Schedule

Day 01

Welcome to Geekend! Our first day's sessions are dedicated to startups and innovative thinking to grow and scale your business. Come ready to learn, share, and connect with your fellow Geekenders. End the day at Pitch Circus, and chase with a few cocktails at the afterparty!

Discovering new video games has never been so much fun! Stop by our Indie Game Arcade to play the latest and greatest video games created by independent developers from the Savannah area. While you’re at it, you may want to register for the upcoming beta of Project MQ, a discovery platform just for indie games. Entry to the Indie Game Arcade is free and open to the public!

 

The Arena Lobby

The Guild Hall

8:00am - 5:00pm

Geekend HQ & Registration

Start here to pick up your badge and join fellow Geekenders for some morning java and breakfast before embarking on the full day of sessions. Stop by the rest of the day to get a treat or break.

Innovation goes beyond your product — and no one knows this better than Jesse Cole, owner of the Savannah Bananas, motivational speaker and author of Business Done Differently. Kick off Geekend with a practical guide to customer-focused innovation and discover how to never lose a customer again with a step by step plan to wow your customers even after the sale.  You’ll learn how to create raving fans who are loyal instead of customers who are transactional, and using raving fans and customer-for-life techniques, you’ll learn to map the perfect customer journey within your company. By developing a fans-first mentality, you can also create attention and word of mouth marketing from your biggest supporters.

 

Speaker

The Arena Lobby

The Guild Hall

10:00am - 5:00pm

The ATDC Room

Improve your idea! ATDC’s staff is comprised of seasoned entrepreneurs who coach entrepreneurs and companies on business models, product features, funding, and management. Stop by to get a coaching block at ATDC’s office hours.

Task Creatives will unveil the latest projects in research and development involving augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR). SuAnne Fu will be joined by her co-founders, Aram Cookson and Kelly Carlton for a demonstration of how the applications of immersive computing will change the future of our lives from design specializations to consumer everyday lifestyle.

The Arena

The Guild Hall

11:00am - 12:00pm

Reality 2.0

AR/VR Tech That Disrupts the Status Quo

As augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are becoming the hottest trends in tech development, join us in this panel to see the applications of AR/VR to various industries from architectural visualization to mainstream entertainment. This panel of experts will showcase their work with in-depth analyses of AR/VR’s application to shaping our lives.

The Lounge

The Jolly Goblin

11:00am - 12:00pm

Ecommerce Success

Increase Online Sales through Automation and Retargeting

Every retailer knows that in order to grow they need to be better at selling more product online. Some retailers report selling up to 20-30% of their goods just through email. There has been an explosion of software tools that make marketing automation, data collection and analytics accessible to all businesses. Learn the secrets of how small and mid-level retailers build their customer base through online marketing channels including email, Google and Facebook ads and retargeting.

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8 Bit Donuts

12:00pm - 1:00pm

LUNCH

We all need a little fuel to keep going. Take a break and enjoy some lunch!

Early access for Geekend attendees only! Come experience a wide array of augmented and virtual reality (that’s AR/VR for short!) technologies and projects at this special showcase.

The Arena

The Guild Hall

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Making Homebrew

The Genesis and Growth of One of the World’s Most Popular Open Source Projects

When the tools you use aren’t up to scratch, you can make do…or you can make new. In this session, Max Howell shares his experiences building the Homebrew package manager and its unexpected, explosive success. Homebrew is free and open source; in 2013 it had the most contributors of any project on GitHub. It continues to be used by developers all over the world.

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The Lounge

The Jolly Goblin

1:00pm - 2:00pm

From Startup to Standout

Founder stories from the front lines

Building a startup is hard. Hear from founders who have taken their companies from idea to product to customers to investors and have built sustainable businesses around their products. They will share the joys and challenges they have faced along the way in bringing their product to market, raising capital and building the right team.

The Arena

The Guild Hall

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Live Here, Work Anywhere

Distributed Teams & Global Reach

Amid the Spanish moss and horse-drawn carriages, Savannah is home to a growing number of successful tech companies and remote workers. As the world of business becomes more connected through technology, it is becoming easier for companies to reach and serve a global customer base and grow their teams using talented workers that live anywhere. Join this panel of founders and technologists that have chosen to live in Savannah and build tech companies or work for global companies.

The Lounge

The Jolly Goblin

2:00pm - 3:00pm

The What, Why, & How of Intrapreneurship

Intrapreneurship is a hot topic among the world’s most innovative companies – an opportunity for both employees and employers to achieve breakthrough success.
In this session, intrapreneurship expert Gray Somerville combines story-telling and theory to explain what intrapreneurship is, why it matters to both employees and employers, and how to make it happen. He will share case studies from how he has helped corporations be more innovative through encouraging employees to embrace entrepreneurial techniques within their working environment.

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The Arena

The Guild Hall

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Southern Stories in Video Game Development

The South Carolina Lowcountry and Coastal Georgia provide a rich historical-cultural context for storytelling—not just for books, movies, and television, but for video games as well. Let Brian Canada take you on a fun and fascinating exploration of how regional history, Gullah-Geechee folklore, and other uniquely Southern traditions have influenced the design of recent video game projects, including Bugs ‘N Boo Hags, a locally-developed indie game selected for PAX Rising at PAX South 2016.

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The Lounge

The Jolly Goblin

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Med Tech Innovation

It’s exciting. It’s complex. Let’s unpack it.

Launching successful medical products and services is both exciting and complicated. Our expert panelists will share how to bring together a complex set of components – hardware, software, services, and people — to make it happen.

The Arena

The Guild Hall

4:00pm - 5:00pm

Time for Funding

When to Raise Investment for Your Startup

When is the right time to raise money for your startup? And what do angel investors look for in ‘fundable’ companies? Join this panel of angel investors from around the region to understand what investors are looking for and when and how to raise money for your startup.

The Lounge

The Jolly Goblin

4:00pm - 5:00pm

AI & Machine Learning Demystified

Data science is disrupting the world. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to radically redefine how we solve problems and deliver products. We will hear from dual presenters about how they are using machine learning to solve everyday issues in business.

The Arena

The Guild Hall

5:00pm - 7:00pm

Bowery Group Happy Hour

If you need some inspiration finding your niche in Savannah’s innovation economy, grab a drink from the bar and gather around to hear selected startups present their business concepts to an expert panel of judges at ATDC’s Pitch Circus.

The Arena

The Guild Hall

5:00pm - 6:30pm

Pitch Circus

This is your chance to see the best entrepreneurs and the most promising startups in the Savannah region pitch their vision and strategy for changing the world. You’ll get to watch them interact with a panel of judges with backgrounds in technology, entrepreneurship, higher education and media as they compete for cash and in-kind prizes.

Pub Courtyard & Gardens

The Chromatic Dragon

7:00pm - 9:00pm

Day One Afterparty

You’ve made it to Geekend! Get to know your fellow attendees over cold drinks, hot music, and LOTS of fast talking.

Day 02

Make like your laptop charger and plug in, because today is all about serious fun. Discover what goes into video game development, explore the world in a new way with the latest in augmented and virtual reality technologies, and play the day away our Indie Game Arcade.

The Arena Lobby

The Guild Hall

8:30am - 4:45pm

Geekend HQ & Registration

Join us for some coffee and breakfast before diving in to the last day of Geekend!

The Arena

The Guild Hall

9:00am - 10:00am

#MadeinSAV

Hostess City Successes in Building & Scaling Consumer Product Brands

Made in Savannah, sold everywhere. Hear the stories behind these Savannah powerhouse brands and learn about the unique challenges these founders have faced in building nationally recognized consumer brands.

 

How Emotional Intelligence Spurs Innovation & Creativity within Teams

Learn what it takes to create and sustain an emotionally healthy dynamic that fosters innovation and drives outcomes for you and your teams. Devin O’Bryan is a designer-educator with an eye for talent and a heart for cultivating that talent. He currently serves IBM’s Strategic Talent Program as design advocate and facilitator. His past 4 years have been filled with guiding and co-creating within IBM Corporate HR and IBM Design’s global education efforts with programs like IBM Design Bootcamp Experiences, IBM Designweek events, and building the immersive and award-winning, Maelstrom internship program. In this talk, Devin will share his experiences and lessons learned through Maelstrom as it grew to become the prime IBM’s premier software design experience.

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The Arena

The Guild Hall

11:45am - 12:45pm

The Art of User Experience

The essence of user experience is how a person feels when interfacing with a system. Ironically, it is something we never think about unless the process is broken and it is not easy to use a particular product. Join this panel of user experience experts as they discuss projects ranging from video games to mobile apps to B2B sites and hear about their process of designing human centered experiences and products. Learn about the processes and tools that they use to figure out how a user should interact with a product, including user research, interviews, data analytics, algorithms and more.

The Lounge

The Jolly Goblin

11:45am - 12:45pm

Automating Software Development

Software is more than code, and a lot of time and overhead that goes into building software can be automated. This talk will look at the tools and techniques that software teams are using to automate everything from project management, to code review, to product feedback.

Speaker

Come experience a wide array of augmented and virtual reality (that’s AR/VR for short!) technologies and projects at this special showcase. This event is free and open to the public!

8 Bit Donuts

12:45pm - 5:00pm

Indie Game Arcade

Discovering new video games has never been so much fun! Stop by our Indie Game Arcade to play the latest and greatest video games created by independent developers from Savannah and the Southeast. While you’re at it, you may want to register for the upcoming beta of Project MQ, a discovery platform just for indie games. Entry to the Indie Game Arcade is free and open to the public!

 

8 Bit Donuts

12:45pm - 3:00pm

LUNCH

We all need a little fuel to keep going. Take a break and enjoy some lunch!

The Jolly Goblin

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Hour of Code

This Hour of Code workshop is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. Ages 6+, free and open to the public. Advance registration strongly recommended, as space is limited. Parents should plan to accompany young children.

What’s it like designing the UI for a mobile game based on a world-famous brand? As an artist, what strategies work when it comes to creating your own designs outside of the commercial space?
In this session, Blair Cooper talks about his experiences outside of his work as a visual designer for commercial games. He’ll share personal projects that explore fictional user interfaces (FUI), discussing process, inspiration, and techniques. 

 

Speaker

The Lounge

The Jolly Goblin

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Real Life: I'm an Indie Game Developer

presented by Indienomicon

It takes hard work and dedication to make a video game, especially without the big budgets associated with blockbuster AAA games. How do indie game developers support their passion with limited resources?

Join game makers from Indienomicon, Florida’s indie game developer collective, as they discuss a day in the life of an indie game dev.

This session is free and open to the public.

Gain insight into common pitfalls for designing games and UI for kids, and learn tips on how to interact with them to get the most out of your playtest sessions.

Speaker

The Arena

The Guild Hall

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Cryptocurrency Crash Course

Colloquially referred to as “crypto,” cryptocurrency is setting the stage for major economic and technological changes that will impact the way we do business. Join this panel of enterprising crypto enthusiasts to learn what exactly cryptocurrencies are and how they are enabled by the underlying blockchain technology.  This disruptive technology will very likely affect our lives and communities in the not-too-distance future, so join us to discover what it all really means.

Since the indie game boom of 2008 that ushered in an age of passion, creativity and breaking boundaries with games like Jonathan Blow’s Braid and 2D Boy’s World of Goo, game development has become so accessible that it seems everyone is building a game.

With so many games being released every day, gaining recognition is very difficult, regardless of the quality of the game. Join this panel of game developers for a rundown of their successes in marketing their independent video games to the masses.

The Arena

The Guild Hall

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Breaking into Tech

Tools & Opportunities

As the tech industry grows in Savannah and across the globe, more and more workers from different industries are being pulled in to work for tech companies: programmers, marketers, product managers, and designers are just some of the roles required to create and sell technology.

Join this panel of mavericks and hear about how they got into tech, the latest and greatest software tools that they use every day, and opportunities for others to work in this growing industry. Plus, hear about all of the opportunities in Savannah to get plugged in, learn to code and get a job. Our panel will include a senior developer, CEO of a tech company, UI/UX designer and product manager, offering a cross-section of people needed to build technology.

The Arena

The Guild Hall

4:00pm - 5:00pm

Savannah Tech Corridor

Uniting the Technologist & Game Dev Communities

The technologist and game development communities in tech — even in the world’s leading tech centers — often operate in isolation. Join us for this exciting final panel of Geekend 2018 where we will discuss why this isolation exists, how Savannah is uniquely positioned to bridge that tech industry divide, and how that fits into the city’s strategy as an emerging tech corridor.

The Arena

The Guild Hall

5:00pm - 6:30pm

ProjectMQ Indie Game Awards

Join us for the ProjectMQ Indie Game Awards, where we’ll celebrate the indie games from the Geekend Indie Game Arcade and the talented local and regional developers who made them. ProjectMQ’s Malcolm Howard will present the People’s Choice Award, and attendees will have a chance to win games, merchandise, and even a Nintendo Switch, sponsored by Savannah-based Avant Games.

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Geekenders believe anything is possible…
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