PechaKucha, doo doo doo doo doo

Last night I went to a local bar (for want of a better term) for a Pecha Kucha night. No idea what that is? I didn't know either, and had to google to figure it out.

PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images.

When we arrived, we also discovered we couldn't even pronounce it! The lady said to me “think of it like the muppets”, which I really didn't get until I found this YouTube video:

The host venue was The Sol Bar in Maroochydore. I don't consider it a bar. Sure it serves alcohol, and it has bar in the name, but it hosts so many cultural events I think associating it with the name “bar” is demeaning. This weekend it's the host of the “World Festival”, which appears to be a regular thing now where they have markets, food and music. I'm in the process of arranging with friends to attend, I think it would be great fun!

But back to last night.

My friend/work colleague (we are debating what we call ourselves really) and I arrived to find a small crowd in the front room, and after purchasing some drinks from the bar made our way over to a couch in the corner where we met up with another friend of ours. We sat there chatting for a bit, before realising that people were making their way into the back room. After paying our entry fee and making our way inside, we found that food had been provided, and that we were to put on name tags, neither of which we were expecting. There were chairs set out in rows with a stage set up in the corner, with a glaring light beaming down where the speaker would stand (each presenter complained it prevented them from being able to see anything).

We were pleasantly surprised to discover the night was themed around start ups. The speakers in turn spoke about the following:

  • Speaker one: starting his own graphic design company, and putting on exhibitions
  • Speaker two: going from being a mother, to starting her own blog reviewing Aldi products and getting paid by Aldi for it, to a foundation where grandma's make purses with their stories stitched inside (supported by Sarah Blasko), to hosting events designed for mothers that don't usually get to have nights out due to mothering young children. It was about the challenges she faced in starting something new, watching it blossom then moving onto the next project
  • Speaker three: completing changing careers at 40 years of age, and realising her dream of writing and directing movies based on true stories
  • Speaker four: an entrepreneur assisting in the growth of numerous companies, and establishing his own personal wealth

It was a much shorter night than usual, due to the first speaker having a screening at the cinema prior to the speeches at the bar. We were disappointed not to have known about the movie, although when chatting with him later he did suggest going to see it the following night in Brisbane; unfortunately I had plans.

The great thing was that after the speeches and a general Q& A session, we were able to mingle with the speakers and actually engage them in further discussion. I found most of them to be highly intelligent, and very welcoming of more detailed conversation. I know my friend gained a lot of insight into strategies for his own personal situation, and while I'm not involved in start ups, I found it so fascinating to hear their stories.

Overall, going to the PechaKucha night is something that was so out of the norm for me, and I'm glad that I had been encouraged to try it. It has made me want to research more into finding nights like this on the Sunshine Coast, and more importantly, wonder what else I'm missing out on. There really is more to life than just drinking, partying and work. I'm glad I'm getting the chance to realise that, and really enrich my life.

On a side note, I have a personal feeling that I will be seeing my friend on that very stage within 5 years talking about how he once was in the audience, he made a change to his life, and now he was the one giving the speech. I better get some sort of mention!