If anybody thought that hi tech was in the tank, last weekend’s Cyberposium proved that it is still going strong – at HBS at least. Cyberposium has rapidly grown in its six years of existence to be one of the most hi profile student run events on campus, this year attracting over 150 corporate speakers, and over 1,700 paying attendees from from all continents except Antarctica.
While there was not the same frenzy that surrounded last year’s event, with dot.com reps feted as popstars, the buzz surrounding ‘visionaries’ such as Tim Koogle of Yahoo and Jim Barksdale, formerly of Netscape, was tangible.
Administratively and technically the event was first class – the handouts contained more information than most encyclopaedias, non-transferable tickets meant little opportunity for arbitrage (even though it is unlikely that this year people would have been willing to pay 500% premiums for tickets), and panels ran on time. The key events were transmitted live on the web – and they will even annotate the discussions later, allowing you to search for references in hindsight. This is one relief to the attendees who were faced with having to chose from 48 different panel discussions over the four time slots, and ended up bouncing from room to room.
David Margalit, one of the event co-chairs, cited the fantastic efforts of the students as the key. “Over 100 students worked on making Cyberposium a success. The effort, energy and passion that they put in was unbelievable”.
This year a concurrent event was linked in real time – Cyberposium@Chicago, and a Tech Show was held with 25 companies showing off their latest techno gadgets. Overall, a professionally run event, that will have impressed upon companies and visitors that when it comes to hi-tech, HBS still rocks.