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Wellington web tech conference celebrates 10th birthday

16 Feb 2016

Last week Webstock held it’s annual conference in Wellington, inviting speakers and attendees to celebrate its 10th annual birthday.

First established in 2005 by a small non-profit group, Webstock is a web tech conference that features a range of high-profile speakers who cover topics such as accessibility, usability, ethnographic design and development practices.

The conference has been designed to ‘inspire and educate’ those working in the digital realm, and this year was focused on intention, reflecting on beginnings as well as looking to the future of both the web and the community.

“Webstock ’16 will be a time to look at the challenges overcome, those we’ve still to face, and the opportunities we have to make the web and the products and services we work on better,” the team said.

Chris Whelan, Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) chief executive, says, “WREDA is very pleased to have worked with the Webstock team to bring world-class digital creatives to Wellington. The calibre of international speakers was once again superb, further enhancing Wellington’s reputation as a global hub of culture, creativity and technology.”

Close to 1,000 web designers, developers and industry leaders from around the globe gathered in Wellington for the sold-out 2016 Webstock Conference. Pre-conference workshops at were held at Shed 6 on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the Conference at St James Theatre on Thursday and Friday.

What begun as the brainchild of Natasha Lampard, Mike Brown, Deb Sidelinger and Ben Lampard, has grown from 500 to around 1,000 delegates in the 10 years Webstock has been in Wellington.

Natasha Lampard of Webstock says Wellington is a great fit for the event.

“We love Wellington and its supportive and collaborative nature. It’s well connected, and its size lends itself ever so nicely to sharing ideas and doing business,” she says.

Whelan also congratulated Webstock organisers on the growth and continued development of the conference.

“Not only has Webstock made a regular contribution to our visitor economy for a decade, it has fostered an innovation-focused, collaborative spirit that is a key element of our economic future. I have no doubt that ideas inspired at Webstock will continue to fuel Wellington’s digital talent and entrepreneurs for years to come,” he says.

According to Webstock, there are more than 3,600 businesses in Wellington’s ICT sector, up from 2,500 in 2002, and Wellingtonians are twice as likely to work in ICT as those in other New Zealand regions.

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