Internet Week's Impresario Caroline Waxler

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Internet Week is an annual New York phenomenon, a four-day festival with speakers on multiple stages excavating the web in its current state. Imagine a music festival like Bonnaroo ... but in a highly air-conditioned building with people dressed a lot more professionally.

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The event has been around six years, but it's grown dramatically in size. Its character has also started to shift over the years, and more markedly so since its acquisition by Crain Communications last year. There are still some people with a more bohemian startup vibe, though it would also seem that everywhere you look, there are heads of ad agencies or chief marketing officers looking for new digital ideas.

For the lay of the land on the conference and the ways its mission has shifted, we spoke to Festival Director Caroline Waxler.

What are the overall goals of Internet Week?
Caroline Waxler: The biggest general goal is to showcase NYC as the premier city for technology. The Internet Week festival was started six years ago in conjunction with the City of New York to shine a light on New York's tech startups. We want to be a place where business culture and tech meet. From the city's perspective, NYC wants to promote the fact that New York is the place to be for tech, and we need to get the word out there, so talent knows that this is where all these great things are happening.

What's the main motivation for a business to attend Internet Week?
Waxler: People want to keep up on what's new, see what's going on with the latest startups, and to network. A lot of brands are here, so from the point of view of a startup, you can just go and talk to people who are important decision-makers, unlike many other conferences. So from the attendees' perspective, Internet Week is a great place to do business and make deals.