The field of technology has improved rapidly over the past two decades. In the '90s, computing technology was still nascent and undeveloped. Over the next 20 years, however, it quickly became a key driver to businesses across the globe, completely changing how many industries operate. As a result, the technology sector became immensely competitive.

The Houston Business Journal's FastTech strives to recognize some of the leading entities in this competitive field. Only the cream of the crop is honored by placing in the publication's Top 50 index. This year's conference, where the Top 50 companies will be recognized, will be held on Friday, November 2 at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston. Canidium has been named one of the top 50 companies, marking the second year in a row that we have received this recognition. Last year, we were ranked at No. 14.

It should be noted that the FastTech 50 is not your ordinary conference – it's a high impact social gathering of some of the tech industry's most prolific individuals, where CEOs can network, exhibit their products, win awards and discuss business. This year's keynote speaker, Nilofer Merchant, comes straight from Silicon Valley, where she helped several Fortune 500 companies and startups grow. She's an experienced speaker who will get the conversation started at the event.

The conference will have a variety of sections to attend. At 9 a.m., attendees can go to the CEO technology forum, which will feature four Houston CEOs disclosing their best practices. Technopalooza is at 10 a.m. and features more than 25 different exhibits from local companies. The keynote with Nilofer Merchant is scheduled for the luncheon at noon. After that, the VIP speaker spotlight will occur. Executives must have an exhibitor pass or purchase one separately to attend.

"Noisemakers required," the news source adds. "The Fast Tech 50 Awards are presented to the 50 fastest-growing Houston-area high-tech businesses ranked by percentage of revenue growth in 2011. Here is where we reveal their rankings and they will receive a crystal mouse on stage, but right before the winners are announced, we get to hear from Nilofer Merchant."

Local tech executives who attend the event can take the opportunity to meet other company owners and develop lasting business connections.