Techweek recently concluded its third annual conference and expo in Chicago, proving it is THE place to engage with the technological renaissance taking place in the Midwest. Techweek orchestrated events June 24-29 including office tours of tech brands that have “made it” in Chicago, a 3-day expo featuring 150 exhibitors ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500s demoing their newest products and services in technology, a hiring fair and, of course, parties and social events.
As a regular attendee, three things stood out that Techweek nailed this year:
1) Better Schedule. The most significant change to the event this year was the decision to consolidate the expo from five days into three. This allowed for a more populated expo as well as for the exhibitors to focus in on the connections they made. Just as tech companies make dramatic improvements with each iteration, so does Techweek.
2) Bigger Names. New to the event this year was the megabrand support of Presenting Sponsor Motorola. As the largest employer of techies in the Chicagoland area, their presence served to further legitimize the event as a premier showcase. Having recently been purchased by Google, Motorola prominently featured its new logo in its booth designed to showcase its new strategy for a smaller selection of mobile phones with more robust features.
Along with the exhibits was an opportunity to attend presentations by influential individuals in the technology field. Notable speakers included Iqbal Arshad, the Senior Vice President of Engineering and Global Development for Motorola, Tony Conrad, the Founder and CEO of About.Me, and our very own Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. These lectures and panels keep Techweek attendees on the cutting edge. HY Connect even had the opportunity to chat it up with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel during a private Techweek event.
3) No Holds Barred Parties. Techweek offered opportunities to connect with participants at some of Chicago’s trendiest bars, hotels and nightclubs. The parties were such a hit that even the Chicago Blackhawks wanted in on the fun, showing off their newest piece of hardware at American Junkie. Other party venues included NV Penthouse Lounge, Cuvée, and Studio Paris and featured performances by notable DJs Calvin Harris and Tiesto.
At HY Connect, we view participation in events like Techweek as mandatory. While many agencies have remained hesitant to participate in conferences reserved for tech, we think that attitude is shortsighted. These very same events help keep agency staff on top of their digital game while forming valuable new relationships. After all, today’s startups are tomorrow’s Fortune 100s.