Ignite Raleigh Top 10

Last night was the second Ignite Raleigh held at the Lincoln Theatre in downtown Raleigh. Ignite is a unique event in that it is an idea exchange where presenters have 5 minutes and 20 slides to communicate their message. I thought last night was better than last year’s event in many ways and have compiled my top 10 list from the event.

10. New faces: I think it was great that all the presenters were new and there were no repeat presenters from the first Ignite. Fresh ideas, new perspectives and personalities really made the event fun. Also I met several new people last night and made some real life connections of people that I’ve had many virtual conversations. I also was able to meet family members and friends of friends, thanks for the introductions.

9. MC: Zach Ward (@zachward) did a great job last night. He came up with jokes on the fly and wearing the red tights and tutus and getting in the Phonebooth was hysterical. Zack was even better than last year and he did a great job last year too!

8. Social responsibility: Several presentations had a real message for all of us. From energy conservation to health and fitness to social responsibility on a global scale, several presenters opened people’s eyes and ears to how they have an impact.

7. Sponsors: Was glad to see Bandwidth.com (@bandwidth) and Phonebooth.com (@phonebooth) sponsoring the event. A local company like this being involved in the community really demonstrates a new commitment beyond the traditional approach. The other sponsors are also great to be a part of the event.

6. Education: I learned a lot last night. From George Smart’s (@georgesmartTMH) great presentation Mayberry Modernism – Why the Triangle is America’s Hotspot for Way Cool Houses to Jess Commins’ (@renewabelle), presentation on How to save $100+ with a DIY energy audit there was some great information and learning.

5. Fun: Anytime you get 700+ people together you have to make them laugh. I think the presenters did that very well and several even laughed at themselves when making jokes or waiting on slides.

4. Sex sells: I was very interested to see Charlotte Goodman-Smith & Christine Fawley (@LearnPleasure), 20 Little-Known Facts about Sex & Pleasure presentation and have to admit it was well done. Also Natasha Crawford (@natashacrawford), coming out and saying forget about your single friends.

3. Pride: I know several of the presenters well and was really proud of the job they did. It’s not easy getting up on a stage and presenting in front of a large audience. Much less if you have a time limit and have to be spot on. The two presenters I’ve known the longest did a great job: Chris Moody (@cnmoody), Everyone Needs a Dumb Guy and Janet Kennedy (@jkennedy93), 5 Bucks is Change you both were great.

2. Community: I’ve lived in Raleigh most of my life and have a huge amount of pride in this community. I have gotten grief over the years when travelling or working in other parts of the country when saying I’m from Raleigh, North Carolina. I do my best to educate others that hey we are not dumb hicks acting like southern stereotypes that have been perpetuated in the media for many years. Last night showed the spirit, talent and creativity of our community. Thanks to Jay Cuthrell (@qthrul), his Redneck Guide to Silicon Valley reminded us how to laugh at ourselves and shows how stereotypes can go both ways!

1. The ladies rocked it! From Lisa Creech Bledsoe (@glowbird) giving her 13 Reasons Women Should Take Up Boxing to Charlotte Moore (@cavaticat), Nerd Girls Unite! Fact: Women Don’t Have to Be Lame, the ladies really showed up and took the stage last night!

Thanks to Our Hashtag (@ourhashtag) for once again putting on the premier event and doing a great job organizing sponsors, volunteers, speakers and all the elements that go into the event. If you’ve ever done event planning, trust me it’s tough. As much as you prepare there are always unforeseen challenges leading up to and during the event. Congratulations to Wayne (@waynesutton), Jeff (@jeffreylcohen), and Ryan (@theRab) for all your hard work!

Also thanks to all the presenters for taking their time to prepare, practice and courage to get on stage and speak.

Click here for my Flickr gallery. Thanks to everyone who posed!

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  • Awesome post Brian (almost as awesome as your hat last night) and thanks for the kind words. Ignite Raleigh 2 rocked and I was proud to be a part of it.

  • renewabelle

    Awesome recap, Brian! Thanks again for your prep help and the kind shout out :) I'm glad I was able to give you something new that can hopefully help you save some energy at home!

  • marciebarnes

    Well said, Brian! I love #1, the girls totally rocked :-)

  • You did great Chris! Proud of you! Thanks for the props on the hat, it's my Pops old one, brought him there in spirit!

  • Like you need any help from me! You Rocked It and looked great doing so. Good job and keep it up lady! Thanks for all your kinds words I really appreciate it!

  • A very excellent and apt summary, sir! I greatly enjoyed being an Ignite n00b and am glad my fellow n00bs and I enhanced the experience. It was a ton of fun!

  • Thanks Marcie. You noticed I said ladies versus girls because they are just that, ladies! I think the women did a great job last night both on stage and helping with the event! Good to see you too!

  • Charlotte, you did great last night! When I saw you in the lobby I felt like I was looking at myself last year after I had presented. Also good job getting the audience into it!

  • Hah! I read the first sentence as “Last night was the SACRED Ignite Raleigh held at the Lincoln Theatre in downtown Raleigh.” The holy and the ass-kickin was achieved, and no cats were harmed in the course of the evening, right?

    And I'm honored and thrilled to be included as part of your #1 on the Top Ten.

    Had a great time sharing tater tots with you at the Bee, after (almost) all was said and done last night, too! (Wait. Those were Joe Sumney's tots. Still.)

  • Lisa you did an awesome job last night. Enjoyed hanging out with you also. We need to meet up for Bagels one morning at NYBD III, Tippett can come only if he's buying for all of us!

  • Ignite Raleigh was fantastic this year. Thanks to all of our talented and bold speakers! Huge success. Great recap and photos, Brian.

  • Thanks Morgan. Good to see you last night and I have your T shirt if you want it! Thanks for the “awesome” quote in your RT!

  • janetkennedy

    I am humbled by your comments and thrilled that we are friends. You and Maura rose “above and beyond the call of duty” in getting 5 Bucks is Change off the ground.

  • Yay for free t-shirts! I'm sure I'll see you soon to pick it up. Fizzled Durham, if not sooner?

  • No problem, we really enjoyed doing it. Projects like $5 is change are special because there is a greater impact than promoting a product or service. My hat's off to you for coming up with the idea and making it a reality! Projects need leaders and you are just that a leader! Great job presenting last night and see you soon!

  • Our hope is that our “20 facts” gave folks just one fact or insight that will allow them to experience even more pleasure. Thanks for welcoming us to Raleigh with such warmth – this community is absolutely stellar.

  • Yes Monday at the latest. Drop me note if you want to get together before then. We need to follow up on your project!

  • Charlotte and Christine you two are really cool. I'm glad that you decided to come to Raleigh and that you've are part of the community. I think you did a great job last night with not the easiest subject matter to say the least. But what came through was really open and honest. Congrats!

  • Honorable Mention to Jay Dolan (@jaydolan) for reminding us to connect in real life and break some of our social media ways! Plus he wore a great Wolfpack Red tie! Check it out at: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4063/4406931500_

  • Just to clarify…not all single friends are hoes. And not all hoes are single. Either way, you need to drop them :)
    Thanks for the mention and a great recap. It was a fun night, indeed.

  • Rab

    BRAINNNSSSSS…. Just kidding. Every time I try to type Brian, I start out with Brain and have to backspace and start over. But I digress. Brian, thank you so much for your comments, love, support and the photos. Wayne Jeff and I appreciate you and your fantastic better half. We couldn't be more happy with the way things GOT FIRED UP last night. Now, on to “Ignite Raleigh 3: The Revenge of the Flamed Zombie Tutu” – or whatever theme the community comes up with.

  • zachward

    SO MANY JOKES on the spot! AND SO MANY Awesome New speakers! Thanks Brian! I was excited to come back and glad you thought I stepped it up.

  • Natasha, you had me at hoes! Great presentation last night and welcome to the Triangle, we're glad you came here!

  • Yes brains are huge on Brians! You guys really stepped it up last night and I thought the event really went great. Keep setting the bar higher!! Have fun on your trip to SXSW and say hello to my brother if you run into him.

  • Zack, I need to make a date to come out to DSI and see you do a evening of standup. I'm bummed I missed the last SMC held there I heard it was great. You really had me in stiches in the Red tutu and I made it my only photo in the post as tribute to you keeping the event fresh and audience engaged. Thanks for being a part of the Raleigh community!

  • Wait, you mean we can connect without computers? My tiny brain is exploding!

  • I give this post a big ole Yee Haw! Thankya!

  • 10-4 Good Buddy!