Not a Mirage: HostingCon 2006 - Keynotes and Special Events
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It wasn't all just fun and games, of course. One need only look at the keynotes to see that. Monday's keynote speaker was Thornton May, executive director and dean of the IT Leadership Academy. His topic, "Understanding and Connecting with the Future Computational Mainstream," reflected the idea that IT is no longer outside the mainstream, and web hosting isn't just on the periphery of IT. In other words, what the web hosting community does matters; IT professionals and leaders are taking notice.
Tuesday's keynote, apparently the most popular of the three, actually featured five industry professionals in a panel format:
- David Snead, attorney, W. David Snead, P.C. (who moderated the panel).
- Ian Andrusyk, president and CEO of FastServers.Net
- Lou Honick, CEO of HostMySite.com
- Jeffrey Stibel, president and CEO of Web.com
- Christopher Faulkner, CEO of C I Host
Their topic was "Lessons from the Trenches -- What Works Now." The CEOs talked about how to organically grow a company from the ground up, what they thought of the dedicated hosting market, how to find and train good people, and the challenges of the web hosting industry in general. During the discussion, the panelists examined how popular web hosting truly is among small businesses and considered how to reach them. They also took the opportunity to plug their new products, of course.
The third keynote was titled "What the Other Analysts Wont Tell You About the Hosting Industry." The speaker was Andrew Schroepfer of Tier1 Research. The keynote had not yet taken place at the time of this writing, but he was scheduled to talk about his latest perspectives on the web hosting industry. It was billed as a must-see event (of course) due to the fact that the sector is currently undergoing some major changes -- no doubt reflected in one of Monday's first panels, "Mergers and Acquisitions in the Web Hosting Industry."
As to other special events, if the cPanel party on Monday night didn't tire everyone out, there was always the one on Tuesday night hosted by FastServers.Net. That one was held in the Red Room at Pure, Las Vegas, and featured KISS-FM's Storm Bennett & DJ SAB. On Wednesday night, as if in recognition that the conference IS being held in the gambling capital of the U.S., Interjuncture and CardPlayer Magazine sponsored the First Annual Hosting for Hope Charity Poker Tournament.
This was a Texas Hold'em style poker tournament; players needed to pony up $200 to buy a seat ($50 for registration and the rest for chips). The winner of the tournament earned a $10,000 buy-in to the World Series of Poker Main Event, but more importantly, all proceeds from the tournament benefited St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
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