Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ignite Boise

You may have seen Heather's post about Ignite HERE. Please forgive any duplicity.

I had heard Matt Pipkin mention Ignite Boise on twitter about a month ago. I’m sad that I missed his presentation at Ignite 5! I investigated to find out more about it.

5 minutes, 20 slides, What Would You Say?

Ignite Boise brings together an inspiring and unexpected blend of thinkers from business, art, technology, government and academia. All with ideas. And all willing to share them.

Still not sure what it is? Here is a little more info about it:

Ignite Boise is a 3 hour-ish idea feeding frenzy that brings together artists, geeks, entrepreneurs, academics, government officials, and others to share their ideas in fast-paced, bite-sized presentations. It’s a great opportunity to meet smart, interesting people (if we do say so ourselves) and maybe even learn something.

Bringing together embers of big ideas to spark a blaze of creativity in Boise’s business and creative community –leaving attendees more educated and just as importantly, more inspired.

Presenters each get five minutes and 20 slides (automatically rotating every 15 seconds) to talk on a topic of their choice. Everyone is invited to participate, though due to the limitations of space and time, only a handful will be selected to present at each event.

Zero. Zip. Nada. Ignite Boise is brought to you by a group of volunteers and sponsors.

Like it says, tickets are free. They released a bunch of advanced tickets Monday, March 28 at 9am and by noon or 1pm they were all gone. I was lucky enough to snag two (of course I was going to drag Heather along to this). But just because all the advanced tickets were gone didn’t mean it was sold out. You could arrive at the door and be let in at 6:30 pm instead of 6 pm.

Heather and I arrived downtown right at 6 pm. We walked right in and were some of the few lucky ones who got free shirts. Hello new pj shirt. Anyway, we got great seats. That's the back of us in the lower right corner.

[Photo by Boise Weekly]

You would think waiting an hour for an event to start would be boring, but up on the big screen they had Tweetdeck opened searching for #IB6 or #IgniteBoise6. It was fun to see everyone’s tweets and Boise got their first swarm badge on foursquare that night. Probably the only time that will ever happen. I had to go out of Idaho to get mine. haha!

After going to this event I realized this is why Boise is ranked in the top 20 social networked cities in the United States. See article HERE.

So even after reading the website, I still wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I had read what some of the speakers would be talking about, so I was excited to see how it would play out.

That would be me and Heather grabbing our free shirts.

There were some great speakers. My favorites included:
Kelli Ryder'sStop Shop: She went a year without shopping. One of my favorite lines from her presentation was [in reference to Miley Cyrus and clogs]: “Girlfriend was river dancing all over town.”

Bri Clark's I’m good at poor, it’s prosperity that got me: She spoke about her experiences with both prosperity and poverty, as well as choosing priorities in her life.

Travis Porter's No I’m @travisporter: He became the victim of online identity confusion. His presentation was hilarious and he ended it by asking for advice as to what his next steps should be. #whatshouldtravydo

It was a great night! I thought it was funny to see so many of my Boise twitter friends there that I had never met before. Unfortunately, 1: Heather and I were sitting in the very middle so it was difficult to get in and out and 2: I’m a big chicken, so we didn’t actually talk to anyone.

Afterward, Heather and I went over to The Matador (hello butternut squash quesadilla!) and talked about how much fun the event was. What would you talk about for 5 minutes? I’ve been asking myself that question ever since and I still don’t have an answer. What about you? If you were given the chance to talk about anything you wanted, what would it be? Is there an event like this in your city?

I hope that I’m around for Ignite Boise 7 on October 20, 2011! Who knows? Maybe by then I’ll think of something to talk about.

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