Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Shut Up and Listen: Six Ways to Get to Know Orlando

Creative Mornings Orlando at Purple Rock Scissors

Question: I want to learn about my community and meet cool people. How do I do that? Answer: Go to one of these presentation-based events to mix, mingle, and learn. But, as we constantly find out for ourselves, tickets for some of these events sell out fast. Read on to find out which events to attend and the best way to make sure you save yourself a spot.

1. Nerd Nite
Nerds and non-nerds in over 75 cities worldwide attend the monthly Nerd Nite to hear presentations on entertaining, though-provoking topics by experts in their fields. Orlando's edition is hosted by Josh Manning (read our interview here) and takes place at Stardust Video & Coffee in Audubon Park. It's a great way to learn about interesting topics and to meet, well, nerds. 

Get Tickets: This event is free, but be sure to get there about 45 minutes early if you want a good seat. Follow Nerd Nite on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to know when the next event is posted.

Next Event: Nerd Nite Orlando XXIV on February 12th.

2. PechaKucha
PechaKucha (don't ask me how to pronounce it, I've been told it's wrong) is a quarterly presentation series that follows a dynamic formula: presenters show 20 images for 20 seconds each. Meanwhile, they talk about their experiences covering virtually every topic imaginable. 

Get Tickets: Keep a close eye on PechaKucha's Facebook page and jump on those tickets as soon as they're announced (about $11) because they sell out weeks before the event.

Next Event: Tickets for the February 6th event are still available! 

3. Orlando SOUP
Orlando SOUP, modeled after Detroit SOUP, is a quarterly event that allows four people who are passionate about their city to present a four-minute pitch for a community improving idea, after which they answer four questions from the audience. During the presentations, attendees get locally-sourced soup, bread, and salad. Then they vote on their favorite project, whose presenter then gets the night's proceeds and has to come back next time with a progress report.

Get Tickets: This event sells out within a day or two of when tickets ($10) are announced, so follow Orlando SOUP's Facebook page, Twitter, the Yelp Orlando calendar, and East End Market's calendar for announcements.

Next Event: The January 20 event is sold out, but the next SOUP is tentatively planned for April 14th.

4. Creative Mornings
A "breakfast lecture series for the creative community," Creative Mornings is a way to get to know awesome people doing awesome projects. (Oh, and it's always hosted in great locations around town.) Get to know some movers and shakers in Orlando, from tech start-ups to printmakers to circus performers.

Get Tickets: This is a free event, but sign-up is required and fills up quickly. Check out their Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates on how to register. Tip: make a profile early to make registration easier!

Next Event: TBD

5. ReThinking the City
Like its cousin, the 91.5 WPRK radio show, Rethinking the City is a forum to discuss all things urban. Come out and see what local and national folks are doing to make their cities better places to live through planning, urban agriculture, art, activism, and research. 

Get Tickets: This is a free monthly event, so just show up! Follow RtC on Facebook to stay in touch.

Next Event: Transit Engagement by the Pint on January 27th. 

6. Functionally Literate 
Functionally Literate is just one of a growing number of reading series in Orlando. But it's a good one, let me tell you. The quarterly series brings an array of fresh local, national, and international (!) authors to Orlando. (Oh, and you can also listen in to Functionally Literate Radio on 91.5 every Thursday at 9:00am.)

Get Tickets: The readings are free, so check out the FL's Facebook page for the next event.

Next Event: The next event features Ellen Datlow, Pat Rushin, and Teege Braune on March 21st.

We know we're probably missing a few events, so leave a comment to let us know your favorite presentation series! 

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