As December approached I had been trying to figure out what to do with the Toronto VizThink Community, my plan at the time was a simple “VizDrinks” idea, basically a mixer at a local bar with whoever wanted to come out. Around the same time a group Montreal announced they were doing a big Christmas party for the technology/startup community and the idea was floated about doing something similar locally in Toronto. A handful of us through our support behind the idea and on December 2nd we met at a downtown bar to come up with a plan.We left with a name, #Hohoto, a date and a cause – Toronto’s Daily Bread Foodbank.
The next 13 days were a blur as the event came together and this past Monday night we found ourselves at the Mod Club in downtown Toronto, with a sell out crowd of over 600 people from the technology, marketing and visual thinking communities here in Toronto, and at the end of the night handing the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank a check for $25,000.
I put together the following video/slide deck as a brief history of the event:
The outpouring of support from the community was overwhelming, as you can see from the video above we had over 60 organizations sponsor us either with cash contributions, in-kind services or raffle prizes so we could raise a little extra money at the event as well.
I want to personally thank two of our VizThink sponsors, and community members, Betsy Weber & the team at TechSmith and Michael Deutch & the team from Mindjet. Techsmith added a few licenses each of Camtasia and Snagit to the mix for us to give away and Mindjet gave us a couple of copies of Mindmanager for Windows 8 (Over $3000 in prizes alone from these two companies!) – all three are fantastic apps that I use daily and I know many people were hoping their ticket got drawn for them.
All in all it was a wild night, from interactive video walls displaying tweets tagged with hohoto to DJ requests via Twitter and the insanely popular p#hohoto booth setup and run by Rannie Turinigan & Canon (pics here). We even had a recorded messages from a handful of 2.0 “Celebrities” including Biz Stone, co-founder of twitter – heck, even the mayor of Toronto, David Miller recorded a greeting for the crowd.
All in 13 days. It was truly something special to be a part of and I was glad I got to include the VizThink community as part of it too. I also want to thank my co-conspirators without whom this wouldn’t have happened:
Leila Boujnane – CEO, Idée Inc.
Alexa Clark – Managing Partner, Plethora Press
Duarte Da Silva – Senior Manager, Communitylend.com
April Dunford – Director, Incubation Marketing, Nortel
Peter Flaschner – Founder, The Blog Studio
Rob Hyndman – Founder, Hyndman | Law & Mesh Conference
Sheri Moore – Partner, Creative Director, MCC Planners Inc.
Michael O’Connor Clarke – Vice President, Thornley Fallis Communications Inc.
Michael Penney – El Presidente, Afterlight Films
Michele Perras – Manager, Mobile Experience Innovation Centre
Corey Reid – Chief Cat Herder, FreshBooks
Ryan Taylor – Goldsmith, Adventurer, The Fair Trade Jewellery Co.
Rannie Turingan – Photographer, photojunkie.ca
Elena Yunusov – Founder, communicable.ca