InternetNZ is changing the format of its annual NetHui conference for the 20216 event, its sixth. Instead of being a three-day event in one location, it will be three one-day events in different locations: in Nelson on 13 October, South Auckland on 15 October, and Rotorua on 17 October.
InternetNZ's chief executive, Jordan Carter, said it was important that NetHui involved all of the Internet community, including those that live outside of the major centres. "We want to broaden NetHui's horizons and connect with more people who use the Internet across New Zealand. This is why we're taking NetHui on the road this year."
The move follows InternetNZ’s community programme director, Ellen Strickland, floating the idea in a blog post in January. She wrote: “We're asked by a range of people after every NetHui if their local community could host a NetHui - people from regional centres in the North and South Island have been keen to see more NetHui events outside the main centres.”
She suggested that the roaming event would alternate with single location NetHuis. “We are proposing that NetHui 2017 be planned as a NetHui 'classic' (a three day event in either Wellington or Auckland),” Strickland wrote. “Depending on how the regional events go, we could move to a two year cycle of regional and national events.”
Strickland also flagged holding the events in collaboration with others: “We want to bring a bit of NetHui to events where the community is already going - including other tech related conferences and events in New Zealand.”
NetHui is billed as “a community event … for anyone that uses the Internet and anyone who is interested in improving the Internet.”
InternetNZ says attendees include business owners, education providers, regional start-ups and people from the general public who are interested in tech and the way the Internet is changing New Zealander's lives.
The 2015 event, in Auckland, attracted 450 delegates. InternetNZ said most came from the technology sector, followed by business, civil society and academic sectors.
InternetNZ is building the conference programme and inviting anyone with topics they would like to speak on to get in touch via 2016.nethui.nz.