Posted by lemonjelly on:
Photo by my friend Tiv. What a great night!
Santa Barbara held its first PechaKucha Night and, imho, it was a rousing success. First, heaps of people showed up for it. All ages, all sorts of backgrounds. Lots of people I knew and lots of people I didn't know. How cool is that. And everyone was in a good mood and eager to hear what the presenters had to say.
It kicked off with a video greeting from Tokyo, the origin of PechaKucha, welcoming Santa Barbara to the growing number of cities participating in PechaKucha. It's currently over 500 cities worldwide, with approximately 2 PechaKucha events taking place *each day*. The video also taught us how to pronounce PechaKucha. It's pe-CHA ka-CHA, with very little emphasis on any syllable. And it's not "Machu Pichu" or "Pressure Cooker." Consider me educated.
There were seven presenters, each speaking to 20 slides with 20 seconds for each slide. And the range of topics was fantastic, from communication with your baby, how to build a 12x12 eco-friendly microhut, a poem of biodiversity set to luscious ocean life photography, molecular gastronomic food explorations with mouth-watering photos, building furniture with 3-D printers, and how to create a blog. I was impressed by the photo qualities and how clearly the presenters had practiced for their 6.4 minutes in the limelight.
Bruce Caron, one of the organizers, presented last, his topic was, aptly, how to do a 6.4 minute presentation for PechaKucha. So meta. It was relevant, it was funny, it was inspiring, and it referenced Edward Tufte. And I'm pleased as punch that so much of the audience appreciated the Tufte reference. For your viewing pleasure, Caron's presentation is now online. Can you spare 400 seconds?
Afterwards, people lingered at their tables, to keep talking. My group brainstormed on topics we'd like to present on, and where we could find other venues for PechaKucha Nights. I think that's exactly what the organizers could hope we would do.
So what are the next steps? PechaKucha in Santa Barbara plans to continue on the last Thursday evening of every month. We loved the venue, the University Club. They could continue there, but are open to other places too.
Join their Facebook page! You'll get invitations to future events, and you can contact them if you'd like to be one of the presenters.
It's all run by volunteers, for the amusement and enlightenment for us all. It's like TEDx talks, but BoingBoing topics. And relevant to Santa Barbara.