heads up the Incubator Group; a group focused on bringing new and innovative events to the marketplace. In this role, she provides strategic direction on the formulation and execution of each brand. Ms. LaFond has ultimate responsibility for sales results and marketing efforts for Portable Power, Bio-ITWorld Conference & Expo, and Wireless Sensing Solutions.  Ms. LaFond has an extensive tradeshow background and prior to joining IDG World Expo in 2003 worked at MC Communications, Imark Communications and IBC Conferences. She is a member of SISO, and IAEM. 


Wireless Sensing Solutions Conference

Sinclair:  In one sentence what is the Wireless Sensing Solutions Conference?

LaFond:  The first B2B conference that addresses the challenges and opportunities of the emerging market of wireless sensor networks.

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Sinclair:  What are the dates and location?

LaFond:  September 21-22, 2004 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, IL. (adjacent to O’Hare airport) Visit www.wssconference.com for details.

Sinclair:  Who should attend?

LaFond:  Design Engineers, Product Development Teams, Wireless Task Forces, Business Development teams, Analysts, Product Managers, System architects, solution providers, consultants, and product engineers.

Sinclair:  What topics at Wireless Sensing Solutions would be of most interest to the building automation industry?

LaFond:  It’s hard to pick just one! There are several sessions within the conference that address the implementation and creation of a successful wireless sensor network which would, of course, be of interest. And, there are other sessions that address challenges that OEMs have encountered that would be equally useful to someone within the building automation field.

If I have to pick just one, the session that is a “can’t miss” for building automation-focused attendees is “Smart Buildings: The Enterprise Opportunity.” Speakers include Farpoint Group, Honeywell Intl., Teng & Associates, Inc/Teng Solutions, Trane, and Dust Networks.

This session explores key and core applications for wireless sensor networks in businesses large and small. What radio technologies are most appropriate to enterprise environments? Will Wi-Fi networks now being installed in businesses do double duty as part of sensor-based systems? What client devices are available, and what does the future hold? This session will feature brief presentations and a broad discussion of these issues and beyond.

Plus, our partnership with the Continental Automated Building Association (CABA), has been beneficial as well since their members as well as other groups have recognized the importance of Wireless Sensing Solutions by planning to attend this upcoming event.

Sinclair:  Why create an event that is so specifically focused on wireless sensor networks?

LaFond:  There is a need in the marketplace for information that deals specifically with embedded wireless network technology. Unlike the other sensor or networking events out there, this event addresses the specific challenges and the specific opportunities that one will encounter when creating a wireless sensor network.

The more important thing to note is that we are looking to create a community, not only an event. Our goal is to create a central meeting spot where people involved or interested in getting involved in this exciting field can share challenges and successes. To that end, in addition to the event, we’ve created a webcast, which can be viewed at www.accelacast.com/jlp/automatedbuilding/0/1205/. We’re also working on a few other exciting projects so stay tuned to www.wssconference.com for exciting new projects!

 Sinclair:  How did you create the event?

Reliable Controls LaFond:  We pulled together a group of people from within the industry that helped us create a conference that would address the needs of a design engineer or a business development manager. The board encompasses leaders in the industry that are driving the use of wireless sensor networking.  They were helped us develop this comprehensive program focused on the standards, interoperability, technologies and product strategy driving the wireless sensor networking industry.  The Wireless Sensing Solutions Advisory Board includes:

Sinclair:  What networking opportunities or special functions will be happening at Wireless Sensing Solutions?

LaFond:  Besides being able to network within the two days of conference sessions, and meet with vendors at the showcase, the event kicks off with an Opening Night ‘Meshing’ Reception for all attendees, also on the first day, Ernst & Young, and IDG Ventures is hosting a first of its kind Venture Summit where vendors, OEMs, system integrators of intelligent sensors and the capital community join together.

On the second day we’ll he hosting Birds-of-a Feather meetings which are casual, informal discussions among wireless sensing network users, the showcase will feature a poster gallery for all attendees to view, research presentations will be shown throughout the day on Wednesday highlighting several leading research findings at the top national universities, and the last day will close with a roundtable forum which analysts, and industry leaders will recap the issues of the conference, and open up to discussion.

Sinclair:  Who will be highlighted in the Exhibit Showcase?

LaFond:  This is an attendee’s chance to meet with the leaders offering wireless sensing solutions. The showcase will display networking, sensor, and component needs. Additionally, we will be featuring cutting edge research from Boston University, UCLA, and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign that cover network optimization, energy harvesting, ubiquitous computing and an OS for reconfigurable wireless sensor networks. The showcase is unparalleled!

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