That’s the word from Dave Barger, founder of website design and marketing firm LunaWeb and one of the organizers of his year’s second installment of TechCamp Memphis that runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The daylong event is affiliated with Memphis Geek Week, which runs through Nov. 10 and is designed to broaden and build the local tech community.
“Memphis has had a lot of successes in the startup space the last few years, but we need to do more to create and nurture local talent for entrepreneurs to draw from,” Barger said. “There was no real grass roots organization doing that, so we created GEEKmemphis to fill the void.”
By sponsoring TechCamp, the GEEKmemphis group hopes to attract a wide variety of participants who fall all along the technology spectrum. The conference will feature a couple tracks for beginners, along with more advanced forums where high-level tech geeks can interact and share their knowledge.
The workshops include programs for developers and marketers, as well as offerings for small business owners interested in increasing their customers and revenues by using email, for instance, or a forum for those who want to learn how to use WordPress for fun and profit.
Raising the tech tide in Memphis is the ultimate goal, Barger said, and Saturday’s conference and the myriad events during Memphis Geek Week will help do that.
But even though the spotlight will be on technology, there’s more involved, Barger said.
Like showcasing creative and innovative components that make Memphis special, such as local businesses, food, music and speakers.
And that means swag.
“We’ve got a ton of door prizes from local small businesses and restaurants and sponsors that we’ll be giving away during TechCamp,” said Liz Jostes, co-owner of Eli Rose Social Media consulting agency and a conference coordinator. “It’s a draw because people like to win things, but it also highlights some of our local companies. Memphis has a lot going for it and we’re offering a little slice of why we love it so much.”
Advance ticket sales for the conference are up by almost 50 percent over the previous TechCamp held in the spring. Registration is suggested, but tickets may also be purchased at the door on Saturday. Check out techcampmemphis.com to learn more.
And for a schedule of Memphis Geek Week events, visit geekmemphis.com.
What: Online, social networking and technology conference
When: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday
Where: Southwest Tennessee Community College Conference Center, 5983 Macon Cove
Cost: $5 for students, $30 for everyone else