My first Ignite experience, at Ignite Sydney 4

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


2 thoughts on “My first Ignite experience, at Ignite Sydney 4

  1. Thanks for the comments – we’re glad you enjoyed the night.Re: the event being more commercial than you expected – that’s just a reality.It costs a lot of money to put on this event, as we need to pay for the room hire, equipment hire, etc. We personally take on the risk covering the minimum bar spend at the end of the night. So if we want this event to be free for the audience, something’s gotta give. Hopefully people don’t mind the occasional10 second plug for the sponsors, who need to get some return on their investment. The sponsors are all aligned with our audience’s interests, so we feel there’s value to both parties.Some of the sponsors were also presenters, and this is definitely something we’re wary of. In this case we had seen them speak at previous events (where they weren’t sponsors) and we knew they’d be good.Hopefully we’ll hear from you at Ignite Sydney 5!

  2. I definitely understand the need to fund the night and it was nice to be at a venue with a bar and in the middle of the city than all added to the atmosphere, rather than at some other place that you’ve had to beg, borrow or steal 🙂 Thanks, again for putting on an interesting night!

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