This past week I was asked to submit an idea to the Arkansas Times magazine for their “Big Ideas” section of their publication. I basically threw out the idea of having a technology conference in Arkansas similar to South by Southwest Interactive or Tahoe Tech Talk, you can read my idea on the Arkansas Times Website. They had to edit it down for size but the point I was going for was that we basically have the network or backbone to support the conference in place through various groups like the Central Arkansas Refresh and similar groups in Jonesboro and Northwest Arkansas. We also have some experience in putting together tech related events, I referenced Barcamp Conway, Barcamp Jonesboro, and Wordcamp Fayetteville in the article.
Since the article ran I have had several emails and phone calls from individuals and organizations wishing to get involved in bringing this idea to fruition. I don’t think that there is any doubt that a lot of people are on board with the idea, I have had this discussion with Steven Trotter, Brant Collins, Arlton Lowry, and Keith Crawford a hundred times, but I guess the next question is what’s next? I have given this a lot of thought and even bounced the idea off of several friends within the community that I know are on board and I think the next step is to form a steering committee that will help define the idea and put together a business plan that can be shopped around for support.
One thing that I do not want to happen w/ this idea is for a lot of people to put in their time and hard work and there not be enough support in place to do it up right. Granted, the Barcamps that we had this year in Jonesboro and Conway were awesome but I envision this event to be something that will attract a large crowd from around the world to Arkansas. I would also like to see an all-star roster of speakers and thought leaders from throughout the industry headlining this event. I also have some ideas that are unique in format that could help the Arkansas Tech Conference stand out.
I would love your input, drop your thoughts / comments below. I have several phone calls and people to follow up with this next week regarding this topic so as things come together I will post updates here…
- What are your thoughts on a Tech Conference in Arkansas?
- How do you propose we get the ball rolling?