Not All Conferences Are Created Equal - 1

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Not All Conferences Are Created Equal - 1
Internet Summit is returning to the Triangle in it's sixth year of success. Since its inception by TechMedia founders Scott Hedrick and Eric Gregg, the conference has become a fixture in the South Eastern tech circuit. I spoke with Scott this week to find out what's in store for the attendees of the "Largest Digital Gathering in the Southeast" this year.

Internet Summit will be held November 12th-14th at its usual spot in the Raleigh Convention Center. What started six years ago as a small 600-person event has grown to over 2000 attendees -- in similar fashion to the expansion of the tech community in the Triangle.

Part of the secret to Internet Summit's success has been focusing on diversifying their content and overall conference experience year to year. Last year, Internet Summit debuted a 2-day spinoff focused on various entrepreneur-oriented programming with panels, demos, talks, and networking called Startup Summit.

Startup Summit is back with a vengeance this year, and is not exclusive to entrepreneurs this year. The goal of this change is to "Connect entrepreneurs to potential customers and investors with the intention of showcasing what's going on in the Triangle," said Hedrick.

Panels on this year's agenda include:

  • Early Stage Fundraising Strategies

  • People Partners and Culture

  • War Stories from founders with experience on the frontlines

  • Startup Summit will conclude with a keynote talk by Doug Lebda, Founder and CEO of Lending Tree.

    If conference-level entrepreneurial content is not for you, never fear. Scott and his team are introducing Tech Summit this year as a new option for attendees. A companion piece to Startup Summit, Tech Summit is to CIOs, CTOs, and IT folks what Startup Summit is for entrepreneurs.

    Scott mentioned that Tech Summit evolved from feedback after a popular Tech Track at last year's Internet Summit.

    "We found out that people wanted more,' he said. "It's important to us to bring people from that space to the event to interact with the entrepreneurs and C-level/marketing folks. We want to build a complete ecosystem with the Internet Summit community."

    Tech Summit's agenda is no joke either. Speakers are coming from IBM, Red Hat, Cisco, Forrester, Mashery, and Eventbrite, to name a few. Panels and talks will include all things tech professionals live and breathe :

  • Mobile Health Data & APIs

  • Defining the Big Business Value of APIs

  • Mobile Business Essentials

  • Accelerating Open Cloud Adoption

  • Outside of those more narrowly-focused Summit Events, Internet Summit itself is jam packed with things to do. The keynotes this year are drawing in some excellent speakers including: Gary Vaynerchuck of Vaynermedia, Alexis Ohanian Co-Founder of Reddit, Comedian Kevin Pollak, and a Closing Keynote by Brent Herd of Twitter and Ben Huh of Cheezburger.

    Let's talk about what you really care about though: Wednesday Night's After party at Republic Wireless will be featuring Coolio, who is a pretty swell guy.

    There are two options for registration this year: a Lite Pass includes access to the Tech and Startup Summits, Partner Workshops, and Demos/Expos for $169, while the full package pass gets you all of that plus the main conference, keynotes, and parties for $295.

    Register here.

    "We are so excited to bring everyone together again this year," Hedrick said. "I want to thank everyone for being a part of this and letting us do what we do."