Huawei sets the norm and kicks the ball out of the park: How to Network in a City without WiFi!

“It’s been good, I’ve never seen a venue like this.” – This is what Antoni Raducanu of Eastern Confor met for the first time, the Huawei Center for Communications Sciences at the NYC Tech Meetup.

Most people expect to hear about events at conferences being missed because people aren’t in the event’s designated areas, but this was different. Even the General Manager of Huawei in the USA announced at one point that they couldn’t really count on people being in the presenation area.

“This was the first time I’ve seen a venue that actually not only featured the content, but even brings the content to the audience,” said Dr. Antoni Raducanu, President of East Coast Networks.

The Astoria apartment hosting all the activity hosted packed conference rooms for a full day of activities and a free taco bar.

“The only thing that I found a little disorienting was that the wifi was kind of off all the time. The other topic that I was having a little difficulty with was that the network seemed to work better here then it did at other locations,” said Eric Spottiswood, Chief Scientist at Huawei, but he quickly noted that it’s been easier in small communities.

Every conference organizer will tell you that QT is the hardest part, it is how you install your content, make sure that the WiFi was working, get your maps up. And then there’s human interaction. It’s not just the content, it’s the good people that you are going to be interacting with.

Everyone had good things to say about Huawei and their experience for QT. In fact Dr. Spottiswood told Steve that there were so many good people to work with that the whole Huawei team ended up being taken with the series. “While it’s been super engaging, I think this was just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

Antoni agreed that it’s all hands on deck at QT. They had three different talk groups going at once, and there were three different teams working on this presentation. While it’s been enjoyable and effective, they just want to make sure everything runs smoothly.

“We are still having a lot of back and forth. As we are looking for other cities that we can use this kind of space, it’s important that we are able to repeat this kind of experience. It’s rewarding, it’s exciting to be on the ground in these communities to get the stories that they are so appreciative of.” – Alex and Constance are passionate about showcasing local businesses and this tour gave them a nice connection to people and helping new businesses in the area.

With a Winter Conference, two big events in a shorter time period, Huawei is looking for ways to maintain this quality level for future meetings.

“What is next? Well, the goal is to be here as long as we can. It would be great if there was a way that we could ramp up the live component and increase the sharing so that we can tell more stories,” Antoni said.

What next? What now? That is to be determined, but one thing is clear, there is a huge push to document QT on social media, through their social media channels and the facilities they’re using. And when the cameras are rolling, it’s a chance to show a location that is about so much more than the WiFi and the Bluetooth.

“You walk into a location and see a taco bar and people hanging out and watching a presentation, the Wi-Fi stops working and that is completely absent. Not only that, but it feels very isolated so there’s a juxtaposition and we tried to capture it as much as we could. I think what we can hopefully achieve, it’s not only about changing the norm and boosting awareness, but it’s also about changing the understanding of what is possible.”

Don’t miss the next session and interview with Richard Rochlin and his team at work on the social impact of QT!

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