It’s Monday at HITEC, and as I sit in the press room it looks like another storm is blowing in. But no, it just rains really well. Big fat drops that are falling straight down. I wonder how the opening party will fare since it is out on Nicolett Island in the middle of the Mississippi River right next to St. Anthony Falls. There are flood warnings in the counties up river. As it turns out, there was no need to worry — the party was excellent, great food and drinks, live music in the Pavilion and beautiful gardens near the roaring waterfalls. It was a pleasant way to end a busy day getting myself oriented at the conference.
Check in was a breeze. There were enough friendly people giving good directions to keep things moving, lots of big flat TV screens with the agendas and other useful information to make finding your way easy. It is low-key so far, feels like it’s just getting started. The Minneapolis Convention Center seems like an airport with flights arriving. Big with lots of people moving about. But, these people are slightly different than most others. They all have smartphones or notebooks, many are wearing ear buds and they are quiet, absorbed, busy and efficient.
One of the educational seminars I went to, Keeping Pace with In-room Technology, was so well attended I did not find a place to sit and had to wait at the coffee shop for the keynote speaker of the day to start. It was the former CIO for the White House, Theresa Peyton. Her talk about cyber security has left me feeling unsettled, vulnerable and a little nervous about posting this here blog via the hotel Wi-Fi. But I am going to do it anyway. I am living dangerously.
Patty O’Brien is Central Reservations Manager for one of Minnesota’s favorite gaming destinations Manager Grand Casinos. She is always on the lookout for technology and programs that will increase effectiveness and efficiency.
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