2014 is done, and so is our name…

Without getting too nostalgic and soppy, I could not be happier with the way that Mac Tech SA not only flourished in 2014, but also how it ended off the year of 2014.

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We hosted our last event of the year at our besties, Friends of Design.
As per always, Philipp and his team were beyond amazing with hosting us, and Philipp even managed to make time in his schedule to attend his first Mac Tech SA 🙂 Thanks Philipp.

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We had a speaker that really has set the bar pretty high for future speakers of 2015 (good luck following this guy).
Thys Lombard was gracious enough to come and share not only his insights into marketing yourself no matter what you do, but also showed us his kit (photography kit, guys) that he uses to shoot photos and videos of many of our local celebrities, all on the iPhone.

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Based on the feedback on the night and even afterwards, everybody LOVED listening to Thys talk about his passion, and even enjoyed watching some clips of our local surfer dudes surfing for wine (it’s a thing people, look it up).

Lynette Hundermark, my parter in crime for Mac Tech SA lately, once again showcased 3 awesome apps for the holidays coming up. While my favourite was the Zinio news stand app, the Martha Stewart one was a close second 🙂

IMG_4579Lynette even managed to twist the rubber arms of the good folks over at Zinio, to add a 3 month subscription to 2 of the most popular Mac/Apple magazines out there. Thanks Lynette!!
If you weren’t there, sorry for you…

Then, there were some announcements. GOOD announcements!

Firstly, I have started a new section to the event, where we showcase previous speakers, and favourite guests, with any cool updates in their Apple worlds. And what a fitting first showcase to show off Karen Hart.
If you can remember, Karen spoke at our July event, on her amazing project, the iDeaf project. This project creates iPad apps for deaf children, and allows them to learn, read and communicate in ways that they never could before.
So, Karen is doing such an amazing job with the iDeaf project, that even Apple recognised her and her work, and invited her to speak at the Apple Accessibility Summit in Berlin last month.
Here are Karen’s word on the event:

“After Apple seeing the case study on the iDeaf project that was produced by Core Computer Group for their “Only on the iPad” campaign, I have been invited by Apple to be a keynote speaker at the Apple Accessibility Summit in Berlin on the 7th of November. I will be sharing the stage with Amanda Fourie from Transoranje School for the Deaf where we will be discussing the inception of the iDeaf project, what impact it has had on deaf students literacy levels and why it was only possible on the iPad. I will be one of only a few speakers addressing 200 Educational leaders from across Europe, Middle East, India and Africa.”

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We at Mac Tech SA are incredibly proud of what Karen is doing at the iDeaf project with PicsterBooks, and so happy to see that she is being recognised for her passion.

We are so excited, in fact, for what Karen is doing, that this has led us to our 2nd announcement…

Since it is a very expensive passion to have, building apps for the deaf, we have made the decision to select the iDeaf project as our new beneficiary of Mac Tech SA.
We feel that the project is a pure passion that is helping so many little children of varying ages to read, learn, write, understand, and just basically be “normal” kids.
We are extremely happy to be a part of this project in such a small way. There is nothing better that passion & Apple coming together.

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Here is a quick blurb about the iDeaf project, from Karen:

“iDeaf project – This is a first of its kind in South Africa project that aims to eliminate the epidemic of Deaf young adults being functionally illiterate. The app program is specially designed in South African Sign Language, English and Afrikaans. The apps encourages young deaf students to learn to read with the aid of animations, illustrations, simplified text and sign language friendly text syntax. This project was designed for the iPad as it has proven to be a robust, timeless and most importantly, intuitive tool.”

So this means that all the money that we generate through entrance fees for our events, are donated to Karen and the iDeaf Project.
Our first payment was a small one to the project after this last event, but I hope the R650 will help with whatever you need to make the magic happen Karen.

And then, finally, the big announcement for the night…

Mac Tech SA is no more…

Well, at least the name is no more 🙂Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 21.30.43

 

Since our user group is growing so nicely, and has done amazingly well over this lat year, we are starting to get recognition and attention from parts of the world outside of our beautiful home of South Africa.
And because of this, our name is just a little too close for comfort to a few international brands that are already out there and doing extremely well. (our friends by the way)

So, for that reason, we have decided to embark on a renaming and rebranding exercise for the new year of 2015. This will be in preparation for our first annual conference of 2015 (you didn’t hear that from me folks).

What’s the new name then?
I dunno!

I have decided to allow you, the community, to select a new name.
So send me your submissions, through whatever channel you want to (you’ve got all my details), and If I select your name-suggestion, I will pay you for your time and creativity.
You will receive free entrance to Mac Tech SA (or whatever it will be called) for the year of 2015 for you and a +1, AND, you will receive 2 tickets to the upcoming conference. (trust me, this will be worth a pretty penny)

Some simple guidelines though for the name suggestions:

– It must NOT contain the word Apple
– It should preferably be 2 words, not 3
– It should definitely be clear with what we do, but yet, not too technical (I Know, I know…)
– Have fun doing it!

I want to make the selection by the middle of January 2015, so that leaves you with about almost 4 weeks of time to get creative.
If there are a few close-calls, then I will put it up to a vote at the end for the winner.
This will leave enough time to do all the rebranding and migrating and all the fun technical things that will happen in the background, before the February event.

Good news right?!?

Coming back to our event from last week though;

An amazingly huge thank you to each and every sponsor that supported us for this last event. Your contributions were appreciated so much. Thank YOU!!

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Thanks to:
Friends of Design
Afrihost
Purely Local
Sir Fruit
Butlers Pizza
Scheckters Organic Energy Drink
Fast Company SA
Zinio
Silicon Cape

We look forward to 2015 in a big way!

 

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Our amazing media partners at Purely Local brought along their crack-squad of video and photo gurus, and shot the entire event.

The first batch of photos is already up on Facebook, so do check it out.
You know what to do; Tag, Bag and Share.

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And before I sign off, remember, all future email communication and invitations, will only be happening through Mail Chimp now, no longer through SplashThat. So make sure to sign up if you want to be a part of our community, and be invited to the conference 🙂 You can sign up on our website, where you are now! Just look at the top…you’ll find it 🙂

And last, but certainly not least, a massive shout out to each and every human being that attended our events over the last year!
If it wasn’t for your guys, all of this would be for nothing!
So, THANK YOU!!

Have a fantastic holiday period, if you are having one, and come into 2015 safely.

See you all on the other side.

My best,

Lee

 

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