Tonight was Edmonton’s second Pecha Kucha night, the first was held back in May (you can learn more about Pecha Kucha here). Aside from the name, I’d say there was very little in common between the two events. Pecha Kucha 2 received a lot of press, largely as a result of the success of the first one, and that clearly had an impact on the audience. The show was sold out tonight (at 300) and unless you RSVP’d ahead of time, it was difficult to get in (a few did, however). The audience also skewed older tonight – I felt much younger than most of the people in the crowd, which was different than the first Pecha Kucha.
The presentations this time around were much better than at the first Pecha Kucha. Even though the first and last presenters this evening were clearly nervous, every presentation held my interest and more than a few of them incorporated elements of humor. Overall, it was much more entertaining than the first one. I really liked Christian Nelson’s Reclaiming Deadmonton, and the gamer/geek in me loved Matt Bouchard’s exploration of gaming console controllers, past and present. My least favorite was probably Rob Andruchow’s presentation on What is design?, as it felt out of place and was probably a topic too large for a mere 20 slides. He still managed to hold my interest though. I think keeping the number of presentations to just ten this time was a good idea.
My biggest complaint about the event was the lack of wifi. You’d think that Next Gen would have wifi at their own events, considering it is one of their top priorities. I think they may have tried tonight, as I briefly found an open network, but it didn’t work and quickly disappeared. Very disappointing.
There was free food this time, and the venue was much improved. The first event was in the lobby of the Winspear Centre which sounds cool, but was actually quite impractical. Tonight’s event was in the Westbury Theatre at the TransAlta Arts Barns, which meant stadium-style seating! Everyone fit comfortably, and everyone could see the presentations. Good call on making that change!
Next Gen is planning two more Pecha Kucha nights before May, with the next one likely taking place in January. Overall I’d say that Pecha Kucha 2 was an improvement over Pecha Kucha 1, largely on the strength of the presentations and venue, so I look forward to continued improvements for the next ones. Subscribe to the Edmonton Next Gen mailing list to be notified right away about the next one!