Thank You UNTECH10 – The Power of a Community

Topics: Associations

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As the Untech10 attendees, sponsors and organizers head home… and those of us who attended virtually turn off our computers, I wanted to reflect a bit.

Guest Posted by David McKnight

Community Drives UNTECH10 Success


Credit should first go to the ASAE Tech Expo team (Ann, Allison, Kelly and Reggie) and those before them for nurturing a community passionate about their technology event. It’s that passion which drove people to make it happen. When I got Lindy Dreyer’s urgent e-mail regarding the opportunity to help create an unconference, I picked up the phone immediately and called her. Her excitement about creating Untech10 convinced me, without hesitation, to help.

Tony Veroeven, our man on the ground in DC, carried the biggest load to understand the needs for getting the schedule and content into our Conference 2.0 community solution. While back at the Omnipress headquarters, Ryan Hood, Sean Lawler and Christopher Uschan executed on the technology and marketing.

It’s About Relationships


When it comes to rubber hitting the road for events like this, the gals from SocialFish have the experience and know-how to get it going and how to reach out. Lindy Dreyer and Maddie Grant have a vast network to lean on when needed. That’s because they work hard at that daily (just follow then on twitter and you’ll know what I mean). We’ve know Lindy and Maddie for a few years… Christopher Uschan had asked Lindy to contribute to a “paperless conferences” whitepaper, then continued his relationship with them through Twitter and their YAPstar organization. This relationship expanded and eventually grew into working weekly with SocialFish on our Engage365 knowledge community. We knew they were superstars and their energies and brains behind Untech10 doesn’t surprise me. It’s these ladies who get my largest congrats.

It’s about Working Together, with Passion

No one asked the event exhibitors who had been grounded by snow to pull together, they just did. A small, self-driven task force, led by SocialFish, met for hours (last into the night) putting together a program, reaching out to speakers and getting their staff and solutions in place to make this happen. Aaron Biddar offered up The Port Network’s hotel space and video capture, NFI Studios offered transportation and happy hour (which was probably much needed) and Dave Will at Peach New Media streamed the video to the virtual attendance. “Heros” is probably a good word to describe this passionate team.

Check out the list of Untech10 Sponsors offering anything from wifi, to coffee to alternate audio feeds.

Omnipress: From a Printing Leader to Technical Solutions ProviderWhile we at Omnipress are proud to be serving the meetings industry with printed materials, and will for many years to come, we also realized the much needed shift to offer both traditional print and digital solutions. Christopher Uschan and I worked together 15 years ago as the initial pioneers of “books on disk” digital products. We’ve since advanced into CD-ROM, flash drive, online content distribution, online abstracts and speaker file collection and now into social technologies as a means to collect, produce and distribute content and create more engagement. >Untech10 video capture (via iPhone/Ustream app) from Tony Veroeven

The Value of Face-to-Face and Opportunity for Change

There is tremendous value in face-to-face meetings and I feel that will continue. However, there is a huge opportunity with technology tools (before, during and after the event) to offer a way to exponentially reach more people and more members, increase future attendance, future membership and ensure relevance for years to come.

It’s easy for association leadership and staff to be overwhelmed by this social technology which is changing almost monthly. Most have moved beyond the fear and now are saying, “Okay, now what?” Some are doing it and others have great ideas on what to do. I’m also hearing that they don’t want to or can’t manage dozens of suppliers and technologies to deliver these solutions.

What UNTECH10 demonstrated is that suppliers can work together, own their part of the project and deliver a meaningful experience and value to members and attendees. In my mind, the organizers have the hard part — getting content and creating engagement. Together, we can find new ways to expand our universe and deliver more knowledge (hey…maybe even save the world too). Well, okay, maybe we can at least make attending a meeting more fun and meaningful.

Thank you to everyone at UNTECH10, as an attendee and sponsor, for an incredible virtual experience – even though I still wish I was there.

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