Thursday, July 23, 2009

Consider Me Ignited...

Civic pride in Wilmington usually amounts to jokes about how the city closes at 5 pm. Last night, however, at the studios of the Archer Group something exciting took place - the first Ignite Wilmington event.
I initially heard about this event thanks to our friend, photographer Laura Novak and her Twitter feed. It sounded good, so Emily and I headed down last night.

First, a little about the history of the Ignite events. I took this from the Ignite webpage:

"If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Around the world geeks have been putting together Ignite nights to show their answers.

Ignite was started in Seattle in 2006 by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. Since then 100s of 5 minute talks have been given across the world. There are thriving Ignite communities in Seattle, Portland, Paris, and NYC."

Sounds intriguing, right?

Last night's initial Wilmo event was emceed by Mark Mobley, the Director of Community Engagement at the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. There were 12 speakers - each with a 5 minute presentation. As it was the first Wilmo event, the speakers had varying successes meeting the 15 second slide rule. Some missed entire slides as their 15 seconds went way too fast, others waited for the slides to change.

The presentations covered a wide range of topics - ranging from IT stuff (cloud data) to brewing your own beer to Wilmington artist Jeff Schaller comparing and contrasting his career path with that of David Hasselhoff (his presentation was entitled 'Me and the Hoff' which was exactly as funny as it sounds) to Chris Winburn relaying his tales of the dizzying heights and bottomless pits of riding the 90's internet boom and bust to San Francisco & back. To finish it off, we all took a quiz on just how 'White N Nerdy' we were (Chris won an eronomic keyboard for being the whitest and nerdiest).

The presentations were entertaining - no matter what the topic it never gets boring listening to someone talk about their passion. They were also informative. They gave me ideas - they sparked my creative juices - which is precisely the idea behind the event!

Perhaps the most exciting part of the event was the vibe. Yes, this REALLY was taking place in Wilmington - AFTER 5 pm! Yes, these were all Wilmingtonians jazzed about their city. Every presentation was greeted by cat-calls from the audience in support.

We rounded out the evening by heading a couple blocks up to one of our new favorite Wilmington restaurants - Orillas Tapas Bar. What a great night to be a Wilmingtonian!

Don't miss Ignite Wilmington #2 - which will be coming up - check for details.

Thanks to the people who put #1 together and to the Archer Group for hosting it and to Laura for informing us about the event.

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