Big, bundled and coming to town

It had to happen. Just as vendors today are bundling software packages together, conference organizers are bundling events, which is all part of the 'more bang for your buck' trend that has dominated IT in recent years.

The biggest example of this has to be SEARRC 2005, which will be held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre from September 28 to 30. This is an event that can only be described as huge. Hosted by the Australian Computer Society, it incorporates the South East Asian Regional Computer Federation annual conference and five other leading ICT events.

Dubbed ICT Building Bridges, it will be the biggest event in town for CIOs and ICT practitioners this year boasting more than 60 sessions from both local and international business leaders.

Kumar Parakala, SEARRC chairman, says there will be four conference streams including innovation which looks at new technology; education which features academic speakers; management which is central to IT today; and government, with presentations from the likes of the Australian Information Management Office (AGIMO) and other state and federal government agencies.

Australia's public sector IT leaders will be joined by IT officials from New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Africa, the US, The Netherlands, India, Germany and Taiwan.

Some interesting projects are slated for the event including the results of joint research undertaken by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre and two universities. ASIC operations director Keith Inman will present the results of the project which was to develop an ICT-based solution to protect online transactions.

One of the most entertaining sessions scheduled for Searrc is a presentation by Paul Glen, the award-winning author of Leading Geeks: How to manage and lead people who deliver technology.

Glen is an energetic presenter and passionate about the subject of managing technology staff.

He says every executive must know how to handle IT staff because they are unique.

"They are vital to a company's success, yet most executives find ICT professionals difficult to fathom and even harder to lead. Traditional approaches to leadership don't work with them," Glen said.

His SEARRC presentation will provide 11 tips on ways to motivate geeks. It is actually 10 tips, but he added one more that he said just had to be included: that is to "offer free food ... intermittently". This tip proclaims: "Never underestimate the power of free food. I can't offer any rational explanation, but for geeks, even those making sizeable incomes, free food offers major support to motivation development, far more than an equivalent amount of cash."

For more information about SEARRC contact the conference secretariat on +61 2 9439 5133 or denyse_robertson@idg.com.au

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