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Rural Opportunities Conference Coming

Rural Opportunities Conference Coming

Educational event focuses on using technology to improve economic advancement.

Using technology to advance the rural economy will be the focus of an upcoming Rural Opportunities Conference, sponsored by the Kansas Department of Commerce.

The conference will be Nov. 16 and 17 in Salina and is an educational event for rural entrepreneurs and telecommunications professionals.

Conference Coming Nov. 16-17

The conference will capitalize on the momentum generated from two legacy programs at the Department – Marketplace and the Broadband Summit. This new, emerging program for rural audiences leverages common goals in support of economic advancement through technology. Entrepreneurs and community representatives will connect with broadband experts to explore advanced economic solutions, plot development strategies and network with industry colleagues.

The conference will feature general and breakout sessions focused on market research; analysis and data usage; advertising and promotions utilizing social media; economic gardening; exporting and industry creation; the role and future of rural telecommunications providers; technology expansion and a review of broadband applications for community anchor institutions.

Cooperating agencies and businesses at the conference will be the Rural Development Division of the Department of Commerce, the Kansas Telecommunications Industry Association; the State Independent Telephone Association of Kansas; Rocking M Radio Inc. of Manhattan; Nex-Tech Inc. of Hays; NetWork Kansas; the Center for Engagement and Community Development at Kansas State University; the Center for Entrepreneurship, Institute for Policy and Social Research at the University of Kansas; AT&T Kansas in Topeka and Cox Business in Wichita.

Gov. Sam Brownback will speak at the opening luncheon on Nov. 16. Other speakers include Don Macke, director of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship in Lincoln, Neb., and Ron Wilson with the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at KSU.

The event will open at 10 a.m. on Nov. 16 at the Bicentennial Center in Salina. The opening day will feature a reception and open exhibits beginning at 5 p.m.

Registration for the event is $60 per person and includes access to all sessions, materials, meals and breaks. To view a complete schedule and list of speakers to Contact Tricia Kensinger-Rice with the Department at (785) 296-0650 or for more information.

Source: Kansas Department of Commerce

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