COMTECH looking for a new convention organizer

Alaska Committee drops out after event planner moves

Posted: Sunday, April 02, 2000

Juneau's annual high-tech love fest is in a bit of trouble.

COMTECH 2000 drew nearly 300 people for classes and demonstrations of computers, the Internet, and other things new and cool. But the engine that organized the event, Susan Favro, has moved to Montana.

Without her, the Alaska Committee, sponsor of the event for five years, has decided it can't handle organizing COMTECH 2001, said Win Gruening, the committee's chairman. They are looking for someone to take over.

``I hope what happens is a local group forms a partnership - maybe with the University (of Alaska Southeast), maybe with an interest group, and move forward,'' Gruening said. ``The cost isn't the issue. It's really the time it takes.''

It takes 10 months to prepare for the convention, he said. Though the trade show was held in January, someone's got to get started on the next one soon, Gruening said.

Volunteers have made COMTECH possible in the past, he said, and he's worried that if no other organization takes up the event, Juneau could lose a key forum for training and networking.

Among those groups Gruening thinks can do the job is the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau. Though John Mazor, the bureau's president, wants to see COMTECH continue, he said his organization doesn't have the resources needed - a lot of time - to put the convention together.

Gruening said the Alaska Committee is also considering other possibilities, such as holding COMTECH every two years rather than every year.

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