Current Events Tampa Bay

Virtual Ignite Tampa Bay — See the best of Ignite Tampa Bay! Thursday, April 16 @ 7 p.m.

Turn off the TV, Nix the Netflix, give Amazon Prime video a break tonight: Go watch Ignite Tampa Bay tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, online at! That’s when we’ll be showing the best of Ignite Tampa Bay, the event where Tampa’s most interesting people give tapas-sized TED talks!

Ignite Tampa Bay is an evening of talks that follow the philosophy of “Enlighten us, but make it quick!” It turns the standard speaker-and-audience format on its ear by adding some interesting constraints:

  • Each speaker is limited to exactly 5 minutes for his or her presentation.
  • Each presentation is accompanies by 20 slides, no more, no less.
  • The speaker has no control over when the slides advance; they automatically advance every 15 seconds.

The five minute limit forces speakers to whittle their presentations down to the essence of their talk, and the auto-advancing slides make it necessary to practice, practice, practice.

Here’s an example of an Ignite talk from Ignite Toronto 4, which took place over a decade ago. It’s my rather drunken “Go Busk Yourself” talk:

Ignite Toronto 4: Joey DeVilla: Go Busk Yourself from Ignite Toronto on Vimeo.

The 2020 edition of Ignite Tampa Bay may have been undone by the novel coronavirus, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t hold an event. Rather than gather people at the Palladium in St. Pete — hopefully, we’ll be able to do it next year — we decided to hold a “Best of Ignite Tampa Bay” viewing party!

We’ll be showing the past decade’s Ignite Tampa Bay talks that caught people’s attention, made them think or laugh (or both), and put forth interesting ideas.

(And yes, they picked my 2015 Ignite talk on the importance of Florida Man!)

Just like the live event, there’ll also be an afterparty — and just like the real afterparty, you’re going to have to buy your own drinks.

Join the party! It’s happening at tonight at 7:00.

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