All aboard for NZ's largest tech conference

Be entertained by Dai Henwood, party with Fat Freddy’s Drop, and hear from "rockstar" speakers.

That's the pitch from Microsoft Tech.Ed 2011, New Zealand’s largest technology conference, which kicks off on Wednesday August 24.

More than 2,500 IT pros are expected to descend on Auckland for the three-day event, where 140-plus  international and local tech experts will present at 170 sessions and 30 hands-on labs over three days.

That includes Norm Judah, Microsoft’s CTO of Worldwide Services and David Kirk, former All Black captain and business leader. In addition, several key businesses will be sharing their technology journeys over the past year, including the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Auckland Council, IAG, Carter Holt Harvey and Silver Fern Farms.

That'll be followed by the TechFest extravaganza, which will see delegates making the trek from the SkyCity Convention Centre down to the Town Hall to be entertained by comedian Dai Henwood, home-grown Fat Freddy’s Drop and world-class covers band The Kingpins. 

“Tech.Ed plays a huge role in the continued training and education of IT professionals in New Zealand,” says Brett O’Riley, NZICT chief executive.

Paul Muckleston, Microsoft New Zealand’s managing director, says having the opportunity to see and hear what industry leaders are doing is hugely valuable.

“We hope delegates will come away from the event inspired to create innovative solutions for their businesses and customers.

"Microsoft sees the development of our local IT professionals and software developers as critical to the future success of both the individuals and their businesses. The flow on effect to New Zealand in terms of innovation and productivity is of huge importance.”

A selection of Tech.Ed sessions will also be available online after the event concludes at

 Some Tech.Ed facts:
·         This marks the events 16th year
·         Four kilometres of Ethernet cabling are used to link all the tech gear up
·         Last year only 10 percent of attendees were women
·         It takes seven people three days to set everything up, and four hours to dismantle

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).