Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

2010 TechHui Conference: That's a Wrap!

Aloha e TechHuians! We had three keynotes, 10 panels, 180 Subway sandwiches, a special HTML 5 session, a few hand launched AUVs, an appearance by Gollum and no fatalities. Woohoo! Many thanks to our sponsors*, organizers Susan Horowitz (Pacific New Media College), Mika Leuck (Ikayzo) and Jay Fidell (ThinkTech Hawaii) for all of their hard work. We also greatly appreciate the daylong efforts of moderators Burt Lum, Jay Fidell and Joseph Saturnia.

Keiki-Pua, many thanks for reviewing how we fared with the legislature over the past year, and HSTC/HSTI's goals for the coming years. Kaz, Mahalo for sharing the current state of Blue Mars. The videos look fantastic. Vinod, thank you for the education in nanotech - all very interesting stuff!

Mahalo to all the great panelists. A special thanks to those who flew in to attend - Seth Ladd from CA, Matthew Hawkins from the Big Island and Steven Squire from Maui. The feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive. We know some of the panelists were a bit rushed, and we apologize for that. We may limit panels to three people next year.

As always, your comments, suggestions, questions and creative insults are welcome. We hope you had a good time and enjoy the rest of your weekend. Thank you again for attending.

Best regards,
The TechHui Team

*Sponsors: Superb Internet, Pūkoʻa Scientific, Oceanit, HTDC, Revolusun and Ikayzo

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Comment by Daniel Leuck on August 5, 2010 at 5:13pm
Hi Robert - Thank you for the great feedback. We have been discussing changing the panel format to exactly what you describe - intra-panel discussion on a set of questions. The fact you and others have expressed a preference for this approach will impact the decision. We will likely have two keynotes next year rather than three. re: "better synchronized tracks" - This was a common complaint in 2009, so we reduced the number of tracks from three to two and spent time trying to reduce overlap in audience interest. I didn't think RIA and mobile would have significant cross-over, but perhaps I was wrong. I think we do need two tracks to have decent coverage of the types of techies we have in the community.
Comment by Robert Brewer on August 5, 2010 at 2:48pm
Thanks to Dan and everyone who made the conference possible. I meant to comment right after the conference, but didn't get around to it until now. Here are my suggestions for future iterations:
* Cut back on keynotes. 3 keynotes is too many for a 1 day conference, and ensures that each one will be rushed. I'd say have one hour-long keynote, or maybe two 30 minute ones if there are two speakers you are desperate to feature.
* Consider moving to a single track format, or better synchronized tracks. For example, RIA and mobile dev were at the same time, but I bet there is substantial overlap in audience interest between the two.
* Moderators have to be absolutely Draconian about keeping things on time. I don't care if it is the Governor speaking, you warn them when they have 2 minutes left and when their time is up, you cut their mic! :) Seriously, failure to do this just screws later presenters, or the audience due to reduced Q&A time. The flip side, of course, is that each presenter needs to know well in advance exactly how much time they will have so they can plan accordingly.
* Rethink what it means to have a panel. At the conference (and this is pretty common at other conferences) the panels consisted of N short presentations followed by brief Q&A. That's a waste of a great opportunity IMHO, where panelists can actually discuss different opinions and facets of a topic. I only really saw the kind of panel interaction I was hoping for during the RIA panel, and then the moderator actually explicitly curtailed intra-panel discussion, which was the best part of the whole session as far as I was concerned. Naturally, getting panel synergy requires more work by the conference organizers and more work by the panelists in advance (to plan out some of the discussion), but I think the end result is much more interesting and useful to the audience.

Thanks again for putting on the conference.
Comment by Jake G. on July 5, 2010 at 2:17am
i had to leave early but perhaps the next conference could include some IT managers or CIOs in the mix talking about how to properly align business and tech. I am not a programmer nor a designer so I guess I don't have much to contribute, but from a business perspective I think I have lots to offer. Seeing how other managers in the field run things would be great. Thank again for a nice meeting!
Comment by Gus Higuera on July 3, 2010 at 3:02pm
Was wondering if for next year people would be interested in a two day conference. Perhaps day one could be panels on different subjects like we did this year and day two could be more in-depth technical workshops with some of the individual panelists.
Comment by Yu Xian He on June 28, 2010 at 10:16pm
I enjoyed the conference and I wanted to thank everyone and the panelists for their work and making this possible. I do agree that more time should be allotted for some of the panels, or have less panelists maybe?
Comment by Mika Leuck on June 28, 2010 at 12:36pm
Aloha Ishida-san. Thank you for your feedback. We agree that the panelists on the four person panels didn't get enough time. Next year we will have a maximum of three panelists on each panel.
Comment by Makoto Ishida on June 28, 2010 at 11:38am
Hi, I just wanted to say thank you to all who made this event possible. It must have been tons of work. Thanks a lot.
I thought more time for each panelist would be nice for the next time, and I am sorry that I missed some of the tracks because I had to choose one from two... It would be nice if I can watch a recorded version through ustream, youtube or somewhere else.
Comment by Daniel Leuck on June 28, 2010 at 10:36am
John - Mahalo for your kind words, support and offer to help next year. We will likely take you up on that! We are glad you enjoyed the conference.

Rico - Mahalo for your support! There are definitely a lot of interesting tech people, projects and organizations in Hawaii quietly doing world class work. We were fortunate to have some of them share their work with us at the conference.
Comment by Rico Moreno on June 27, 2010 at 10:50pm
Aloha Dan ... There was great information, fellowship & enthusiasm at the TechHui Conference yesterday!! You and your team did a great job in pulling all of this together. Truly impressive, especially to see that there is so much going on here in HI. I learned alot and am inspired. Mahalo for all that you do!
Comment by John Robert Egan on June 27, 2010 at 8:23pm
Mahalo Dan, and all your volunteer supporters, for putting the conference together. In an earlier career, I was involved in conference and trade event management and know just how hard it is to put an event like this together. Youʻre doing our tech community a real service, and it is appreciated.

I particularly enjoyed the range of topics, and the well-qualified speakers, in the keynotes opening the event. If you need some additional volunteer help on conference day next year, please feel free to call on me.




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