Toronto Events

Less Talk, More Do

BrainstormingIn my last post "Toronto Meet-Ups and Greet-Ups", I highlighted some of the main social media and communications events in Toronto. Today, I noticed a tweet by @malcolmbastien which read "Chatting About Event Overload in Toronto" with a link back to his blog. The post features a discussion between himself and Justin Kozuch (founder of Refresh Events), emphasizing that the increasing number of meet-ups in Toronto is not generating higher quality conversations. If anything, the discussions are becoming more fragmented and the groups more obscure. Malcolm's post got me thinking. Many of us go to a number of events for different reasons (mainly networking and knowledge accumulation), but after a while you start to realize you've heard it all before. I'm not knocking the events that I attend, or any of the hundreds of other ones out there—they all have a certain value to their participants. What I am saying is that as time goes on I am learning less and less new information and coming away from the events feeling less accomplished than I might have a year ago.

I wonder how the Toronto community can change this current trend. How can we make the events not only relevant and topical, but beneficial and useful from a practical standpoint?

Idea: What if some of the larger, more established events set up wikis where members of their community can submit problems, campaigns or current projects. Attendees and other members of the community could then put their names beside projects of interest until working groups were formed. I think something like this would allow us to use the knowledge we have accumulated and directly apply it, while still networking and continuing our education. When a group solves a problem or puts a project to bed, they could share what they learned with the rest of the community.

This is obviously only one suggestion. I've always preferred to learn from practical experience. I'm interested in putting the question out there: how do you think we can make these events more beneficial and useful to you? How would you like to see them grow? What would inspire you to attend more of them? Would you be interested in forming working groups to work on solving projects of interest?

Toronto Meet-Ups and Greet-Ups

Third Tuesday TO via LexnGer If you're part of the PR, tech, communications or social media community in Toronto you can pretty much fill up your entire week (and sometimes weekend) with different industry events. There are so many of them that it's sometimes hard to keep track, and even harder to know which ones are worthwhile. As September begins, bringing with it cooler weather and an end to the summer vacation mindset, Toronto's networking community is back in full swing. Here are some regular events to check out this fall:

1. Third Tuesday: Organized by Thornley Fallis, Third Tuesday is a long running social media event featuring discussions and presentations by industry professionals. Past guests have included Steve Rubel, Jeremy Wright, Mathew Ingram and Amber Mac. Third Tuesdays are a good venue for anyone just getting into the industry as well as self-proclaimed veterans. The networking at Third Tuesdays always adds value. I have made many great connections by simply attending and engaging in pre- and post-presentation discussions.

Cost: $10.00

2. SproutUpTO (formerly Wired Wednesday TO): Sprouter's SproutUp events are geared towards the tech, online and geek communities. They bring together start-ups and entrepreneurs as well as some PR and communications professionals. Recent events have seen presentations by Saul Colt and Stuart MacDonald. I find the networking at these events to be really top notch and have met great people and learned something valuable every time.

Cost: Free

3. Toronto Geek Girl Dinners: I wrote about these in a recent blog post on Toronto Uncovered. Food, girls and geek talk. Need I say more?

Cost: $10.00 (to hold your spot), plus cost of your dinner

4. GenYTO: Less formal events held at different watering holes throughout the city. These meet-ups are for young professionals working within the tech, communications and social media fields. Upcoming events and news/dialogue are streamed through their Facebook page.

Cost: Free

Thirsty Thursday Toronto5. Thirsty Thursdays: Similar to GenYTO, Thirsty Thursdays are usually held once a month, or once every couple of months at different bars in and around Toronto. This is a more intimate event, where you can count on a good mix of professional and not-so-professional topics of conversation. They're always a lot of fun, and a good way to meet people in the industry.

Cost: Free