Comnet Conference & Expo Sharpens Focus On Critical Technologies For 2004, Launches New Programs

FRAMINGHAM, MA – NOVEMBER 19, 2003 – IDG World Expo, the leading producer of world-class tradeshows, conferences and events for technology markets, today unveiled a redesigned program for COMNET® Conference & Expo, taking place January 26-29, 2004 at the new Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The event will deliver in-depth instruction for companies grappling with the challenges associated with wireless implementations, security, VoIP, WAN and the data center.

COMNET will provide network executives, suppliers, resellers, service providers, government agencies and carriers with their first look at emerging technologies for 2004. As the only communications and networking solutions event located in the heart of the government marketplace, COMNET provides a unique opportunity for the industry, technology users and government buyers to gather under one roof and evaluate today’s most pressing networking challenges and solutions. In support of a renewed investment in networking technologies, COMNET will also feature the launch of new summits and on-floor educational programs.

In 2004, COMNET will host a series of “COMNET First” programs designed to provide the first look at the new companies, technologies and best practices for 2004, as well as help attendees get the jump on their competition.

· The COMNET First: Venture Summit will introduce venture capitalists to the industry’s most innovative emerging companies, who will also have a presence on the exhibit floor in the COMNET First: Venture Network.

· The COMNET First: Outsourcing Summit will offer insights for managed services and IT outsourcing companies who want to deliver more compelling services, as well as end users who want to make informed decisions about outsourcing.

· The COMNET First: 30/60 Series is a series of presentations held on the exhibit floor, each offering 30 essential networking tips in just 60 minutes.

”COMNET has always had a strong reputation as an event that provides high-quality educational content to enterprise and government IT professionals,” said Steven Taylor, president of Distributed Networking Associates and a COMNET advisory board member. “We have designed the program for COMNET ’04 to build on the best from the past, while adding new elements to address the changing needs of the networking industry. Attendees will leave this event with a clearer picture of the top challenges facing this industry, as well as solutions they can put into place immediately.”

Keynotes and feature presentations – delivered from the perspective of the end user, industry analyst and investor, market-making vendor and regulatory communities – will provide COMNET attendees with an enhanced understanding of the seminal issues affecting their networks in 2004. Kicking off COMNET ’04 with the opening keynote presentation is Dr. Whitfield Diffie, chief security officer and distinguished engineer at Sun Microsystems.

According to Diffie, “In the past network membership was determined by which wires run to which widgets. In the future network membership will be determined by possession of keys and credentials and security will assume the dominant role in network configuration.”

Howard Anderson, senior managing director of YankeeTek Ventures and founder of The Yankee Group, will also deliver a keynote presentation, “The Next Five Years.” Anderson will take a macro view of the data communications landscape to evaluate whether this market has become merely a commodities market, and discuss the possible implications. He’ll also look ahead at the best-case and worst-case scenarios for the industry over the next five years.

In an interactive feature presentation, Network World president and editorial director John Gallant will tap into the minds of the nation’s craftiest IT executives. “Beautiful Minds 2: The Innovators Speak” will feature a panel comprised of innovative IT leaders who have successfully done more with less and gained a competitive edge through their wily purchasing and deployment practices.

Regulatory and policy issues will take center stage during former FCC Commissioner Richard Wiley’s annual COMNET Town Meeting, which will feature a panel of government experts from the Senate and House Commerce Committees and the FCC. “The ‘Low Down’ on ‘High-Tech’ Communications Policy and Regulation” will address local exchange competition, telecommunications convergence and consolidation, telecom industry prospects, broadband access and investment, regulation of VOIP, universal service reform and federal/state regulatory interaction.

For more information on this new program and the upcoming COMNET Conference & Expo, visit www.comnetworldexpo.com.

About COMNET® Conference & Expo 2004

COMNET Conference & Expo brings together the industry, technology users and government buyers to discover and evaluate the most pressing networking challenges and solutions. Since 1978, COMNET has offered the year's first look at the best networking products, practices and trends through exhibits, focused educational programs and face-to-face commerce. COMNET '04 will address the critical technologies impacting IT professionals today – security, wireless, VoIP, WAN and the data center. For more information, please visit www.comnetexpo.com.

About IDG World Expo

IDG World Expo (www.idgworldexpo.com) produces technology-focused tradeshows, conferences and events for professionals seeking world-class education, peer-to-peer networking and one-stop comparison shopping. As the leading technology event management company, IDG World Expo leverages its experience and knowledge of technology-focused events and conferences, enabling technology companies to capture the attention and loyalty of influential buyers. IDG World Expo's portfolio of conferences and events includes Macworld Conference & Expo, LinuxWorld Conference & Expo, Bio-ITWorld Conference & Expo, COMNET Conference & Expo, Integrated Security Conference & Expo, BiometricsWorld Series and Portable Power Conference & Expo. IDG World Expo is a business unit of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research and event company.

About IDG

IDG publishes more than 300 magazines and newspapers and offers online users the largest network of technology-specific sites around the world through IDG.net (www.idg.net), which comprises more than 330 targeted Web sites in 80 countries. IDG is also a leading producer of 168 computer-related events worldwide, and IDG’s research company, IDC, provides global market intelligence and advice through 51 offices in 43 countries. Company information is available at www.idg.com.

###