By now, everyone is completely sick and tired of the capital letter G and the number 20. Especially when they are linked up with a hyphen. The Pittsburgh Summit 2009 or G-20 went off without a hitch and it was a wonderful thing, but we’re all a little burned out on it by now.
The Council and I (I am an employee after all.), had G-20 on the brain all summer long. I was in the thick of it all last week and had sweet press credentials for the entire conference. (Thanks Allegheny Conference for making that happen!) I had to decompress what was left of my mind over the weekend and sort out my thoughts on key takeaways from this wonderful, yet extremely stressful experience to share with Techburgher readers.
I think my breathing is just about back to normal and all of my grey matter is in its proper place, so in no real particular order:
The Council and its TEQ newsmagazine maximized exposure of the local technology industry with the special G-20 issue that was sent to hundreds of media contacts around the world. During the week of the summit, the magazine was placed into thousands more hands at the G-20 Media Center downtown, the airport and a slew of events, including our Pre-G-20 Forum with Eric Schmidt of Google. He said that the PTC is the nation’s most effective technology council. Wow! What an honor!
The Pre-G-20 event was a smash hit, drawing some 400 people to the first session and more than 600 to the second session as Schmidt detailed his views on Pittsburgh as a tech center and the overall blistering pace of technology transformation.
Operating an elevator is rewarding work. It gets people to the places that they want to go. I operated the elevators all morning at the Google event taking attendees to the second floor of Heinz Field. It’s definitely a job with its ups and downs!
The United States military and law enforcement are supremely awesome. I tip my hat to these men and women. They kept G-20 running like a well-oiled machine and were the backbone to a successful conference.
Love him or hate him, President Obama is a magnetic speaker. He addressed the press at the end of the conference. I’ve never heard him speak in public until then, but he has a captivating mixture of charisma, speaking presence and personality. He still talks about those freaking pancakes from Pamela’s…Very cool to see him and hear him speak.
The success of the Pittsburgh Summit really goes to show how well all of the region’s disparate stakeholders came together and worked for one common cause – that being Pittsburgh. Truly a remarkable example of how we can all work together. I hope there will be more of it in the future.
I overheard a number of media (We were packed onto buses at Mellon Arena to be shipped over to the Convention Center.) commenting positively about the city. It’s purely anecdotal and I try not to eavesdrop on people’s conversations, but I heard numerous comments from media who were surprised to witness our cleanliness and forward-looking vibe. Take that Mr. Hell with the Lid Off.
Anarchist protestors are basically inarticulate at best and look pretty stupid pushing dumpsters. Tibetan Monks know how to protest. Free Tibet!
The price of hot pretzels at the Convention Center is ridiculous. I’ve got the expense report to prove it. It is of global consequence and should be on the agenda of the next G-20 meeting.
Last, but not least, Pittsburgh looked pretty damned cool on the national evening and morning news. Makes me pretty happy to be here.