The Triangle’s Ignite Raleigh Kicked BUTT!

Seriously.  It was a recipee for success!TheStage

Take fifteen presenters, the comic genius of Emcee Zach Ward (of local comedy club DSI Comedy) to keep things flowing, the funky entertainment brilliance of local talent Rhett and Link, throw two team members from the Carolina Rollergirls to announce the contest winners, eight happy volunteers, an audience of nearly 400 spectators, let us not forget the four men who put it all together – the guys from Our Hashtag, LLC, and you’ve got yourself a winning combination!  That’s right, Raleigh and the Triangle were ignited on Wednesday night and I was happy to be a part of it.

The ignite concept started oddly enough in a bar.  According to co-founder, Brady Forrest, the idea was originally a technology variety show of sorts but quickly turned into something a bit more structured.  Still engaging but structured.  Basically, you have an idea.  Great!  Be ready to present it in 5 minutes with 20 automatically rotating PowerPoint slides to drive your idea home.  And you only have 5 minutes.

Since 2006 there have been hundreds of presentations given around the world.  From its starting location, Seattle, to Boston to Paris to Helsinki, Ignites continue to spread ideas…and what a fabulous concept!

theCrowdIgnite Raleigh was held at the Lincoln Theater in downtown Raleigh.  Nearly 600 people registered on the website.  Roughly 400 of them attended.  Not bad, huh?  And I don’t think a single individual walked away disappointed.

The presentations were all unique.  Topics ranged from “Why 9-5 is Inhumane” (and this one provided scientific evidence!) to “Everything I need to know about web 2.0 I learned from the Disney Marathon” (totally different perspective and yet so engaging!) to one of my favorites of the night (and this shouldn’t be a surprise) – “What would Jesus Tweet?”  Even co-organizer, Wayne Sutton, had a thing or two to say about “19 Reasons the Triangle is Better Than Silicon Valley”.

Mixed into the evening were everything from contest winner give-aways to RhettandLinksponsor video presentations to the comical stylings of Fuquay-Varina’s own Rhett and Link.  And to keep everything flowing smoothly (or at times not so smoothly but you wouldn’t know because his jokes fit in perfectly) the organizers had Carborro’s own Zach Ward Emcee the evening.  He had the crowd in stitches as he did his thing in between whatever was happen’ on stage.

IgniteRaleighVolunteersI had the chance to be involved in this extraodinary event by organizing our volunteers – the folks that took your ticket at the door, showed you where the seating was still open, handed you your contest prize, or helped you behind the scenes.  We had seven very dedicated members of the community that gave up their time that evening for the cause and we thank every single one of them.  All of which you can follow on Twitter, by the way – @camicam, @tonyarucker, @stefinraleigh, @christinetweet1, @tuckerpeterson, @mindofandre, and @clarkey96.  Thank you for your service guys and gals!OurHashtag

Ignite Raleigh was organized by what I like to refer to as my favorite band of merry men – Kip Bodnar, Ryan Boyles, Jeff Cohen, and previously aforementioned Wayne Sutton – now more commonly known as Our Hastag, LLC. Those guys are all so talented.  I can’t keep up (though I try real hard to!).

We look forward to the next Ignite event.  If you were there, post your comments below.  Would love to hear what you thought as well.

And if you’re interested, see my pics from the evening on my Flickr feed.  There aren’t many but you might see one or two people you recognize.


Lisa 🙂

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