The Sunrise: Why it's one of our favourite tech events in Australia

The Sunrise Event

We had the pleasure of attending The Sunrise last Wednesday in Sydney as part of Vivid Ideas.

The Sunrise, run by Blackbird is regarded as one of the best tech events in Australia. And it did not disappoint.

Here are five key takeouts that took this event from good to great.

1. It was exceptionally well run. You would be surprised - or perhaps not surprised - at how many events are not well run. Good food and good coffee were readily available whenever you needed it, the break out areas were comfortable and gave sponsors and attendees the chance to spend more time talking about ideas or new technology. The main stage was well lit, had great sound and the set looked like the inside of a spaceship. The way a guest would experience the space was well thought through.

2. They really thought about their audience. They knew that many of the people attending were founders who want to spend more time networking than listening to a keynote and that was encouraged. There was enough space to be outside networking rather than in the sessions if that's what was going to work best for you.

3. Conversations between friends. The rapport between the speakers and the Blackbird team made every session feel like it was a conversation between friends rather than a lecture. The team had clearly spent time with every speaker and really knew their background. This set the tone and elevated the sessions. People were encouraged to ask questions and talk to speakers after the sessions. Most of the speakers attended the full day and were always seen talking to attendees. Having access to that kind of knowledge is so valuable in a conference circuit where more often than not speakers make their appearance and quickly exit stage left.

4. Space! The session in the middle of the day was about space. It was the second time in under six months we’ve heard experts say we will be on Mars by 2030. It was fascinating to hear speakers, Flavia, Adam, Andrea and Jason, talk about the infrastructure we should be putting on Mars now so we can be prepared to travel there when we are ready. Blackbird chose to have a session on space because they are seeing more startups in Australia get involved. Space no longer needs government support and billions of dollars behind it, we have the technology available now and Australia is slowly becoming obsessed with space. We have more space startups in Australia per capita outside of California. That is crazy!

5. Diversity of everything. There was great diversity throughout the day. We often talk about the importance of diversity but what made this stand out was the fact that the diversity of speakers lead to a better overall world view of the topics that were being covered. In the space session alone Flavia is an Italian living in Adelaide, Adam had a background working at Citibank, Andrea is an Australian working at the European Space Agency and Jason is an American involved in Australian space start-ups. That diversity gave depth and credibility to the conversation which is invaluable for a conference.

If you’re interested in tech or just want to experience a well run event, put The Sunrise 2018 on your must-do list.