Tag Archives: Ontario

Top Three Networking Opportunities in Hamilton (September)

So as early morning approaches, and waking up to the sounds of crickets filling the air I thought I’d take the time to write a blog. I have two other blog ideas going but as I was on my way home today, seeing a bus filled with wide eyed impressionable minds excited about starting a new year at McMaster University or Mohawk College. I thought I’d take a minute to introduce some events those students might be interested in going to.

It’s never too early in a school term to get yourself out there to some of these networking events happening in Hamilton, and as I look at my calendar I keep of all these events I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by just how many events there are. Some I come accustomed to going on a monthly basis because I love the social interaction I have with them. Some I know and feel obligated to go as you never know what opportunity might come by going.

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So I thought I’d compile a list of 3 event/networking events happening in the city that I feel as a creative individual or entrepreneur should attend and why.

Startup Drinks

This is actually a fitting one, not only is it coming up really fast but it’s also just a great way to ease into your month of getting yourself out there. I think I’ve been attending Startup Drinks for about a year now. I don’t think I missed one yet. It is not because it has my favourite word in it… You can hazard a guess which word that might be! But truthfully it is the individuals, like me, that go out to Startup Drinks on a regular basis. It ranges from Developers to Graphic Designers, Lawyers to Game Designers. You name it, they will probably be there.

My favourite part of Startup Drinks is the discussions that happen, some will pitch you ideas, some will come just to introduce themselves but one of my favourite conversations happened just last month. Entrepreneurs discussing how Yoga and Meditation can help create a balanced lifestyle which is not really something that is discussed often enough. When you tend to go to other networking events, it is a lot of “pitching”, I remember when I first starting going to events oh how nervous I was, and scared to talk about myself especially when I know the other person is judging me by how I dress, how I present my ideas, how I act. Meanwhile still waiting for their opportunity to speak so they can talk about themselves. Finding Startup drinks, to discuss topics such as like how each individual handles stress was to say the least a stress reliever to know that others feel the same way.

Startup Drinks isn’t like that though, there is no agenda to it, no formal address from a speaker, it’s just a group of people gathered in one centralized location discussing matters that sometimes do not get addressed. I highly recommend anyone that is interested in starting to build a networking presence to come out to Startup Drinks, you will meet individuals that you will see at other events but have an opportunity to greet them with no-pressure environment. As they say, first impression is key, and when there is already pressure on hand how will one truly get to know you in the end?

Startup Drinks is happening:
Thursday September 12, 2013 (monthly event)
At Winking Judge on Augusta St.
And starts at 6pm and goes until late.
http://www.softwarehamilton.com/startupdrinks/

Creative Exchange

Now, on the other side of the spectrum, Creative Exchange I love to attend, again, I only have missed one or two over the past year due to the fact that there was way to many events to go to. Go-Hamilton-Go! In all honestly while for a person like me that I try to attend everything is a nightmare… it’s great to see so many different types of events out there to suit your needs.

Creative Exchange is a monthly networking event for Hamilton’s creative class, it is organized by the city’s Film & Television office. This one does follow a routine, but I do enjoy that routine. They allow you to openly address the group, introducing yourself with usually a minute pitch and explain what you do, and what you’re hoping to get out of being at the event and from the Hamilton community. You’ll also get updated on what is going on in Hamilton’s Film and Television world as well as any other sort of news that might be taking place in the creative space.

There is always a great turn out of highly respected creative individuals to create an engaging conversation with, and as always a great opportunity to meet someone new to Hamilton that is just excited to be apart of the Hamilton Creative Community.

While this is usually a monthly event, I’m not 100 percent sure when the next one will be, no formal updates have been made just yet however, Creative Exchange has been spending the last 6 months working on a Music Strategy plan after the Ontario government announced its plan to invest 45 million dollars to help cities like Hamilton to promote their music industry.

So, why should you attend their open house? You will be able to meet the very same individuals who come out to a normal Creative Exchange Networking event, plus be introduced to some of the movers and shakers of Hamilton’s Music Scene.

Now you’re saying, but, I’m a photographer, or videographer what does that have to do with me? It has everything to do with you, the Music Strategy plan will include everything from marketing and promotions to the musicians themselves. Pretty much anyone or any company that will be or can be involved in helping promote the scene should and needs to be included.

To find out more check out the link below!

The Creative Exchange Music Strategy Open House is happening
September 24th 2013 at Tourism Hamilton (Visitors Centre)
from 6pm to 9pm.
http://filmhamiltonontario.ning.com/events/hamilton-music-strategy-open-house-2nd-event

Innovation Factory’s Lunch n Learn

This is a different kind of event, I’ve been to a few so far and I’ve always learned something new in the business world. There is usually a formal networking part while you enjoy a nice lunch. And then a speaker discussing a certain aspect of business. I enjoy going to them because it allows me an opportunity to see people in the startup space that I don’t normally get to see at Startup Drinks.

Here is what will be happening this month from Lunch n Learn

“All About Franchising
Please join iF on Tuesday September 24, 2013 for a unique learning and networking opportunity presented by KPMG. Enjoy a free lunch while Ash Vasdani (McDonald’s) offers his insights into franchising. Do you own a business that could be franchised? Are you looking at buying into an existing franchise? Or, are you just interested in learning about franchising? If so, this Lunch ‘n Learn is for you! Ash will discuss franchising as a growth strategy, the motivations, benefits and opportunities for both the franchisee and the franchisor when entering into a franchise relationship, and shares his experiences with different types of franchise partnerships.
Our Lunch ‘n Learn events are a great way to get out and network while enjoying a free lunch, and learning something new! Please forward this to all of the innovators you know.”

If you want to see more about Innovation Factory’s Lunch n Learn check out their website.

And there you have it, this is merely a taste of what is happening. There are more events happening in the city and new ones being created by awesome community leaders every single day. So I’ll leave you with this, as we become accustom to social media to interact with individuals and stay within our own comfort zone you lose sight of what it truly means to be human. Fear of the unknown challenges us to grow beyond expectations. And real life social interaction helps develop the foundation of human communication.

It’s very easy to say how we feel online, but it is another thing to be able to speak eloquently in person to express our ideas and our dreams. You can stay within your core inner circle or you can grow your inner circle beyond measure. Start now, build your connections and relationships. You never know what opportunity might come your way just with a simple introduction.

Stay Legendary,
Michael

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The Day After WordCamp Hamilton

After spending months working with Dale, Roz, Geoff, Martin, Nick, & Kevin on WordCamp Hamilton, the day has come and gone. Months of planning really payed off in the end for a great one day event held at the beautiful Art Gallery of Hamilton & After party at Radius.

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When I woke up this morning, I felt like I was coming down from a high, excited to see it happen, sad to see that it’s over… wondering what will the next big thing is.
I also thought about my past a bit, in terms of how long have I’ve used WordPress and how long I’ve actually had a blog.

When I think back, I really have been blogging since the beginning of highschool, when having a livejournal or deadjournal account was the big thing to have and do! And just how much fun I had writing what I was passionate about or what crazy thing I did on the weekend.

Yesterday’s event was really an eye opener for so many different reason, when you have people speaking like Joey Coleman, Kristin Archer and Seema Narula who shared their stories about entering into this world and why they do what they do, and really exploring their passion for the city it’s not hard to be inspired by their enthusiasm.

Kevin Browne giving the keynote talk about community and developing the connections and collisions necessary to form a strong base or foundation and growing the community as a whole.

Although all four of the morning speakers who talked about different aspects of community and engagement in terms of growing their audience and exploring their passion, which may or may not have anything to do with wordpress per say but has everything to do with it’s just the preferred platform they use because of the easy usability was again truly inspiring.

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Richard Rudy, who started off the more in-depth look at wordpress and technical side by expanding into mobile optimization of your wordpress account and why it is important to make sure you know how your audience is viewing your content and why it’s key to mobilize your site across all platforms was needless to say highly informative.

It’s something that I am no stranger to, as I always make sure that my content is doing just that reaching out, anyway it can be viewed.

Al Davis, Laurie Rauch, Todd Dow were awesome speakers as well, opening up the floor to security, Design, Content and beginners guide to installing wordpress. From the afternoon sessions there was just so much useful information to take in and now as I sit back and writing this blog starting to think about the format in which I write and direction I wish to take this wordpress account in.

In closing, WordCamp Hamilton was truly an amazing experience and learning so much knowledge gave me a new profound appreciation for what people do and what they are capable of doing. And seeing what happens when a small core group of people with different mindsets can achieve and accomplish. I also learned a lot not just in the sense of wordpress but also just in the spirit of community building, something I could easily translate it back into my own passions like Web Series and vlogging (video blogging) and transferred yet again back into the wordpress community.

Ever since I’ve decided to make a point to go out to every single event that helps promote the Startup & creative community I learn something new every single time, I make connections with individuals that I might not know why I’m drawn to them at first but there is good reason why those friendships are forged.

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I’m honestly grateful to be living in a city with so many awesome people, tightly woven in the fabric of a city that is on the verge to achieve great potential in a new frontier. Be mindful to those individuals that you so non-chalently forget about, it’s those people that make a huge difference in the city.

One final thought, Kevin Browne, Joey Coleman, and Dale Mugford are my heros for creating the necessary vehicles to create new opportunities, building friendships & relationships and learning from each others knowledge.

The city of Hamilton should be feel fortunate to having these individuals here and taking the community to the next level of growth

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