If you are located anywhere near Owen Sound, you need to register for HICKTech and high-tail it up to the Georgian Bay area on April 30th.
I discovered this delightfully named, rural-oriented technology conference through geekspeakr.com (a site to connect women tech speakers with conferences who are looking for diversity in their speaker roster). HICKTech (which stands for "How the Internet Connects Knowledge") was founded in 2007 by Emma Hogbin (owner of xtrinsic – a consultancy focused on appropriate technology for online communities). 2008 is the second year for HICKTech and their speaking roster is impressive! It includes:
- Heather Champ, Community Manager of Flickr
- Nora Young, founding host and producer of CBC’s Definitely Not the Opera and current host of Spark
- Anjali Kapoor, Director, Media Group at Yahoo! Canada
- Darryl Peddle, Head of SEO at Yahoo! Canada
- Meg Pickard, Head of Communities and Experience at the Guardian Unlimited
- as well as several other local technology, agriculture and business luminaries
In addition to the fantastic (gender-balanced) roster, there are several other things that delight me about HICKTech. From the website …
In 2008 this rural technology conference will feature 20 presentations in four content streams (Business, Community, Food & Agriculture and Technology). The keynote presentation will be delivered by Heather
Champ, Community Manager for Flickr and the wrap-up session will be hosted by CBC personality, Nora Young. In addition to these themes HICK Tech will be more environmentally conscious in 2008. This will include: an environment-themed session in each of the four content streams; only locally grown and prepared food at the meals (with the exception of coffee which, sadly, does not grow locally); only re-usable dishes; and carbon off-set credits for compensate for the travel-related emissions generated by all speakers.
The relationship between rural areas and technology is such an important one, particularly in Canada where we are so geographically dispersed (even though 90% of us live near the border, it’s a BIG border). If HICKTech’s success continues, I would love to see it become a national tour, delivered in rural communities across Canada.
In addition to pulling together an amazing conference, Emma has also put together a great slideshow showing how she promoted HICKTech to the local community as well as got them engaged and participating. My favourite piece of advice – Know Your Matriarch! Take a look through the slides below; some great ideas for local promotion and engagement.
Register for HICKTech – a total bargain at $150!
Editor’s note … disclosure: this isn’t a paid event listing, but I wanted to make sure it showed up in our event section.