My presentation idea for Ignite Sydney 4 wasn’t successful, but I was still pretty excited about going along tonight to experience the event for the first time. I have to say that I absolutely love the format, although the pace of the slides transitions wasn’t actually as fast as I was expecting – so while the presenters have to keep moving, its not as rushed as you might expect. An “Ignite Express” event with faster, shorter talks could be an interesting variation on the theme, perhaps?
The whole event actually makes me think of a more user-friendly version of BarCamp (and not just because there was actually a bar at Ignite). Like BarCamp, a series of diverse, quirky, talks were served up and there was still a strong tech and media feel to many of them. In fact, I bumped into more than few people I’ve met at BarCamp Sydney and Canberra (and elsewhere).
However, unlike BarCamp everything was organised well in advance and the organisers aren’t afraid to accept sponsorship to help pay for the venue etc. I think having been through the minimalist BarCamp approach (sponsors are very low key at BarCamp) I was a little taken a back by the advertising at Ignite. Some of the presenters were also sponsors or organisers, so it was a little confusing. At least one of the presentations felt like a sales pitch, but I don’t think they were a sponsor.
That aside, the atmosphere was good and its exciting to see the Ignite event bring a different presentation style (and even some topics) to a broader audience. Perhaps this style might go even more mainstream in the future? I’d love to see this happen at a conference!
This is a serious point – the BarCamp community see their events as a model for others to follow. However, for the Ignite audience I think their slightly more commercial and a little more organised approach also works pretty well.
BTW I should point out that local charity, OzHarvest, were the recipients of a voluntary $5 entry fee.
I also think I have a better idea of what works at Ignite. So wish me luck for Ignite 5 🙂
Photo credit: Haikugami CC-NC-SA