Why you should attend
That Conference 2016 (Aug. 8 - 10) is one of the truly unique experiences that the upper-Midwest has to offer for geeks everywhere. How do I know this? I've been attending, with my family, since 2013. Over 100* presenters and nearly 1000* [or more] of your coworkers, friends and community members will be there... and have I mentioned the bacon smores?!? Just wander over, take a look at these speakers, build your schedule and wonder how you could possibly survive the summer without all this technical goodness and networking with this welcoming community.
If you hurry, all this geek-loving, family-friendly, bacon-consuming, robot-exploring and memory-making joy can be yours for only $399.99... Seriously, $399.99. The only catch? It'll cost you an extra $100 if you buy your tickets after May 1st, 2016. If saving money isn't enough, you'll have a chance to meet with Those Sponsors. Many of the sponsors are among the premier technology firms in the nation, including my employer, Skyline. There's nowhere else that you can find so much local talent, and so many fantastic local employers who are eager to talk with you about how they can help you find your dream career/service provider/etc.
So, I encourage you to check out what is sure to be one of the year's premier technical conferences.
What we're doing
As I mentioned, I've been attending and speaking at That Conference for the last 3 years. For the last two, my focus has been on bringing unique experiences to the families that attend the conference. In 2014, we started with a 3-day Robotics Camp. We took our experiences in 2014 and followed up with a 2-Day Robotics Lab as part of That Conference 2015. The feedback from 2015 was amazing, and we saw a lot of kids get really excited about robotics. Whether it was building projects with family and friends, programming with siblings or throwing some balls around with a drivable robot, there were smiles aplenty.
For That Conference 2016, I've been blessed with the opportunity to present beside my son Christopher, and we plan to take things to the next level with our 2-Day Robotics / IoT Lab. We'll have Vex IQ robots / simple mechanisms, Vex IQ sensor labs and some pre-built Vex IQ bots like we've had previous years, but this year we are adding in some Arduino-based bots and some IoT sensors/kits running Windows 10 IoT. I'll leave the details to future blog posts, but I hope to see you there this year. Stop by and check out our Lab, and take some time to contemplate this little factoid... Christopher is only one of 7 speakers who are children! The conference has over 20 family track sessions over 3 days, and of those, more than 50% are being delivered at least partially by Geeklings!
And if that wasn't enough
Don't forget that this all happens at an Amazing Waterpark!
* Numbers are estimated to protect the innocent (and also because I don't have exact numbers)