Event Review: Ignite Montreal #ignitemtl 2011

My brother and I made our way out to Il Motore and the 2nd installment over 2 years of Ignite Montreal, an event which takes place in conjunction with Global Ignite Week. We’d done so on an equally frigid soiree last year.

 Good friends and bottled Labatt 50 – woot!

There are by far way better connected people out there doing the rounds and building their network, but with the advent of our founding and involvement of/with the Social Media Breakfast Montreal, I seem to recognize more and more faces at these gatherings of Tech/Nerd/Avant-garde and social/world changing/socially awkward peeps. And yes, I’m including my bro and I in this group although he often seems to think he’s way cooler than he actually is.

Among the usual suspects and dare I say friends were Max Finder (@maxfinder) and Adele McAlear (@adelemcalear) who incidentally both spoke at last year’s inaugural Ignite Montreal, and who have each graced the floor as speakers at the Social Media Breakfast Montreal. Our good friend and collaborator Andrew Chen of KAI Design was manning the door, and upcoming #SMBMTL speaker Brian Rotsztein (@brianrotsztein) banged out an awesome (ad-libs included) 5 min prezo with stats that had some people floored, and others (me…) wanting to Fist Pump in defiance at a snide remark made at the expense of Jersey Shore fans. Also on hand making a rare appearance was another old friend; Bottled Labatt 50. The stip of Jean-Talon we were on and the venue lent well to the possibility that my latter friend would be in attendance…

Brian Rotzstein and Pauly D (jk)

“I’ll trade you a compliment on your nice white suit for a picture to use in my blog”

Well, that’s not exactly what I said that lead to the pretty picture of Kyle MacDonald (@oneredpaperclip – of trade one red paper clip for a house acclaim) and I, but I did in fact offer up more than one kind remark on stylish white suit. Kyle basically took audience members on a trip along those paths he crossed whilst trading up from One Red Paper Clip? to a house in Kipling Sasketchewan, which I’ve since learned has been turned into a cafe (unknown whether or not the cafe offers free WiFi). Kinda’ neat when you take into consideration buddy has done a kazillion talk shows and is just about as close to a true celebrity I’ll ever come..that and dude was super cool. Not to mention nice enough to let us snap the photo below.

Kyle MacDonald and Me

Paperclip cafe, courtesy of kylemac on Flickr

Humble beginnings

Turns out Ignite was started around 2006 by a couple of buddies working at O’Reilly. Since that time, with the success the event and the event’s format has developed, the blog, info site and day-to-day goings on are in fact managed by O’Reilly. Good or bad, I would have never known had I not done some homework for this post, and truth be told I’m not sure it does really matter. At the end of the day it’s regular locals (some, like @andynulman who have celeb status) getting together to share ideas, whether for fun, learning, or learning while having fun.

The mix of folks and topics lend well to an eclectic crowd, and similar to the success of our Social Media Breakfast’s, these Ignite talks are well worth the 10$ and are an excellent networking opportunity. What’s more is that outside of the fun and learning, there seems to be a lot of genuine caring oozing out of those in attendance. Save for those turkeys by the bar making comments and chatting haute-voix during some of the presentations, each speaker was given the respect a speed talk on stage in front of a room full of your peers is deserved of.

Networking events in general can sometimes be pretty boring. Introducing good food and/or beer can sometimes nullify a boring speaker or uninteresting topic, but it’s so much better when they don’t have to. Let’s just say there were a few instances where I was sipping heavily, and others where I’d forgotten I was even holding a beer – which I suppose can be called a healthy mix.

Regardless of my critique however, is the fact that these brave souls take the stage at all. They’ve said something about themselves that we can all learn from before they’ve said anything at all. Bravo ignitemontreal.com. Great time.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Blog, Event Reviews