Ignite Tampa Bay 2019: Thursday June 6th at the Palladium in St. Pete

An annual Tampa Bay tradition returns tomorrow night: Ignite Tampa Bay, an evening of presentations where each speaker has to get the the point quickly — because they have only 5 minutes to do so.

What’s an Ignite talk?

An Ignite talk follows these simple rules:

  • Each speaker has 5 minutes in which to deliver a talk on a topic of their choice,
  • and must use exactly 20 slides,
  • and the slides auto-advance every 15 seconds.

It’s one thing to describe an Ignite talk, and an entirely other thing to see one in action. I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and use this one as first my example: the one I gave at Ignite Tampa Bay 2015. It’s a defense of Florida Man and Florida Woman, and an explanation of why we need them:

Need another presentation? How about Barry Greene’s talk on emergency preparedness, delivered at last year’s event?

And because Ignite was started by people in the tech community, there’s always a (usually layperson-friendly) tech talk or two. Here’s Sourcetoad CEO Greg Ross-Munro talking about Startup Bus:

Here’s what the official Ignite site has to say:

Ignite Talks is a fast-paced geek event started in 2006 by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. Since the first Ignite took place in Seattle [in 2006], Ignite has become an international phenomenon, with Ignite events produced in Helsinki, Tunisia, Paris, New York City and over 350 other locations in between.

Ignite’s mission is “Everyone Speaks”. We believe that public speaking builds confidence in individuals and that events like Ignite build community. Our goal is to make it possible for anyone, anywhere, to learn to present their ideas and their stories.

Ignite is also about having fun, and showing that presentations don’t need to be about “death by PowerPoint”.

Why attend Ignite Tampa Bay?

Judging by the traffic stats on this blog, if you’re reading this, chances are that you’re a techie, entrepreneur, or nerd living and working in and around the Tampa Bay area. Ignite Tampa Bay is one of those annual events where you’ll see the biggest concentrations of your peers gathered in a single place. Sourcetoad — with whom I work — will be there, as will the folks from KnowBe4, FairWarning, (ISC)2, Tampa Innovation (a.k.a. “!p”), Suncoast Developers Guild, Full Stack Talent, Women Who Code Tampa, Technova Florida, Embarc Collective, and more. It’s your chance to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, share ideas, and make the connections that are key to turning Tampa Bay’s tech scene into a livelier, more robust one.

Ignite can give you ideas. Ignite events are all about sharing ideas, and the constraints of an Ignite talk force the presenter to not just present their idea, but also to distill it down to its core essence. There’s something to be said for the way that the Ignite format makes a presenter think hard about the concept that they want to promote and bring it into focus. I’ve found ideas and inspiration from Ignite talks, and I think you might too.

Ignite has a “recharging” effect. I’ve heard time and again from people who’ve attended Ignite events that hearing Ignite talks helped get them out of a creative or restless rut. It might be seeing people trying to get their ideas across in five minutes, the diverse array of ideas that get presented, or the conversations that happen before, during, and after the event. Whatever it is, Ignite is a great way to get new perspectives and inspiration.

Attending Ignite Tampa Bay

Ignite Tampa Bay 2019 takes place on Thursday, June 6th, 2019 at the Palladium Theater in St. Pete (253 5th Avenue North). Doors open at 6:00 p.m., seating starts at 6:30, and the talks start at 7:00.

Tickets are $25 ($15 for students), and can be purchased either online or at the door.

There will be food trucks in the Palladium parking lot starting at around 5:00 p.m.. The Palladium has a snack bar that serves alchohol and non-alcohol drinks and snacks — be advised that the snack bar is cash-only (there’s an ATM in the lobby). The Palladium has a small parking lot beside it, and there are more lots nearby.

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