A couple of years ago over a few quiet drinks, Raj and Mike of Access Granted had a brilliant idea to start a Christmas event for everyone who, like them, is self employed, a contractor, a freelancer or who work in a very small business and don’t have a conventional Christmas party. The gathering started small but grew rapidly necessitating graduation from pubs who have capacity for tens of people, to the Wellington Stadium where the capacity is in the thousands.
2017 was the first #WellyTech at the Stadium and attracted 1,000 attendees, with a few teething problems to overcome for 2018 it emerged last week with 1,500 Digital Technology industry attendees and was absolutely awesome! A circus themed event packed with entertainment, stalls, masses of food and unlimited opportunities to chat with long lost former colleagues, those you don’t get to see everyday and new friends. Sponsors covered all costs except the bar where attendees paid for their own drinks.
Highlights for me included getting a sneak peak at many of the stalls where companies, charities and initiatives combined raising awareness of their brand with great games and gimmicks. The exhibitor space was fully packed all evening as people moved around sharing stories – and in one instance (the Draper Cormack stand) having their pitches judged for bullshit quota!
Stats NZ (pictured above) did a great skit in the Big Tent, followed by a comedy gig, the Mayor Justin Lester, Minister James Shaw and other lightning talks to reflect on 2018 and inspire us for 2019. We were entertained by great show folk, storm troopers, candy floss making and a variety of technology based games.
The evening ended with the #WellyTech awards with well deserving finalists and winners taking their place in the spotlight, I am thrilled my fellow advocate for a thriving New Zealand owned Digital Technology industry, Don Christie (left) won an award for putting the wind in our sails. You can read who else won awards here
OptimalBI and OptimalPeople are proud to have been involved in making this happen, it’s an important aspect of our local ecosystem and community. If you are in Wellington and didn’t know about #WellyTech hopefully you can join us in making it even larger in 2019! can’t wait. Vic
Victoria spends much of her time focusing on Digital Inclusion, Digital Literacy and Digital Rights.
You can read her other blogs here.