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TechConKona 2.0-My Top 5 Take Aways

A day after TechConKona, a conference I planned for two months straight, I am sharing a few nuggets from the amazing speakers that enlightened an audience of doers and thinkers in Kona, Hawaii.

1. The Think Local Buy Local campaign is a great resource for local Hawaii businesses looking for a marketing campaign they can easily tap into. This campaign helps local monies stay local. Micheal Kramer, the lead organizer, said people will spend up to 3% more to buy local.

2. Content marketing is now KING in Google search! We learned about Hummingbird, a new algorithm that Google just created to reward great content for people looking for specific information. Thanks Scott Schang for teaching SEO and Google analytics so small biz owners could understand the importance of search.

HawaiiGovWeb3. Hawaii State CIO, Sonny Bhagowalia, shared the fact that the new site has won a national award and you can actually navigate it easily for key information. He said they also created 57 new mobile apps! Scott Schang, my fellow web partner, said we should suggest to them that they have one app people can download that acts as a consumer portal. Yes, I will be sharing that idea with Sonny!

4. The County and the State government want to partner with folks like me who want to make a difference by solving problems within our communities. I received a $5000 grant from the County of Hawaii’s Research and Economic Development Department to put TechConKona on and although it was not a major income source for me, it created the space for others to get together to connect with people and share ideas to create something better for our community. Chef Jim Babian, Pueo’s Osteria, said he was inspired to create a chef and farmer conference where they could discuss how best to work together to spread the “plant to plate” concept and help everyone thrive. The folks that started the “Buy Local” campaign met with one of the speakers I brought in from California to start a Food Commons here so we can be more sustainable. I will be writing a very big Mahalo letter to the County for the seed funding.

5. Henk Rogers, Blue Planet Foundation, is working to launch the first commercial space flight right here on our island! He is also planning on bringing life from our planet to another planet..terraforming. (He said that if we don’t clean up our act here on Earth, we will need to go someplace else to survive…I’d like to think we can fix our problems before littering the planets around us with human life.)

It was a really awesome conference and a new friend of mine said this on Facebook, which made the work putting together the conference worth it: “Mahalo, Julie Ziemelis, for an inspiring event. You are grace under pressure. If there was a flaw in your plan, it was not evident. You created a professional, informative atmosphere where ideas were exchanged, knowledge shared and friends made. I will be digesting my notes for days. I appreciate your vision and energy – you shine very brightly.” Thank you, Maureen Kelley Datta.


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