You might need a laugh after such a brainy day.

At Noon, speakers from HBO, Sigma Systems, Infinera ,Motorola, BelAir Networks and Cyan address cable's presence in telecom's business services arena in "Business Plan: Architectural Considerations for Commercial Services Delivery." This is a network-centric session covering everything from Carrier Ethernet SLAs and optical transport to DOCSIS 3.0, so don't forget a snack and Diet Coke on the way in.

Wednesday's 2 pm slot delivers the inevitable cloud sessions. Speakers from GCI Cable, Cisco, ARRIS, Time Warner Cable, Comcast Labs, and thePlatform for Media join together in "Hey You, Get Onto My Cloud: Implications of New Delivery Approaches." The panel will address how content can move out of cable networks and into the cloud and how it changes approaches to transport, integration, and delivery platforms.

Wrap up this rigorous day of learning with "Projections of Possibility: The Economic Outlook for Media and Communications" at 3:30 pm. Panelists from PriceWaterhouseCoopers unveil the findings of the firm's 12th annual Global Entertainment & Media Outlook which details projections for media industry revenue growth and spending by sector.

If you missed the Cubs on Tuesday – good news; they play the Brewers again on Wednesday night. Otherwise, you might need a laugh after such a brainy day. Head to world famous Second City's main stage for "The South Side of Heaven." It's a new dark comedy from the theater that discovered Mike Meyers, Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Pipeline's very own Tim Young.

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Thursday, June 16: The Grand Finale

What's really different about the Cable Show's agenda is that it saves the "big keynote" for the very end. At 3:15 in the Grand Ballroom, C-level executives from Cablevision, Cox, Time Warner, Midcontinent, Suddenlink and Mediacom join together for "Across the Universe: Top Cable Executives Talk Products, Competitors, Service and Strategy." The panelists provide their insights on cable's role in the consumer marketplace and how they plan to differentiate their offerings as they compete for customers against a range of new entrants and business models.

Before you get there, however, you could take in "ABCs of QoE: Managing Quality of Experience in a Changing Video Environment" at 10:45 am, if you're up for more technology education. This session, with speakers from Cisco, Ericsson, Edgeware, Cheetah Technologies, and Sandvine, also addresses video's migration to IP, but focuses on streaming technologies and the impact of the over-the-top video on cable networks.

If customer satisfaction is your game, check out "Action Agenda: 5 Things You Can Do to Improve Customer Service and Your Scores – Now." Panelists from The Cable Center, JD Power, Suddenlink, Satmetrix, and Inside-Out Thinking give practical tips on making immediate improvements to customer experience that will improve customer satisfaction scores and play into what third party evaluators want to see.

If you're just not up for another session, the exhibits open around the same time – at 10:30 am.

Final Thoughts

As you leave Chicago, keep a few things in mind. McCormick to Midway is usually a pretty easy drive. The airport is small and efficient, so you can leave yourself a normal amount of time to catch your flight and still stand a great chance of doing so. O'Hare is just the opposite. The highways can crush your hopes, as can the long cross-terminal walks and slow security lines. If ORD is your way out, leave yourself as much time as possible. Have a safe trip and enjoy the show. We'll see you there.

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