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The first of many #MTCommons mixers

By Steph Guthrie

Last night we hosted our inaugural MediaTech Commons mixer at the Brazen Head Pub in Toronto’s Liberty Village. And what a party it was!

We were 60 people from all corners of Toronto’s digital media industry, rubbing elbows, imparting insights, and sharing laughs. The room was diverse in all respects, with a fantastic mix of men and women from all kinds of cultural backgrounds and job profiles. We had game developers from Singapore, members of the Canadian University Press from Victoria, digital animators from Guelph, and audio specialists from Manitoba (among many others).

Mandy Gilbert, founder of placement agency Creative Niche, and her colleague Theresa Casarin gave attendees the scoop on which job profiles and skill-sets are trending right now in digital media, and which ones promise to grow in the future. Check out our Storify of tweets from the evening to see some of the trending digital media professions.

Attendees filled out a brief survey about their working life and after Mandy and Theresa’s talk we presented the results. A few surprises that jumped out at me:

  • Nearly 40% of participants did not feel there were opportunities for advancement in their current jobs (more than I was expecting)
  • Nearly 70% of participants work in-office (in this industry, I was expecting far more people would work from home)
  • More than 50% of participants get benefits at their jobs (w00t!)

To make the sometimes-daunting task of chatting with strangers a little bit easier, attendees played “Networking Bingo” and sought out new acquaintances with a variety of experiences, from “Had a Geocities/Angelfire website in the ‘90s” to “Has a female boss”. Our Networking Bingo winner got a $50 gift certificate to the Brazen Head.

The cherry on top of an informative and fun evening? Toward the end of the night, a participant told me that he had met a really engaging young woman seeking work as a community manager. Later in the evening, he was chatting with another participant currently seeking to hire a community manager. The attendee introduced his two new acquaintances to one another, and they instantly hit it off and spent the rest of the evening chatting. Who knows – perhaps that connection will lead to a fabulous working relationship!

Last night was the first of what we hope will be many more #MTCommons mixers where people working in digital media can help find each other jobs (!) while sharing insights about what’s happening in this industry. Follow @EspaceMTCommons on Twitter to stay in the loop about future events.

Steph Guthrie is the moderator of the MediaTech Commons. She’s an internet animator and a full-time feminist. You can join her at the MediaTech Commons by signing up here. Already a member? Log in here.

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