On 12/12/12, I was honored to be a part of a great event called IT Palooza. This event was born out of a discussion at a south Florida tech leader dinner. While many great ideas come from these meetings, Alex Funkhouser of Sherlock Tech Staffing and Lenny Chesal of Host.net decided to make this one a reality.
The purpose of the event was to make all of the various tech user groups in south Florida aware of each other and to demonstrate the vitality of the tech sector here…all while having a good time! The event was hosted by the Graduate School for Computer and Information Sciences at Nova Southeastern University and featured free meeting space for tech groups to have their holiday parties, technical education demonstrations, contests and hackathons, and an after party featuring a band of all IT professionals from the area. It was a great success, drawing more than 1,200 IT professionals from the south Florida area to the campus of Nova Southeastern University.
IT Palooza was billed as a tech holiday party, and as we know, the holidays are about giving. The event was also a stellar success from this perspective. IT Palooza participants raised more than $15,000 worth of toys for the Toys for Tots program, while also giving Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward and Miami-Dade counties each a check for $1,500 and the Academy of IT a check for $2,000.
I was responsible for the social media for the event and maintained the Twitter and Facebook accounts for it along with my doctoral student. Over all, I was extremely satisfied with the event and it was a great night for IT in south Florida and across the state!