Walter Charnizon, founder and president of TechDay HQ, who has for the last nine years, produced single-day, high-intensity trade shows in New York, Los Angeles and London, was the guest for the Sept. 30 Facebook Live edition of Dealerscope Insider Talk. TechDay’s aim is to bring those with like interests among innovators, technologists and early-stage startup companies together with investors and public audiences. The overriding mission of TechDay, Charnizon told Dealerscope, is to “democratize access to success.” (Visit here for the full broadcast: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=341522090516173&ref=search .)
In-the-flesh TechDays generally draw in the thousands, as was the case for last year’s NYC-held event at the Javits Center, where 15,000 registrants were tallied. They mixed there with an eclectic group of 300-plus startups, as well as with representatives from all sectors including universities, in search of “tactics and insights” that startups need to succeed and thrive, as described on the www.techdayhq.com website. TechDay has boasted partnerships with entities as prestigious as Columbia Business School of Columbia University and Amazon Web Services.
The Facebook Live conversation with Charnizon centered around the way he is re-imagining the in-person TechDay format, in light of the challenges of the “new normal” shaped by COVID-19.
He said it was important even during the pandemic for TechDay to continue its mandate to “‘cover the waterfront,’ and give people a sense of community and a chance to share strategies and best practices in the face of COVID.”
So Charnizon has turned to a new format for the TechDay series. In August, a full-day Founders Virtual Summit was held. Following this up, said Charnizon, he will roll out a full-blown TechDay Online, running from Nov. 17-19. He says 8,000 registrants have signed on thus far, along with close to 275 exhibiting companies. Registration is open at www.techdayhq.com, and there is a modest fee to attend.
His aim, he said, is to provide the same high-level networking, product demo and learning opportunities that TechDay is renowned for at its in-person events through the portal of attendees’ computer screens.
“We’re looking there to introduce a lot of opportunities for matchmaking and networking via AI,” he said. The plan also includes recommending contacts in advance of the event, to help attendees efficiently populate their schedule calendar.
The website description further explains that “live” hours dedicated to one-to-one networking via video and text chat, and live product demonstrations in exhibitor booths, will be available each day. And beyond these “live” hours, attendees can take part in “discovery” hours when they will be free to explore the expo hall, discover new products and companies, and request follow-up meetings with exhibitors. These “discovery” hours will also give event attendees the chance to visit the TechDay Talks learning center to take advantage of an on-demand library of presentations given by industry experts.
Charnizon said that while the event will not be the same as it is in person, “there is nothing more isolating than being an entrepreneur in a climate like this” – a situation he is determined to change with these TechDays. “Our purpose is to help economic growth of the communities we serve that gather under one roof – be it either physical or digital,” he said.
Nancy is a contributing editor for Dealerscope.