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Rick Kuwahara and I took Chenoa Farnsworth out to lunch earlier this week at Fête in Honolulu. Five years ago, Chenoa and Blue Startups trail-blazed East Meets West, a conference that's now gathering traction around the Pacific. Our primary objective for the meeting: How do we level up our Paubox SECURE conference?

East Meets West

Chenoa Farnsworth, East Meets West

East Meets West (EMW) is a two-day conference organized by Blue Startups. Now in its fifth year, EMW brings together investors and entrepreneurs from Asia, Hawaii, and North America. EMW positions itself as the startup event of the year in Hawaii. See Also: Entrepreneurs & Investors Convene at Annual East Meets West Conference



Rick Kuwahara, Paubox SECURE


Paubox SECURE is a digital health security conference that brings together leaders in healthcare, cybersecurity and innovation. It is a unique event that drives learning and discussion around the challenges of IT security in healthcare. See also:


My Takeaways

Fête - Paubox


The Ia salad Here are my takeaways from our lunch with Chenoa:

  • "The international startup community knows Us because of East Meets West.”
  • Try to Fill the keynote spot(s) first
  • Live streaming is very tough. Not worth it
  • Has not seen much impact from FB ads (as far as ticket sales go)
  • “I’m all for getting out of the building. As much as possible.”
  • Book speakers at least six months out
  • Getting big names first helps a lot. Helps with recruiting other speakers, tickets sales, and sponsor sales
  • Building hype and FOMO is important
  • Cultivate the speaker relationships. Organize events that encourages them to talk to each other.
  • Hotel blocks are tough. Too much hassle & stress
  • The speakers themselves will push and promote the event
  • Event experiences are key. Shared experience like stand up paddling, ATV riding, and surfing.
  • Sponsorships are crucial from a revenue standpoint


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