Posted by: peterhact | August 16, 2012

Technology Events and the changing Landscape

This week I attended the Technology in Government and the Public Sector Summit. This is an annual event, and it was the first time for a while that I attended as an expo delegate and not as an exhibitor. I was able to reconnect with old contacts, speak to a few old friends and customers and get a general feel about what the market was like across several different segments of the ICT industry.

Many people are of the opinion that the Technology event scene is a waste of their time and resources. From the numbers of people at the event, and the difficulty I had finding a park nearby, this opinion seems to be uninformed.

Many years ago, when Dinosaurs roamed the earth, there was an IT event in canberra that had no rival. This was back in the days of AusCom, an event that every company vied for a chance to promote themselves at, when the big players like Pr1me, Cray and Wang were household names, and had elaborate stands to promote their offerings. (it was also back in the days of large margins, new technology being released daily and no internet. the olden days)

Over the years, AusCom started to lose the public interest. My opinion was that, before the internet, so many technology events seemed to lose touch with their audiences. The internet, social media and word of mouth allows events to be successful. The times before the internet when events were held seemed to be lacking the impetus to promote effectively. The event was held in and completely filled the Canberra National Convention Centre.

Back to the present. The Tech in Government event had one failing this year, it had no Hashtag for the attendees to ensure what was discussed in twitter got picked up by others. This was solved by twitter attendees themselves. there was a false start with the hashtag #AusGovIT, but this was quickly replaced with #govtech and we were away. The reason that this was so important was to ensure that people attending the event could hear from other attendees what was significant, what they were looking forward to attending and be able to make informed decisions about which discussions they sat in on.

Based on the numbers that attended this year, I expect that the event will be shifted to another site to handle the volume of attendees, thus making it a premier event for vendors and end users alike. This is the new future of events. Taking a look at historical data about events in Canberra means that a lot of people discount the potential of being here, at these events.

Their basis usually falls on the old AusCom days, which is not a true comparison, the new events have access to social media and the internet. The old events never did. The best way to see the impact on the market from an event is to attend. Next year, let us see who is at the event. I will be there, regardless of my role as I see the benefit it has for the big picture. This is a great opportunity for new players in the canberra market to learn things about this town, the interactions and how to best approach being here.


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