to connect with
The presentation marksBy Russ Lynch
the first united statewide exhibit
in the conference's history
Local business and government officials are using a telecommunications conference to push Hawaii as a place to do business -- and to inform isle residents about the future of this fast-changing industry.
Hawaii has been making its special pitch this week to about 1,700 telecommunications sellers, buyers, regulators, government policy makers, advisers and other experts from around the world at the Pacific Telecommunications Council's annual conference in Waikiki. But aside from trying to convince that influential group on Hawaii's potential, the state, county and local business representatives are also selling telecom concepts to isle residents.
The "Hawaii Connection" exhibit at the conference at the Hilton Hawaiian Village is the first united statewide presentation in the 20-year history of PTC's annual Waikiki conference.
"We bought eight booths, took out the railings and built a pavilion," said Hector Venegas, a public relations and marketing consultant brought in by the Hawaii High Technology Development Corp., a state agency, to coordinate the exhibit.
Jeanne Schultz, representing the City of Kapolei, is there to push facilities and land at Campbell Estate property to attract telecommunications businesses.
"The reason that we're doing this is to let all these people who come in from outside Hawaii see that there really is a technology and telecom presence in our state," said Schultz, marketing director of the Estate of James Campbell.
Another role is to show locals what positive effects telecommunications will have on them, she said. The local exhibitors include HealthNet, linking 16 hospitals with the ability to exchange medical images in seconds via electronics; and Digital Island, which has an "overnet" allowing companies to host Web content that dodges the traffic jams on the Internet. High-technology parks also are taking part, along with community colleges.
Representatives running Ha- waii's exhibit say they have been pleased by the number of local residents stopping by to learn of the possibilities. The Hawaii exhibit will be open through 6:45 p.m. today while the PTC conference ends tomorrow.
The Honolulu-based council has the aim of using cooperation to head off differences among governments and people, said Richard Barber, its executive director. This year's PTC conference is dealing with communication issues of all kinds, ranging from submarine cables to satellites, he said.
The PTC has members representing 53 countries.