And just like that, the much awaited #BCTECHSummit has wrapped up for another year. HEXONET was a bronze sponsor for this year's event, and we exhibited in the Marketplace, right by the big glass windows overlooking Vancouver's beautiful scenery. There was much to see, experience, and take in - we couldn't stop exploring!
From the morning plenary's to the panels, speakers, presentations, student projects, and surrounding parties, we had our hands full and we wouldn't have it any other way. Read below to learn about our key takeaways from the event.
Women Who Tech
This event helped kick off the #BCTECHSummit on Monday. Attendees were treated to speakers and panels discussing inclusiveness in tech, which was very fitting for the 2018 #BCTECHSummit as this is the first year gender parity has been achieved, with 50% female speakers at the summit.
Talks began with Jodi Kovitz, founder of #MoveTheDial, sharing findings from the most recent report on inclusivity in tech. Did you know that only 29.6% of female graduates earn a job in the STEM facilities and disciplines, while 26.9% of employees in STEM-intensive occupations are women? The #MoveTheDial initiative helps increase the advancement of women leaders in technology. The Vancouver chapter is opening its doors soon, so stay tuned!
The panelists went on to discuss ways to encourage female employees to appply for leadership positions by creating a culture of open discussion. Many discussed how changing their hiring practices to be more inclusive increased the amount of diverse applicants. The changes they made were small but effective, such as reformatting the language surrounding a job application, and including a woman leader on the interview panel. Changing some of the male-dominated language that is ingrained in many of us was also a big point of discussion. Overall takeaway: you can't be what you can't see.
#BCTECH on the Terrace
A kick off party on the Jack Poole Plaza, next to the Olympic Cauldron, showed off Vancouver in all its Spring glory. From science demonstrations, to music, drinks, and networking, this event was like no other. Google Cloud really stood out with their fun game incorporating the Google Home Mini. And yes, some attendees were lucky enough to WIN this fun, interactive, tech-focused prize! We chatted the evening away and prepared for a jam-packed next few days with all of our new friends.
After some coffee, we headed over to the opening plenary, and were greeted by a packed room of attendees buzzing with excitement. Sophie Lui, Anchor at Global BC, and Tomica Divic, Managing Director of Operations at BCIC, co-hosted the event beautifully.
Anthony Salcito, VP of Worldwide Education at Microsoft spoke about the changes and transformations that need to be made in the education system to empower both educators and students. Anthony touched base on his 6 C's to building essential life skills for the future: creativity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, computational thinking and character. He also shared a positive viewpoint of AI by stating that AI will amplify human potential, and went on to discuss the importance of tech in tech in the future of careers. Great chat about the future of education and the work-force.
Your Brand, Your Story
We wrapped the first day with a panel of all-female marketers discussing how to develop a successful brand using today's digital technology. Tiffany Ellis from Quietly, Robin Jones from Comm100, and Elaine Hung from Sotheby's International Realty chatted branding, and the integration of sales and marketing for a successful strategy. Some great questions were posed from the crowd, including a question regarding brands on Facebook. Should brands stay on Facebook during the backlash of the data leak? Their answer, yes! While leaving Facebook may be an option for individuals, it's still such a huge platform for brands that removing your brand completely can be detrimental.
A great start to the final day of the #BCTECHSummit with Sophie Lui and Tomica Divic as the co-hosts for the morning. One of our favourite talks of the summit was by Brent Bushnell, of Two Bit Circus, discussing the importance of incorporating the arts into STEM to create STEAM fields. He gave an amazing example from a recent science-focused amusement park his company held, trying to increase children's interest in the STEAM fields. Instead of your usual dunk tank, kids were able to dunk adults (wearing fireproof suits) into impressive flames. The excitement from the kdis, and the #BCTECHSummit crowd, was on another level! As Brent Bushnell would say, "Science is awesome!"
#BCTECHSummit After Party
To wrap it all up, we headed to the after party, hosted at Science World, for some extraordinary conversations. With appetizers and drinks, the HEXONET team explored Science World, taking in all that it has to offer. The downhill skiing game, in particular, was a fun (and very tough) challenge the team participated in. Cheers to a great event!
Some of the booth highlights include Chime who blew us away with their industry knowledge, FoodMesh that helps save money and reduce waste, KidsCode Jeunesse that showed us the future of coding, and Locelle, a new, female only social network to connect like-minded women.
A huge thanks to the BCIC team for an excellent show. We hope you had the chance to stop by the HEXONET booth, chat with our team, and learn a little bit about the interesting world of domains. A special thanks to the teams at Radix and Donuts for their help in making our booth a reality and for providing us with fun giveaways. Our team enjoyed visiting many other sponsor and attendee booths, learning one on one about some of the up-and-coming BC businesses, sharing in insightful conversations, and answering all the domain related questions we were asked - we love all things domains!
Let's keep the conversation going! Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or send us an e-mail at email@example.com. We hope to see you all soon and thanks to all the other sponsors and attendees, we look forward to seeing and connecting with you again soon.