Wednesday, October 6, 2021

After 18 Months, Connect(X) Finally Reopens Live in Orlando


WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein addresses
Connect(X) attendees with opening remarks
Photos by J. Sharpe Smith

A year and a half after having to suspend its annual live conference due to COVID, WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein opened the event Tuesday expressing his gratitude and thanks for being able to reconvene under new parameters. Adelstein drew laughter and applause from the audience by appearing in “Zoomware” attire, … a sport coat, tie, and patriotic shorts...before realizing he was in front of a live audience and quickly retiring for a brief wardrobe adjustment. Although firm attendance numbers were not yet available, Adelstein told Inside Towers he estimated they were similar to previous gatherings with little attrition. 

“It really feels like a family reunion” he said in his opening remarks, citing the 29 months since WIA’s last in-person trade show. “So, let’s treat each other like family, let’s get through this together -- safely.”  

“I’m grateful we’re all here together at Connect(X) 2021. It’s lining up as the best WIA has ever put on. It’s been 18 months in the making. I can’t thank you all enough for making the trek and joining us this week,” Adelstein said, adding a somber note of remembrance. “Some of you have lost members of your family. Many have lost friends. People we know, people we love. Taken too soon by this cruel pandemic. Friends like Jake Macleod. A friend of many of yours -- a friend of WIA -- and a friend of mine. A big strong man who loved life, his family, loved to hunt and fish. And contributed so much as the first leader of our Innovation and Technology Council. We lost him last year before the vaccine. Gone too soon,” he said. “Thinking of Jake -- and so many others – let's take care of each other this week.” Continue Reading

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