Posted: October 01, 2013
Denver Biz Tech Expo aims to educate, connect
Not just for techiesBy Eric Peterson
The Denver Biz Tech Expo, a co-production of Colorado Technology Partners, a local consortium of IT consulting firms, and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, will be held at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver’s Lowry neighborhood Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
This year’s theme is “Navigating the Cloud”. “Many companies are asking what is the ‘Cloud’, do I need it, and how can I use it”,” says David DeCamillis, president of the Denver Biz Tech Expo. “Our goal is to showcase what the ‘Cloud’ is and how companies can adopt the ‘Cloud” to grow and improve their business.”
DeCamillis, whose day-job is heading up business development at Denver’s Platte River Networks, says exhibitors will include representatives from such government agencies as the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Patent and Trade Office, as well as local and national providers, including sponsors Latisys, Dell, Microsoft and box.net.
Numerous local app developers will also be in attendance, as well as a wide array of local IT providers. DeCamillis says he expects 1,200 to 1,500 attendees, representing as many as 1,000 different companies – more than double the 650 attendees and 400 companies in 2012.
“It’s going to be a lot more interactive,” says DeCamillis. “Dell’s going to do an end-to-end solution demo area, desktop to switches to firewall to backup. They’ll be able to show off that technology.”
And $5 of every $50 registration fee goes to a pair of scholarships: “Young Women in Technology” and “Young Men in Technology.” DeCamillis hopes to award more than $5,000 in all.
The agenda also includes a “Town Hall” panel at 1 p.m. with Winslow Sargeant of the Small Business Administration, Colorado Secretary of Technology Kristin Russell, and Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. The Town Hall will address, ‘Where can government help business owners and where can they stay out of the way?’” says DeCamillis. “We want people to be engaged.”
“The idea of the panel is to have government and business owners discuss the perfect recipe for success,” Brough says. “That will be a nice mix of public and private.”
Brough describes the relationship between business and government as dynamic. “I don’t think there’s a place you land where you check off that box and say, ‘It’s perfect,’ because it’s always changing.”
And with a wide variety of stakeholders, consensus can be hard to come by, Brough adds. “When you have a real diverse economy – like we do in Colorado – it’s complex.”
Brough touts the Tech Expo as user-friendly for techies and non-techies alike. “For those of us not in the industry, technology is a platform for what we do and it’s critical for our success,” says Brough, citing the Expo’s official “Navigating the Cloud” theme as an example of technology that’s changing workflow in almost every industry.
“We’re definitely doing more with the cloud,” Brough says. “One of the areas we’re still a little baffled by is social media. What should you – and what should you not – be using?”
She says the Expo’s aim is to connect and educate people to solve these problems at their businesses. “The idea is to shorten the learning curve.”
Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com