At THAT, technology is the theme that brings us all together. It's the common connection that links our community of professionals, families and businesses. Our goal with THAT is to bridge the gap between professionals and businesses, beginner and experienced technologists, all while shining a light on the importance of family and caring for your whole self.
When we set out on this journey our vision was to build not just a conference but a platform that would keep the conversations, relationships and learning happening 365 days a year. For us the conference is the reunion.
THAT Conference was conceived from a vision different than most others at the time. Our goal was focused on disrupting the tech community in all ways. To create a space where all felt welcome and supported regardless of color, gender, age or experience. To build a family-friendly environment that worked to lift everyone up. Because of that, our story is a bit different than most.
Created and built by a small team of volunteers, we had our first event in August 2012, with a total of 400 people. We now welcome nearly 2000 attendees. What started as a $90,000 event has turned into an almost million dollar event with multi-year contracts.
THAT Conference ("Summer Camp for Geeks") is a multi-day, community-driven, family friendly, polyglot tech conference with session offerings for all ages and experience levels. Our flagship event in Wisconsin Dells takes over the Kalahari for 4 straight days. Kicking off with a full day of hands on workshops, followed with 3 days of 1 hour sessions, open spaces, social events, hands-on activities for our campers, campmates and of course our geeklings of all ages and levels.
We think of our role as a vanguard in the community. Working to promote a behavior, and build a platform that adds value every day. We set out to build not just a conference but a platform that would keep the conversations, relationships and learning happening 365 days a year. For us the conference is the reunion. It's the one time each year we all get together to reconnect, build a deeper supportive network, share ideas and be filled with inspiration.
When we started, everyone told us doing a conference was silly. Doing it in the Midwest was pointless, as you have to be on the coasts; that’s where all the tech really happens. People said that we were emphatically crazy. It didn't phase us. We know the power is in people themselves and bringing people together face-to-face. As it gives a much more in-depth, quality, high-fidelity conversation that we all need. We focus the sessions on the things you can’t get from searching Google. You want to hear somebody’s story, their experience, their perspective. You want the session to be the catalyst for a conversation, not a very small slice of ‘I learned a new thing’. That is where growth happens and people are lifted up, and we are making that happen year round.