Go virtual to find the real-life tech help you need

For an event centred on using and building technological fluency, it’s no surprise Techweek 2021 features an impressive variety of virtual offerings.

While Whanganui is the base for a number of events showcasing locally employed technology, events available to online users present an even greater look at the innovations shaping industry and everyday life.

Whanganui & Partners’ Business Growth Facilitator Simon Putan says local Techweek events are designed to meet knowledge gaps in the business community and pique the interest of members of the public. Whanganui & Partners is facilitating Techweek for Whanganui, the events run from 22-30 May.

“A lot of people are excited about experiencing a flight simulator at the Commercial Pilot Academy and we’ve also had a lot of business interest in the i4 Data Lab.”

The Data Lab and Innovation Day, which will be led by UCOL, is designed to empower businesses using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Trusted Data Platform technologies.

Putan says the topics are broad but their uptake will be specific to the individual attendees. “The Data Lab will be a chance to map out business and entrepreneurial opportunities that might not be obvious or which seem inaccessible.”

Online, tech fans can access virtual events covering coding, using AI for customer engagement, HR made easy for start-ups and a virtual office where business people can investigate raising capital. There are events focused on education, innovative thinking and biosecurity.

The range of virtual events is vast and Putan encourages locals to access these online resources and browse the listings to find topics that can improve their technical fluency.

“A lot of these events cover topics that can be confusing to navigate on your own and they are presented by experts who are not ordinarily available to most of us,” he says. “And a lot of them are just fascinating topics that capture the imagination.”

Putan says the panel of experts from the banking and finance sector talking about the future of online payments could provide invaluable insight for a local business person, while the talk on how to create an effective infographic might provide the type of specific advice an entrepreneur needs.

Whanganui’s Techweek events are all free while some virtual events require a fee or koha. Many events are available at various timeslots and are repeated across days.

Adding value to Whanganui’s line-up, Putan says a Proaxiom Tour is a chance to look at technology in practice and for entrepreneurs to find inspiration and guidance. A Technological Object Workshop will offer different perspectives on how technology shapes and enhances our experiences and reflects Whanganui’s character as a city which embraces creativity alongside technology.

Whanganui District Library is presenting sessions to help people fully utilise the library’s technological capacity. Putan says the library’s online catalogue is a resource the public should learn to take advantage of and complements the trend towards accessing goods and services remotely.

“You can attend as many events as your schedule allows,” Putan says, “and the virtual events allow even the busiest of us to benefit from Techweek.”

For the full programme, more information and to register for events, visit techweek.co.nz. Techweek is 22-30 May.

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