The Rapidian

Google I/O Extended Conference to be held in Grand Rapids on May 18

The Google Developers Group of Grand Rapids is hosting a full-day conference that includes local speakers, hands-on breakout sessions, a stream of Google’s keynote address, and lots of fun.
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About NPO Showcase

NPO Showcase highlights nonprofit and government organizations and the work that they're doing in our community. The program is a feature of GRTV, a service of the Community Media Center, with producer and host Julie Way. You can catch it on GRTV on Saturdays at 8 AM and 6 PM and can view past episodes on the Grand Rapids Community Media Center website. If your nonprofit would like to be interviewed on NPO Showcase, please contact Julie Way.

Google I/O Extended GR Planning Committee

Google I/O Extended GR Planning Committee /GDG Grand Rapids

An exciting Google conference, I/O Extended, will be held in Grand Rapids on May 18 at the Harris Building.

Each year, Google holds their annual I/O event in California to gather the technology and developer communities and to announce new products. Because tickets for the event sell out so quickly, Google streams this content via YouTube and encourages developers to hold their own I/O Extended events in their communities.

“It’s a conference inside a conference,” explains Dan Mikita, Co-organizer of the Google Developers Group (GDG) Grand Rapids and Google I/O Extended GR.

“We have our own local speakers, our own local keynote, vendors… all the stuff you’d expect at a conference.”

The event is organized and hosted by the GDG Grand Rapids, a nonprofit technical community. These sub-chapter Developer Groups exist all over the world, and are sanctioned by Google.

The Google brand helps to market and draw people to the event. “Everybody knows the Google name,” says Dan McCracken, Co-organizer of the GDG Grand Rapids and Google I/O Extended GR, noting the popularity of Gmail, YouTube, and Android devices.

“Everybody’s interacted with Google at some level.”

This is the third year the I/O Extended Conference will be held in Grand Rapids, and GDG Grand Rapids is reaching out beyond the developer community to include entrepreneurs, designers, and students that are interested in technology.

“[The event] brings together all of the business people, and all of the technology people, and they need each other.” says Mikita. “What we need in the community is for these people to talk. That’s what brings great products and ideas to life.”

“When people come together around technology, everybody’s so passionate about their own little piece of technology. People love to argue and have discussions about it,” adds McCracken. “This is a great forum to come together and do that.”

GDG Grand Rapids aims to keep the conference “local” while also bringing the Google culture to Grand Rapids. Food and drink will be provided by local vendors such as Propaganda Doughnuts and Lantern Coffee, and there will be ping pong and foosball tables set up for relaxing during breaks.

“This year, we’re at the Harris Building, which is way more Google-y,” jokes McCracken.

The conference will be held from 8AM-5 PM on May 18 at the Harris Building and will include a local keynote and breakout sessions, streaming of the Google keynote, and a fun after-party with beer from New Holland Brewing and music from Valentiger. You must register in advance on Eventbrite.

Meet Mikita and McCracken in GRTV’s NPO Showcase interview above, or catch it airing on GRTV and LiveWire. You can also check out the GDG Grand Rapids website to learn more.

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