Ottawa Blogger Festival

I’m officially calling this reading-fake-Blogher thing a go!

BlogHere? BlogOtt? Blogawa? OttaBlog? Hm.

Anyway, I’ve taken the next step and started calling around for possible venues. I do not intend for this to be a ticket-selling event (if we all had extra money to spend, we’d be at BlogHer!). So, I don’t plan to book a meeting hall or conference room or any other place that would require rental money and a caterer.

I think I’m looking for a bar/pub/restaurant, with a private back meeting room or upper floor. Ideally they will have a microphone/dias we can use.

I was thinking that a downtown location would be best, as it would be central, and would hopefully capture some local Ottawa flavour, so that when this event GOES GLOBAL, we can tie it in with a tour of the parliament buildings. And maybe a visit from the Prime Minister!

Unfortunately, I am discovering that most of the downtown pubs/bars require a hefty deposit on a Thursday evening booking, as it is an otherwise busy time for them and they need to be guaranteed their revenue. If we get say, 50 people, who are all going to be buying drinks and appetizers, then okay. Otherwise, I’m going to be out a couple of thousand dollars.

I really have no idea what to expect in terms of turnout so I’m thinking of moving the date to a Tuesday or Wednesday night, when no (or a much smaller) deposit would be required. It’s either that, or I’ll see you all out here in Kanata, a.k.a. party central!

In other news, I’m going to limit readings to 5 minutes (and hopefully I will be firm about that, but in reality I am a huge pushover, so I will probably just try to convince XUP to kick some asses instead). If we keep to the time limits I think we should be able to get in at least 20 readings, probably at least 25, maybe even 30 if we all have a good strong expresso in the first hour.

I will try not to make EVERY post from now until July about this. In the meantime, give me a shout if you know of any good places I should call.

8 thoughts on “Ottawa Blogger Festival

  1. Other options (besides Fresco’s):

    -Lone Star (across from St. Laurent Shopping Centre). They have a party room/floor.
    -The Works Westboro

    I know that The Works holds 30 people and that there is no deposit; you just have to spend a minimum of $300. At least, that was the minimum a few years back.

  2. Oh, I’ve heard of Bocado hosting events on its second floor. (It’s on Somerset, I think.)

    You could also check with some Legions. They often rent their space for cheap, as do some churches.

  3. andrea

    Ottawa Blogger Breakfasts are held at the Fox n’ Feather on Elgin. They have an upstairs area which might work perfectly for this kind of thing.

  4. This sounds like a really fun idea. Not sure if they charge anything or not, but the Black Thorn on Clarence has a room in the back that is good for these type of things. I have attended a few events back there.

  5. PLEASE don’t shell out thousands for this! Gah!

    Also, let me know if I can help with anything. Once you get a venue finalized I’m happy to do other organizing, planning, etc. Should be fun!

  6. I was going to suggest Fox ‘n Feather, too – they have a variety of rooms that could be used. I’ve sort of been through this looking for places for the bloggers to have breakfast that was central. I settled on Fox n Feather finally. If we’re all buying drinks and food, there’s no reason for anyone to be charging you for the space. You should maybe connect with J from Please Pick up Your Socks — I understand she is a meeting planner in her spare time? She might have ideas for you as to venues.

    1. The Fox and Feather is the first place I called — they do require a deposit but I think we will cover it. The bigger problem is that I think we need a microphone (20ish people in a room, ordering food and drinks, will probably make it hard to shout over) and the Fox doesn’t have one in residence. Renting one will cost around $200…yipes. So I’m poking around some other options.

      Right now I’m also considering Raw Sugar (which I think would be ideal) and Frescos (which would require changing to a different night, because we can’t possibly cover their huge Thursday night minimum).

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