It’s time again for the Nonprofit Technology Conference, NTEN’s annual big deal event for those of us who use technology and the web to advance meaningful work. This will be my eighth NTC (out of the last nine). Here’s my NTEN history:
2005: Emily Zukerberg and Marnie Webb tell me about NTEN and I join in SF, attending my first NTC in Chicago, where I somehow got roped into presenting at three sessions.
2008: New Orleans
2009: San Francisco, and the first #ntcbeer event, where we had about 45 people brave their way to Berkeley.
2010: Atlanta. Here I introduced the Tech Track; five sessions on geeky topics that helped balance things after a headlong dive into social media madness that almost obscured NTEN’s mission, from where I sat. We had three of the top ten rated sessions that year. The second #ntcbeer got about 40 people at a great bar that was way too far from the hotel.
I missed 2011 in DC. But my good work went on with out me. Tracy Kronzak led up the second tech track to further success, and #ntcbeer boasted about 100 people at my favorite DC bar, Churchkey. Oh, and I won a little award.
2012: San Francisco. No tech track this year, because we incorporated it more solidly into the IT Staff track, which the tech track crew curated. #ntcbeer probably broke a few zoning laws, with about 150 people packed into a small bar.
Now I’m off to Minneapolis for #13NTC, and it’s shaping up to be another good one. Here’s where you can find me:
April 10th, 7:00 pm, Brit’s Pub a few doors from the hotel for the 5th Annual #ntcbeer event. As of this writing, we have a dead heat for signups on the official Facebook page (90) and the MyNTC event page (89) for a grand total of, well, somewhere between 160 and 170, I think. There are duplicate signups and there’s no easy way to do the math. This is definitely shaping up to be the largest one yet, as many more people will sign up in the days just before NTC and quite a few won’t bother signing up at all. Join me there with the understanding that it’s about the company first, beer second; we have a history of being a welcoming, casual crowd. And we have some surprises in store.
If you aren’t going to NTC, but you can get to Austin, Texas, be sure to attend our sister #ntcbeer event! Rumor has it that they know how to have a good time in Austin.
On Thursday. the 11th, I hope to participate in NTEN’s Day of Service. I’m signed up, but concerned that I’ve heard nothing about this event to date. Then I’m off to the IT Director’s meetup at 10:30, followed by the Science Fair, NTEN’s always impressive vendor show. What’s great here is that NTEN draws nobody that is even capable of a hard sell — the vendor show is a great way to acquaint yourself with the nonprofit technology out there and the people who know how to make great use of it. It’s a conversation-rich event.
My evening plans aren’t 100% booked, but if you work, as I do, in Legal Aid, please let me know so I can add you to the dinner reservation for the Legal Aid get-together. I’ll be joined by fellow LSCer David Bonebrake and friends with ProBono.Net, LSNTAP, The Shriver Center on Poverty Law, Montana Legal Services, and hopefully more.
On Friday, Dan Pallotta follows up his groundbreaking TED talk that challenges all of us to shake up the damaging preconceptions we have about charity and donating. Then I’m off to sessions on IT Governance (by frequent co-collaborator Matt Eshleman of Community IT) and Bridging the tech funding gap, with Lindsay Bealko.
At 3:30, I’m presenting on Project Management: Choosing the Right Tools and Approaches for Disparate Projects. I’m only somewhat ambitious here, but my goal is that everyone attending will walk away with a solid understanding about traditional (“Waterfall”) and modern “Agile” project management; how and when to apply one, the other, or some combination of the two; and what awesome tools and applications are available to support them. As always, I’ll keep the PowerPointing to a reasonable time limit and mine the wisdom of the crowd attending. I think there will be a healthy showing and there are already some gurus signed up.
Friday night is the progressive party — not sure where I’ll be, but I”ll hit as many of them as I can. This might be the best chance to catch up with me, so let me know if you want to hang out.
On Saturday, after the Allyson Burn’s plenary, I’ll be leading a “Big Idea” panel on the Role of IT in Nonprofits. Joining me will be Donny Shimamoto of Intraprise Techknowlogies and Michael Enos, CTO of Second Harvest Food Bank in my old stomping grounds, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, CA. We’ll be sure to hit the big topics about where IT works in the org chart (and where it’s set up to fail, browse this blog for lots of my thoughts on this); what nonprofits should pay, and what good can an IT strategic plan do for you.
Finally, after lunch, I’ll be crashing Tracy Kronzak and Robert Weiner’s “Data is from Mars, Nonprofits are from Venus” session before getting way too early a plane back to DC and missing out on the Geek Games. But, no rest — LSC’s board meeting starts on Sunday.
I do hope to see you there — let me know where you’ll be in the comments!