Boston TechJam 2014
Take your finger off the pulse of the world of technology for one minute, and you quickly fall behind, left in the dark about the latest cloud services, gadgets and trends. I discovered this the hard way at Boston TechJam 2014. Updates, advancements, and new trends were all around me as I joined co-workers at the event on Thursday, June 12, 2014.
Every company with a new technology, a leading cloud service, data protection program, or start-up potential descended upon Boston City Hall Plaza with their top marketing teams. Fifty or so companies mixed and mingled with competitors, colleagues and visitors. To add entertainment value, a variety of bands, a comedic contortionist and an a cappella group performed for the tech-enthused crowd. Food trucks, Harpoon beer tents, and a mechanical bull completed the recipe for a well-rounded event. A plethora of games carried on a life of their own; cornhole is apparently extremely popular right now in the Boston tech space.
We MSLGROUP teammates chatted it up with exhibitors, hearing what they had that their competitors five feet away didn’t. We networked live and connected on social media, using various hashtags and handles.
“The Pitch Heard ‘Round the World” kicked off Boston TechJam 2014. Six companies proclaimed their new innovative technology and business models in Faneuil Hall to a panel of judges, and Mayor Marty Walsh announced the winner and runner-up in Boston City Hall Plaza to start the outdoor proceedings.
- Overheard on Twitter: One tech start-up at “The Pitch Heard ‘Round the World” boasted about its innovative cell phone charger, which receives its “fuel” based on the movement when its owner walks.
- A sea of cloud and data protection companies swarmed the event and enticed people who passed their tables to play interactive games. One company even raffled off Ray-Ban sunglasses every 15 minutes. Did I mention I won a pair?
- Cell phone charger kiosks were scattered about. Attendees placed their phones in a locker, which had a charger station for much-needed juice, and they could assign a code to lock the devices, leaving them to charge while they roamed.
- Photo and “selfie” competitions – These were everywhere. One software lab company encouraged booth visitors to take a selfie with their team and then Tweet at them with their hashtag to earn points towards drink tickets, food, and various giveaways.
- A social photography company at the event created custom photo borders, allowing their clients to brand social images.
- University start-ups: Even technology companies from schools had a chance to share their ideas. Northeastern University demonstrated technology for longboards to make them operate more like cars. When installed on the board, skateboarders could increase their speed (to a point), break gradually when necessary, and steer without having to use their feet. College kids would eat them up. Oh, and they printed their parts with a 3D printer.
The event brought together anyone who shared a passion for technology advancements, wanted to play games, enjoy food and drinks, and network. It was truly a collaboration of innovation in Boston, and I cannot wait to see how #BTJ2015 tops this year’s event.