After months of prep and hours of what felt like near-chaos, the performance Tuesday night was pure relief and delight. It was the second time our Bainbridge community had put on our own local flavor of the international trend called “Ignite”—a high-energy evening listening to many inspirational 5-minute talks, each accompanied by 20 slides. Ignite speakers need to be prepared, concise, and visual with their presentation, but not necessarily experienced or comfortable in their role. That’s what I love about Ignite—it’s a big challenge, but achievable if we care enough about what we want to share.
So who is Ignite Bainbridge? How does it get done? How is it changing? Our first Ignite a year ago was inspired by Beth Robson, who introduced the idea, guided the volunteers, and was our first emcee. It was amazing: 14 presentations, 150+ attendees, some essential sponsorships that kept costs down, an enthusiastic crowd at the mixers before and after the event, and videos on YouTube for each speaker by island filmmaker Steve Stolee.
For this year, we wanted to lock in a culture of community support for return performances. I think we made progress! Over 210 attendees, 16 presentations, new volunteers and sponsors, and stories in the local papers to promote the event. Alex Sanso set the tone with some beautiful updated designs for our materials. Lynn Smith, Karen Hallis, and Leigh Calvez were three volunteers who came to so many weekly meetings in the past couple months to manage promotion, food, ticketing and more. Bhama Roget, a dangerously funny frequent flier with the Edge Improv hosted the stage as our Emcee. Read the rest of this entry »