Category: Ignite Denver 16

Early Bird Tickets and You: The Cost of an Unforgettable Evening

This Ignite Denver, we’re doing something different: we have two different ticket prices.

That’s right, for those of you who plan ahead, you can get your tickets for a paltry $5.

We’re rewarding our early birds with a less expensive worm. The worm is the exact same worm that you’ll pay more for next week, so if you get it early, you can save money for extra birdseed.

I took that metaphor way too far.

Tickets are $5 until Sunday, February 16th and they will go up to $10 on Monday, February 17th, so it would behoove you to buy your tickets now and save the extra scratch for a drink at The Oriental Theater.

No matter when you buy your ticket, you’re still going to bear witness to an epic evening filled with inspiration and revelation. You don’t want to miss this!

Get your tickets now!

Announcing Your Speakers for Ignite Denver 16!

Ignite Denver LogoMan, do we have a diverse cast of characters coming atcha this February 20th at the Oriental. We’re really excited by the speaker’s you’ve chosen and we have to say, Denver, you have mah-velous taste, dah-ling. Mean it! Love you!

OK, now I shut up and give you the list of speakers and topics for the main event in no particular order:

  • Joe Hackel: Space is the new (Colorado) (Internet) (Microbrewery) startup
  • Meg Jamison: Why “Smart” is Stupid: A critical look at education through the lens of innovation
  • Justin Morgan: The Art of Storytelling
  • Tiffany Lanier: You’re not broke. You just have a Broke Mindset.
  • Becky Tate: 30 Days of Pleasure
  • Rick Ramos: How to Dig Yourself Out of a Shithole With a Shovel
  • Frank DeDominicis: Myths of Women & Power
  • Cody Pearson: Vibes Are Real
  • Melissa Dafni: The New Internet is Coming, Are you Ready?
  • Marissa Berlin: The Art of the Heckle
  • Dean Bacalzo: Running Can Be Fun… Seriously.
  • Alicia Nieva-Woodgate: Mr. Mayor – Save Denver
  • Jeff Gamet: Everything I Need to Know in Life I Learn from Watching Muggles in Starbucks
  • Justin Stollsteimer: Want Your Website to Look Like NO YOU DON’T.

Awwww yeah. Are you getting a little excited? Is your breath short from anticipation? Are your palms sweating with excitement?

First things first, catch your damn breath and dry your hands with a towel, because you have a problem containing yourself.

Next, go get your tickets for Ignite Denver 16 right here:

Now, go get a countdown app so you can watch it anxiously as you wait for 6 pm on February 20th at The Oriental Theater.

We’re gonna have a grand ol’ time.

Struggling to Create a Pitch for Ignite Denver 16? We Can Help!

Throughout our workshop series, one of the things that we’re constantly discussing with people interested in submitting a spark (the pitch) is how to properly word their title and pitch to get the maximum number of people interested in their topic.

Let's all avoid bad pitches. And bad imagery puns.
Let’s all avoid bad pitches. And bad imagery puns.

We get emails, tweets and messages about it. A lot. So if just knowing that you aren’t alone in your uncertainty helps you feel more certain, then there you go. Problem solved. Now go submit a spark.

If that doesn’t help and you need more guidance, well, read on.

The number one most important thing that you can do when developing your spark is come up with a catchy title. What can you do to make your title stand out?


  1. Connect on an emotional level. Marketing 101, boys and girls; people make small (and sometimes big) decisions based on emotions. If you can connect emotionally with your title, you’re doing a good job.
  2. Make it funny. People respond to something that makes them laugh. Hell, even just makes them smile. If you get a chuckle, chances are, you’ll get a vote.
  3. Make people curious. If your pitch is enticing enough, with just a touch of mystery, then people will vote just to see what your answer is.

Here are some examples of successful spark titles:

  • Confessions of a Seemingly Social Recluse
  • Teach your kids how to manage money or they’ll move back home when they are 30.
  • Bitches Love Candles (And Other Courtship Fallacies)

These titles get the voter a little curious, evoke an emotional response and/or they make people smile.

Your pitch should elaborate on your title and be equally as compelling. No more than three or four sentences though. Seriously, no one should have to read a pitch longer than your presentation. Keep it to a paragraph, yo.

Random Tips

Not to be an asshole, but unless you have something truly revolutionary, people don’t seem to respond to sparks about social media. I can’t say for certain why, but it’s likely because our audience is super media savvy already. They want to learn something new. Teach them your ways!

Also, many of you know the first rule of Fight Club, but Ignite Denver also has a first rule and that is absolutely NO shilling. If your pitch sounds even slightly promotional for your business, your startup or your nonprofit, say adios.

The big question people ask me after that rule, is what if they want to mention their job because it lends itself to credibility? We have no problem with you mentioning what you do for a living or where you work as long as it lends credibility and is not a promotional attempt (trust us, we’ll tell you if it is during the run throughs).

The MOST important thing you can do when submitting a spark is to make it something you are passionate about. Why should we care as much about your topic as you do? Tell us briefly in your pitch, then elaborate in your presentation.

Instead of telling us about what you do from 9-5, tell us what you do that makes your heart soar, adrenaline pump or mind engage. Or just make us laugh our asses off. Either way, you’re golden, kid.

If you have ANY more questions about submitting a spark (which closes THIS FRIDAY, btw), please email us at

Spark Submission is Open for Business!

Remember that time last year, after you went to an Ignite presentation and you were all, “I’m totally going to submit a spark next time!”

Well guess what, buck-o, the time is now.

I get it. Talking in front of a crowd is nerve wracking. What if you trip going on stage? What if your mind goes blank and you freeze at the first slide? What if you’re so nervous that all of your bodily systems give out on you at once and you vomit all over your shirt and wet your pants at the same time?

You after Ignite Denver 16 (except you're not a baby).
You after Ignite Denver 16 (except you’re not a baby).

The good news is that all of these are very unlikely. You may blank out and you may trip coming on stage. The vom/pee thing probably won’t happen even though you’ve stated something similar in a hyperbolic fit of refusal to speak in public.

The even better news is that we’ve developed a set of workshops to face those exact fears and get you so pumped and so prepared for Ignite Denver 16 that after you leave the stage with thunderous applause following you, you’ll think to yourself, “Why didn’t I do that sooner?”

So submit a spark today and begin your path to the stage at The Oriental Theater.

A couple of things to remember:

In order to be eligible, you must be available on the evening of the following dates:

  • Monday, February 10th
  • Monday, February 17th
  • Thursday, February 20th

These are the two run throughs and the event itself.

If you want to come to our remaining two workshops to gain even more confidence on presenting, here’s the scoop:

  • January 20th, 6 pm, Shift Workspaces: Presenting at Ignite Denver
  • February 3rd, 6 pm, Shift Workspaces: Creating a Great Presentation

In these, we’ll give you an overview and pointers to help your presentation kick ass and we’ll also answer any questions you may have. Our goal is to have the process be as transparent as possible so there are no surprises and nothing to be afraid of on the night of Ignite Denver 16.

So what are you waiting for, throw your hat in the ring and get pumped to be part of an awesome Denver event. Submit a spark today (submission closes on January 24th)!

New Year, New Ignite Denver, New Sparks

Photo: Kia Ruiz
Naomi Kamla, addressing your inner sticky
Ignite Denver 15
Photo: Kia Ruiz

It’s a new year, Igniteers, and we’re excited to have another geektastic Ignite Denver on the horizon! That’s right; Thursday, February 20th at the Oriental, knowledge will be dropped. Did you make a resolution to try new things or to put yourself out there more? Perhaps you literally made a resolution to do more public speaking? If that’s the case, my friend, then I think you need to pitch a spark. We’re having an informational meeting this coming Monday, January 6th in Shift Workspaces at 6 pm so that you can find out more about the process and how to write a compelling pitch (we call them sparks because of the whole fire motif). In fact, here’s the whole freaking schedule for our workshoppes, those wonderful information sessions where we try to give you as much information as humanly possible to help you create the best Ignite presentation ever. Jan. 6 – Creating a Compelling Pitch/Spark Jan. 20 – Presenting at Ignite Feb. 3 – Creating a Great Presentation Feb. 10 – 1st Run Through **REQUIRED** Feb. 17 – 2nd Run Through **REQUIRED** These are all on Mondays at 6 pm at Shift Workspaces, so you don’t have to try and juggle different days of the week in your mind. Because we care. If you’re at all interested in finding out what it takes to submit a spark and become a presenter, we encourage you to swing by on Monday and see what all this noise is about. Happy New Year and all that jazz, Your Ignite Denver Organizers

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