Ignite Detroit 2

Ignite Detroit 2
D. Hammond & B. Chestnut by: Angela Watts of Wattyz Photography

The much anticipated Ignite Detroit 2 took place the evening of Thursday, April 14 at the Sound Board in the Motor City Casino and Hotel.  The air was buzzing with energy, anticipation and the chatter of networking and of online friends meeting in real life.

The event is based on a popular arts movement called Pecha Kucha, where artists, entertainers and designers are given 20 minutes to make a presentation of 20 slides that are set to automatically advance.  Ignite’s pared that set-up down to only 5 minutes per presentation, but still with 20 slides automatically advancing.  Ignite is geared towards the tech community and the area where it’s held.  Detroit’s second annual event hosted 15 speakers ranging from professional business tips to a sexual healer.

The evening started with Mike McClure, Vice President and Creative Director of the Yaffe Group and President of the Detroit Social Media Club, speaking on, “How to be a Better Boss by Encouraging Failure.”  He did a great job of opening the evening, entertaining the sold out crowd of over a thousand attendees with his wit, humor and experience.  When asked if he was nervous to be the first presenter he replied, “No.  I don’t get nervous.  I met my wife in a Theater group when we were 15 and I’ve been on stage ever since.”

From there the event was off and rolling and the organizers Brandon Chestnut and Norm “DJ Meph” Witte did a great job of trying to keep the crowd’s attention focused on the presenters and of MCing the evening.  They utilized tech with a contest (not yet announced at this publishing) for the best Twitpic’s of the evening, with $25 gift certificates to iTunes going to the top three pics and a prize of a hotel room and dinner at Iridescence to the top presenter, offered by the Motor City Casino and Hotel and voted on by the attendees via Texting in their vote.  Each speaker was assigned Ignite1, Ignite2, etc. based on the order of the presentations.

The presentations wowed and amazed at various levels.  The range included Adam Kempa from www.whatwasthere.com, which is home to an Application that marries photos from days gone by to more current images, giving the viewer a look into the changes Detroit and the Metro area has under gone.  Evelyn Chou, who started her presentation speaking Mandarin and shared with Ignite the differences in doing business in China and the U.S. and was voted as the runner up for her humorous, authentic and informative presentation.  Then there was the only now speaking presentation of the evening – Mr. David “Dixon” Hammond.  Dixon got on stage, and played an electric violin through a sequencer, which allowed him to become his own orchestra!  He was wowed by the only standing ovation of the evening and Mr. Chestnut came out before he could leave the stage to inform him that the Motor City, based on that five minute performance was offering him the chance to open for comedian Jay Mohr when he appears there at the Sound Board.  Dixon was humbled and amazed buy that generosity.  You can share in that moment in the picture posted here, taken by Angela Watts, of Wattyz Photography.  She got the moment of elation perfectly.  It’s no surprise that Dixon was voted the best of the evening; which, along with his invitation to perform made the slides of his presentation, “Doing the Impossible,” all the more real.

The presenters are listed below, and you’d do well to check any and all of them out online.

  1. Mike McClure:  How to be a Better Boss by Encouraging Failure
  2. Ken Wohl:  The Mysterious Community that Controls Viral
  3. Emily Doerr:  The Creation of Hostel Detroit
  4. David “Dixon” Hammond:  Doing the Impossible
  5. Shawn Neal:  The Sugar People present “Live From GrooveBox Studios”
  6. Daniel Eizans:  Bringing Game Models to the Workplace
  7. Dan Redford:  The Glocal Life
  8. Evelyn Chou:  China’s No Panda Express
  9. James Lu:  Social Entrepreneur
  10. Henry Balanon:  Dad’s Guide on How to Handle the Birth of Your First Child
  11. Hubert Sawyers III:  “Cool as Ice?” Universal Life Lessons to Learn from Vanilla Ice’s Folly
  12. Adam Kempa:  Time Travel for Lazy People
  13. Laura Farms:  You Like Trivial Things, And That’s Okay!
  14. Dave Linabury:  How I Beat a Billion Dollar Company with My Blog
  15. Leslie Blackburn:  Transformation from Engineer to Sacred Sexual Healer: Learning to Let Go!

Social Media and Social Interaction

Last night, I had the chance to hang out with some of my Detroit area Social Media/Twitter friends.  One of my friends, @likelylad32 is an British citizen and was feeling homesick.  His wife, @becksdavis, gathered a group of us together to help him celebrate Guy Fawkes or Bonfire Night.  It’s a British holiday, largely celebrating how, in 1605, thirteen young men planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Among them was Guy Fawkes, Britain’s most notorious traitor.  They celebrate with bonfires, fireworks and effigies.

We gathered at a local Irish Pub – there aren’t any good English pubs in the Detroit area.  He was pleasantly surprised and as he Tweeted earlier today, it meant a lot to him.  It was a great mix of younger and older friends, but all of us from Twitter and Social Media, in our Detroit area.  Naturally, the discussions ranged from personal, to work, and back to our common interest of Social Media.

Some of the people in the room are movers and shakers here in Detroit.  The President of Social Media Club Detroit and co-founder of Future Midwest, @DaveMurr was there (Dave is an inspiration to me and quite the mentor!); as was @tverma29 who not only works for @puremichigan – the main tourist ad campaign for our great state, but she runs Laptops for Ladies, and Girls in Tech/Detroit.  She and I had an awesome conversation about things going on in our lives and I was honored that she shared with me some personal conflicts that I am 100% behind her on.  I hope she knows I am here if she needs a shoulder or ear at anytime.  Also in attendance, was @HubertGAM.  He is a music promoter and founder of #Tweetea, which now has 5 locations in the Detroit Metro area and one in Minnesota.

@becksdavis, our evening’s organizer, is also one of Detroit’s preeminent bloggers!  Her blog, Detroit Moxie, is a must read if you live in or will visit the Detroit Metro area.  She is also running for the Good Mood Blogger and has garnered several thousand votes, even with joining the contest two weeks late!  If you love good blogs, click over and give her your vote.

It was a great evening with friends and a very motivating evening, too.  I look forward to being with my friends and to all that Detroit’s Social Media community has in it’s future!

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