Friday, January 05, 2001

The Cyber Scene in San Diego ~ by Lilia Phleger Benjamin

Now that the holiday hustle is finally behind us, San Diego is gearing up for some serious networking in the upcoming months. I met with Amelia Taurel Folkes, director of Communications and Outreach at the San Diego Regional Technology Alliance this morning about the follow-up to their very successful first event-the Big eSchmooze. Now, San Diego is not known as a very "schmoozy" kind of town, so when they held the first Big eSchmooze last August, Amelia says they expected three, maybe four hundred people. Well, something must have been in the air, because at the end of the night they had seen over a thousand people come through the door! It was very crowded and the food lines were long, but I managed to meet and greet some great people without spilling a drop of my very expensive bottled water. Amelia says that this year, they are going one better and holding the event at the El Cortez, San Diego's swankiest rat-pack landmark hotel. The Big eSchmooze will take place on March 1, starting at 5:00 PM. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, you can check out the SDRTA's website, or email Amelia directly at I also spoke the other day with Greg Block, who is coordinating the very posh Tech Mecca being put on by the T Sector $125 a pop, this event will be held on February 9 at the beautiful Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla. Very cool location for an event-- however according to Greg the rules and regulations for sound and light are very strict so that the marine life won't be disturbed. Definitely frustrating for an event planner. Greg also said that they are bringing in performance artists who will demonstrate the "convergence of art and technology". I can't wait. And finally, there are two Happy Hours taking place next week, which I happily look forward to attending-the NETHappyHour and Happy Hour #7. I have not been to a NETHappyHour, which is marketed to "High Tech entrepreneurs & executives, Angels and Venture Capitalists", but since it's at the very nice Hyatt Aventine in La Jolla I figure it's worth a shot. Especially with a full moon, who knows what business will take place? I have, however, been to several events, and have even had a hand in helping out with some of them. has been called San Diego's original Web Community, and their Happy Hours are excellent for tech networking. For more information on this or past Happy Hours, visit

Happy New Year from San Diego!