Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

First TechHui Conference: Mahalo to All Participants & A Call for Feedback

Aloha e TechHuians. We just returned from taking neighbor island panelists to the airport. We are exhausted, but I wanted to make sure to thank the Lt. Governor, keynotes, moderators, panelists, sponsors, AV folks, volunteers and everyone who attended for contributing. The keynote speakers did a fantastic job. Kaz's Blue Mars is a thing of beauty. Moriba made us put on our thinking caps, and Jeff was, as always, informative and entertaining. Many thanks to moderators Darren Kimura, Jay Fidell, Burt Lum and Rob Kay. There were so many interesting presentations from the 34 panelists I scarcely know where to start. You guys really exceeded expectations!

A special thanks to my friend Susan Horowitz from Pacific New Media and my lovely (and patient) wife for their tireless work over the past few months on the planning, promotion and implementation of this conference. Without them, it wouldn't have happened. Jay and Nicole - thank you so much for all your hard work behind the camera. Nicole, I'm so sorry you had to haul the camera between the rooms by yourself. Next time we will set up in all four tracks simultaneously.

We greatly appreciate all the Twitter love shown to the conference by @neenz, @roxannedarling, @bytemarks, @toddrobertson, @walltowall, @peterkay and @KGMB9. Mahalo to KHNL8 and KGMB9 for providing great coverage of the conference.

We had a lot of help promoting the conference. We would like to thank Jay Fidell, Bill Spencer, Susan Horowitz, Burt Lum, Ryan Ozawa and Bernard Uy for tapping their networks.

Finally, I'd like to thank our generous sponsors, IBM, Pacific New Media, Superb, Ikayzo, ThinkTech, HTDC, Pacific LightNet and Aloha Island Lei.

We are very interested in feedback about the conference so we can improve it next year. If you have suggestions, please post them here.

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Comment by Moriba Jah on August 1, 2009 at 6:07pm
Aloha to all...thank you so much for organizing this and to all that attended. It was an honor for me to present and I would certainly welcome another invitation. I enjoyed the energy and the feedback. I firmly believe that Hawai'i could easily become a beacon in the arena of space access, technologies, and education. Best to all!!!

Comment by Daniel Leuck on July 30, 2009 at 9:24am
Patrick, Elya, Curtis and Robert - Thank you for your suggestions. We will discuss all these in our postmortem.
Comment by Robert Brewer on July 30, 2009 at 8:50am
I'm a big fan of SlideShare for conferences. It's basically YouTube for presentations. You can request that all the presenters using presentations upload them to SlideShare and use the same tag (techhuiconf09). In fact, it would be great if you could ask the presenters from this year to do it.
Comment by Curtis J. Kropar on July 30, 2009 at 1:50am
HI Dan !

It was great to be at the conference. At our table I got to talk to a number of people that didn't really know a lot about us, and when I shared what we do, several were kind of shocked.. not realizing the great divide that is occurring. Like as you mentioned with the homeless kids and getting their schoolwork done.

I really liked the auditorium and the presentations. Moriba is a freaking GENIUS ! just listening to him talk and easily spell out how the universe works.... I really enjoyed his presentation. It was also apparent from the numerous questions that were asked of him afterwards that he really made an impact and others also liked his presentation too. GREAT job having him there.

One thing I noticed, his presentation was a lot clearer than Kaz's. I could understand Kaz, but it was difficult to hear him. He used the podium mic and Moriba instead looked like he was using a handheld mic. Maybe next year we can get lapel mic's or headsets on all of the presenters so they are all as easy to hear.

Likewise, as Elya, next year I would like to possibly be a speaker as well. I had a thought of doing a presentation on "The Impact of Technology" and cover things that I run into on a daily basis working with the homeless and the non profits.

Also for next year, I think a larger venue would be great. Possibly something where we can get a lot more vendor booths set up so we can mingle and meet others and what they are doing. I think I spent more time this year at the LED lighting table than at our own. It was really great to see someone pushing the low power lighting and have a good display of those items right on hand. I am likely going to be buying a lot of things from them.

I would be interested in being part of your planning team for the next event and possibly helping to manage setting up the vendor booths. I think a lot more can be done with this aspect of the conference and to really get the general public jazzed up about what's happening too.

Again... GREAT JOB you guys did !!!
Comment by Elya McCleave on July 27, 2009 at 3:22pm
Great event Daniel!!! It was very nice to see some familiar faces while attending the sessions.
I was impressed with the SEO and Social Marketing track... It was dynamic, engaging and informative. Moderator did a superb job!

I'm hoping to contribute as a speaker next year… or at the very least work our booth so I can meet everyone :)

Thanks again for the opportunity to be a sponsor of such a wonderful community as TechHui!
Comment by Todd Robertson on July 27, 2009 at 2:51pm
Great ideas Dan. I really like #3.
Comment by Patrick Ahler on July 27, 2009 at 1:28pm
Overall great event, I'm stoked that I got to attend and that Superb was a sponsor. You must make it annual, it will definitely make a positive impact on the local tech community. Some ideas to consider: a downtown/Kakaako location (blaisdale?), maybe hold over 2 days and have exhibitors, join forces with other tech promotion groups like Technology News Bytes, hold during the week.
Comment by Daniel Leuck on July 27, 2009 at 1:10pm
Thank you for the feedback guys. We are definitely going to make it an annual event.

Some of the suggestions we have already received:
  1. Use six staggered rooms so the panels don't run into each other (long running panels causing the next panel to be shorter)
  2. Get larger rooms (can do)
  3. Move the 3D CG & Animation to the end and put them in the auditorium with the big screen
  4. Have all panelists send their presentations to be preloaded on a single laptop for each track
  5. Get cameras in every room - we thought we had this, but two cameras became unavailable at the last minute)
  6. Have moderators aggressively enforce time limits on panel members so the last guy doesn't end up with 5 minutes to present
Comment by Russ Ogi on July 27, 2009 at 12:56pm
I'd like to thank Dan and all those who organized and manned the Tech Hui Conference. Thank you also for inviting me to present our 3D printing technology on the Star Trek Tech Panel.

Overall, it was a great event. Unfortunately, I was not able to make it to more of the breakout sessions but, from what I saw it was a nice choice of topics. A little something for everyone.

Hawaii needs more venues like this that not only showcase technologies that are currently in Hawaii but also present opportunities for the tech minded to get together and share ideas. The conference also presents a great way to get the general public more aware and involved in technology.


Comment by Todd Robertson on July 27, 2009 at 12:55pm
I would like to also thank everyone that helped make the TechHui conference a success. I enjoyed being a part of the conference as a presenter, and also gained valuable insight through the panels, discussions and networking I was able to participate in.

Thank you for the opportunity! I look forward to the next TechHui event.




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