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الشهر: سبتمبر 2016

GHC Accessibility


The saying goes that everything is bigger in Texas and the George R. Brown Convention Center is no exception.  The convention center falls just shy of 2 million square feet (over 167,000 square meters) spread over three levels.  It is in the heart of downtown Houston, making the ideal place for the projected 15,000+ Hoppers to gather.  While getting from point A to point B in such a large facility can seem daunting, there will be plenty of help available.


All levels and most entrances of the convention center are wheelchair accessible.  Each level has 2 sets of elevators in addition to the escalators.  In addition, every bathroom is wheelchair accessible, however note that the lines sometimes get long during the session intermissions.  Everyone should plan accordingly.  Some of the events such as Syster’s luncheons, will be held in ballrooms of the Hilton of the Americas.  The hotel can be accessed by crossing outside at the street level or by using one of the sky bridges located on levels 2 and 3 of the convention center.  Personally, I suggest the sky bridges because they are air conditioned and the Houston heat can be fierce even in October.  Plus you get to take in the beauty of surrounding downtown Houston!  There will be plenty of convention center staff on-hand to give directions to meeting rooms and other facility amenities.  They are always happy to help hoppers find their way around.  Each level of the Toyota Center is also accessible by several sets of elevators and escalators.  There will be attendants at the Crawford and Polk entrance to help attendees locate accessible seating.  For Toyota Center specific information, email

The shuttles between the venues and the GHC-designated hotels are accessible; there is also accessible parking at each of the venues if you are planning to drive.  In addition, all of the buses from the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County are accessible.


One of the great things about GHC is that both the attendees and the experiences are so diverse.  My experience is different from the next hopper’s experience, but we still get a chance to enjoy it together.  In order to ensure that everyone enjoys all there is to offer, sign language interpreters and dedicated ushers are available.  Check out this page to learn more.

We love our furry counterparts.  And although you may think your cat is just as interested in Artificial Intelligence as you are – and she probably is because that’s how cats are planning to eliminate the need for humans – please leave her at home in the care of a friend or family member.  Only trained service animals and emotional support animals are allowed to attend GHC.  Make sure that the animal has identification marking him or her as a service/emotional support animal, as well as a leash and/or harness.  I am personally one of those people who has to have a mental conversation with herself in order to resist the urge to reach out and pet an animal who is on duty.  Multiply me by fifteen thousand and you’ll understand the annoyance an unidentified service animal has to bear.

See you all in Houston!

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Houston Rocks!!!

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With less than one month remaining for GHC’16 I can hardly contain my excitement!
But why am I excited? Well there are various things that contribute to it –

1) noob – excitement

The number one reason is that I am attending it for the very first time in my life, and there is this certain unknown factor of what’s going to take place in those three days.

My first encounter with GHC was when I was working in Bangalore and while it was going on I had picked on a conversation between some colleagues that how unique it was and how prestigious was to attend it.

For people who were clueless like me back then, here is the link to their site –

2) Networking is the key baby!

In this age of social media we can connect to people in seconds through Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Whatsapp, IRCs , not to mention good old mails and so many ‘n’ different ways. However when it comes to GHC instead of all that I will be connecting with people in the industry in person and attend sessions presented by the leaders of the technology world.

In GHC’s site it says it is the largest gathering for women in technology – that surely means I get to meet more geeky/technology enthusiast people apart from my Grad school classmates and my colleagues at work.

This thing is also something that I can vouch for, before my own eyes when the registration linked opened on July 13th within 20 minutes it was sold out.

I remember how glad I was that I registered on time and also I had bragged about my promptness to all my colleagues and manager.

So much demand seriously makes me wonder what might be the deal here.

3) Women in technology – are we booming or declining?

It seems there aren’t enough women in technology as there are men and one of the main aim of GHC is bringing together ‘women in technology’. This made me do some of my own research on that and here is what I came across on some statistic –
I would definitely like to gain some insight on why we have so less women in technology and what can be the factors that make them decide that they don’t want a career in technology.

Anyway, I think I am delving into a serious topic here than what this first blog post is intended for and I can probably defer a discussion on this to my future posts.

Let me again bask in the glory of being able to attend GHC’16 (thanks to my company for sponsoring me)

Before I wrap up this post, I would like to share some of the Googling I did for first timers like me in GHC’16. Those who are super excited about it but also at the same time aren’t sure what to expect there .

Some packing tips – – (from The GHC official website) – If you are someone like me who wants to take every new piece of cloth they are holding on dearly for conferences and want to walk in their new heels (however uncomfortable it may be) this information can be quite handy.

Some more – is one site I can send hours and hours and probably months without getting bored one bit)

It seems SWAG is going to be one of ‘The Thing’ there! 

Also, I came across some information on what to expect in the actual conference from seasonal GHC attendees to noob’ers like me. – A really interesting article on various questions I had in mind regarding GHC.

Even after reading all these things and googling for more than 3 hours on GHC and first timers in GHC – I am still not sure what to expect there. But yes, they did gave me the confidence that I have at least done some research (the noob confidence I guess)

Hopefully this will be a good place to start your initial research on GHC before you pack your bags and hop on the flight/train/car/spaceship and be on your way to Houston!

Hope to see you all there.



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Susan Cain

Susan Cain

TEF Keynote Speaker
Co-Founder, Quiet Revolution

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Dr. Michael Kimmel

Dr. Michael Kimmel

TEF Keynote Speaker
SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies
Executive Director, Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities

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