First of all, special thanks to all of the vendors and advisers that helped us with the event. These are the kind of people that make conferences possible:
Rick Nerland — Nerland Agency
Allan Johnston — TEAM Inc.
Alex Wong — Hotel Captain Cook
Bill Popp — AEDC
Liz Johnson — Ciri — Prince William Sound Cruises
Justin — Double Musky
Peter and Jacob — Premier Alaska Tours
And to those that participated!
All of these individuals supported the original Rethink: Alaska mission, and ultimately allowed us to bring a great group of geeks and entrepreneurs to The Last Frontier. Thank you all!
The Mission Originally Stated Was:
From June 21-24 we’re creating an intersection again – inviting a diverse group of entrepreneurs together who might otherwise never cross-paths – in the certainty that they’ll connect, share and learn from one another in Alaska.
We’re all geeks and entrepreneurs, many of who have traveled on GeeksOnAPlane who come from sectors such as tech, media, entertainment, food and social good. We all have our passions and our interests. At our best, we define ourselves more by the ideas we share and the impact we want to make rather than the business cards we carry.
At [Re]Think: Alaska 2011, a group of great people will be retreating from their day to day environment and spend a few days connecting, sharing, learning and developing relationships in Anchorage, Alaska, The Last Frontier…
In hindsight, we actually achieved our mission. We brought up a group of geeks, showcased Alaska, and started some interesting conversations in the community. Our conference turned retreat accomplished the same goals and had the same values as it would have with 30 instead of 8.
At the last minute, some of the attendees weren’t able to make it. However, our smaller and nimbler group gave us some opportunities to plan day trips and create a new agenda. Rethink: Alaska (which could now fit into two cars) became an unconference to the extreme!
Local Alaskans opened their homes to share their stories to our international group. We had individuals and businesses represented from The Netherlands, Texas, Honolulu, California, and more.
Yaling from Honolulu got to eat S’Mores for the first time… Bruce saw his breath on a cold day at the Saturday Market — last happened 20 years ago in Massachusetts. Jeroen from the Netherlands wondered if he could “Adopt a Highway” only to increase the speed limit.
We all learned a lot in a short week
Day 1 (Energy) — Breakfast at Snow City, then The Anchorage Planet Walk Downtown (thanks Rotary Club! We made it to Jupiter…). Then up to Bob Kaufman’s House for a BBQ and some tasty S’Mores outdoors. Bonfire! Great discussions about tech and The Alaska App.
Day 2 (Exploration) — Early morning down to Whittier for a six hour cruise in Prince William Sound. The Hawaiian’s learn the difference between a glacier and an iceberg. Everyone falls asleep on the boat at some point, overwhelmed by a spectacular day and plentiful wildlife. Dinner at Double Musky, dessert at Seven Glaciers. Beautiful photos throughout the day taken by Mike Prasad.
Day 3 (Rejuvenating) – Later start after an incredible day. Breakfast at the Hotel Captain Cook, followed by a day up at Allan Johnston’s home. A hot sun gives us all some color as we talk startups, technology, and get a pitch about a sustainable luxury beauty product made right here in Alaska. Hector from L.A. buys a bottle! Steak and salmon finish another great day of sunshine.
Day 4 (Goodbyes) — After a putz around the Saturday market (grab those souvenirs!) and a recharge at Kaladi Brothers, we head to the south side to visit our local zoo. An active polar bear and pacing tigers provide some entertainment before a dinner at the Arnold household. Conversations carry the evening before sad goodbyes…. Mike Prasad plays mixologist (for those over 21).
- Missions don’t change, but variables do. You can still accomplish the same mission with different expectations, materials, and agenda. We had less folks but the same amount of fun!
- Supply side of a conference is easy. Pre-sell your tickets before you start planning. With a small group, there will always be vendors, activities, and beds for everyone. There won’t always be ticket sales/revenue.
- Plan for days of relaxation. Let the group rejuvenate for the next adventure!
Thanks again to everyone that participated. Guests, hosts, vendors and advisers, you all made this possible.
Looking forward to seeing you at Rethink: Alaska 2012!