Posted: December 01, 2012
State of the state: Technology
Tech event draws vendors, businessesBy Eric Peterson
Held at the cavernous Winds Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver’s Lowry neighborhood on October 12, the inaugural Denver Business Technology Expo drew about 600 attendees who came to network amidst the vintage aircraft and gather swag like foam rockets and blinking ice cubes.
Attendance was about double the initial projection, according to David DeCamillis, president of the event’s organizer, Colorado Technology Partners, and director of business development for Denver-based technology consulting firm Platte River Networks. "The show was a huge success," he said. "We got great feedback from exhibitors, attendees and sponsors."
Colorado Technology Partners, comprised of 12 local technology providers focused on small- and medium-sized businesses, organized the event with the help of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. "We felt the chamber wasn’t sufficiently promoting the tech area – and this is Silicone Mountain" DeCamillis said. Chamber officials subsequently embraced the idea, and the idea came to life.
"Tech was an area we were not actively involved in," said Rob Rose, the chamber’s engagement manager. "Our members were missing that link." Thanks to a wide-ranging membership with specialties spanning network services, toner-cartridge recycling and staffing, the collaboration with Colorado Technology Partners "is a key partnership," Rose added. "They are the experts. We thought it was a natural fit."
The day-long expo kicked off with speakers from title sponsor Latisys and CoBiz Financial, continued with a diverse menu of presentations by representatives from such big tech names as Cisco, Microsoft and Comcast, and concluded with a happy hour and awards ceremony.
The 60 exhibitors included local and out-of-state companies of all sizes. Among the former was Denver-based Forensic Pursuit, a forensic and e-discovery services firm. "We’re really excited," said Melinda Redenius, client relations manager, of the event. "Colorado has an amazing amount of creative technical people."
Of the out-of-state exhibitors, Irvine, Calif.-based SAP provider Vision33 opened an office in the Denver Tech Center in June. "We wanted to get our name out there," said Mike Hanson, an SAP consultant with the company, on the rationale for exhibiting at the expo. The fruits of the labor is "lots of contacts," he added.
DeCamillis said that the expo is ultimately about easing the IT pains of small- and medium-sized businesses. "The main thing is giving small-business owners direct access to large technology vendors like Dell and Microsoft and VMware," he said. "They can have a face-to-face talk with engineers about any problems they are having. That’s huge."
The second annual Denver Business Technology Annual Event is already slated for September 2013 at the Wings Over the Rockies museum. "We’ll do it every year, and we’ll get bigger and better," DeCamillis said. Also on the 2013 calendar for Colorado Technology Partners: a speaker series in conjunction with the chamber and a twice-annual computer recycling drive. "It’s green all the way," DeCamillis said of the latter.
ON THE WEB:
Colorado Technology Partners:
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce: www.denverchamber.org
EXPO AWARD WINNERS
Westminster (regional office)/
FORTRUST Data Center
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