Ignite 1 – A ‘spark’-ling success

on June 3, 2009 in Uncategorized with Comments Off on Ignite 1 – A ‘spark’-ling success by
Tom Noland and the General Sherman tree story, one of the highlights of Ignite Sault 1

Tom Noland and the General Sherman tree story, one of the highlights of Ignite Sault 1

Wow. I can’t imagine the first experiment going any better. The place was packed, the conversation lively, the talks inspiring. Sure, there were glitches like one presentation advancing slides in bizarre timing and then forgetting to turn the (loud) AC off during another, but those are to be expected on the first try.

Ignite Sault was simply awesome. At least that is what everyone told me, so I have to believe it. One person said it was one of the best events they’ve ever been to in the Sault. By the end we had offers of sponsorship, facilities, and volunteering for the next event. Many were already thinking of a topic to present for Ignite Sault 2.

Lou Derrer and I launched Ignite because of our belief that there is a lot of creative potential lying beneath the surface, waiting for an audience. Our passion is to connect people with ideas, to ‘spark’ new opportunities for positive change here to happen. Oh, and we’re two guys crazy enough to dare try something different.

That, and recognizing citizens here need more choice for social entertainment. Or maybe just Lou and I, we both work from home and get a little loopy after a while.

Last night validated our aspirations.

So what was the recipe for success? Keep it simple, let ’em mix, and serve up community-based content in digestible chunks.

The casual format allowed for plenty of mingling. The upper room at Dock’s was cozy and intimate. The waitresses kept the drinks flowing. People mixed freely despite a diverse crowd that didn’t know each other well before the event.

Icebreaker contest: paper tower

Icebreaker contest: paper tower

The ice breaker contest was a lot of fun. Teams got engaged trying to build the tallest free standing tower out of 5 pieces of paper, some tape and a pair of scissors. The entries were varied in their approach, with the winning team reaching an impressive 1.5 metres.

The 10 presentations were done well considering this was the first time any of them had attempted the unique Ignite format of 5 minutes, 20 slides, 15 seconds per slide. Some were not comfortable presenting in public, but wanted to stretch themselves by trying. Everyone did a fantastic job, inspiring the audience with their knowledge and passion. Ignite couldn’t have happened without them, thanks to everyone who participated.

Ignite Sault 1 was a pilot project, kept purposely small, minimally promoted. We have 3 months to scale Ignite Sault 2 to a bigger audience. Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing our thoughts and inviting yours to make the next event an even greater success. Come back regularly also to see videos of the talks posted online.

Or, sign up to the mailing list and receive updates instantly by email or subscribe to the site feed.

Anyone ready to share their 5 minutes of passion can submit their talk right now.

Photos from Ignite Sault 1.

  • Congratulations! I’m very happy for you and your event success.

  • Congrats guys. Sounds like a good time. Prior commitments kept me away but hopefully I’ll be able to make one down the road. Thinking of a talk possibly but no one wants to hear me babble for 5 minutes 😉

  • Tim Kelly

    Great job Lou and Gerry!! Have described the event to a lot of people, and all seem to be interested in the sequel. Would suggest a much larger venue if you can manage it. If in need of corporate sponsorship I would be willing to provide some financial support, as I think this is a great thing for our community. Thank you both.

  • Congrats guys, this looks great! Fantastic way to kick-start an event like this, and I can only imagine what the next one is going to be like. I think I’m going to try to make the trek all the way from Toronto to see it, if possible.

    • gerrykirk

      We’d love to have you, Dan and of course hear your 5 min of passion. 🙂 Next event is mid-Sept, around the time when the leaves turn colour, a trip on the Agawa tour train might be in order.