Sparks Ignite Bright Ideas and Powerful Connections
Writer / Lisa Mitchell
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
Sparks events aren’t your average boring networking event. When you come to Sparks, you get a show! This lively event is truly a first-class production and is centered around three short, TED style talks that are meant to provide inspiration and challenge attendees to see things a new way. This gets conversations rolling as people continue to build connections after the talks wrap up for the night.
Sparks’ tagline encourages members to “Mingle. Be Inspired. Share.” The mingling is easily accomplished with the help of delicious food and cocktails that kick off each Sparks event. Listening to the fascinating and thought-provoking talks makes being inspired a given. And discussing your take on the talks and adding to the conversation has the sharing part covered. The format works and members are able to connect in deep, meaningful and productive ways as a result.
Chris Reed, who founded Sparks in 2012, explains the Sparks concept this way: “Sparks is a monthly event platform that delivers a common shared experience creating an environment for real connections between real people.”
Who attends Sparks events? The audience, which averages well over 100 people at any given event, is comprised of local entrepreneurs and business owners, community leaders, business development professionals and anyone who is genuinely interested in continuing to learn and connect.
When asked why someone should attend a Sparks event, Reed is often heard sharing his personal philosophy: “What got me to where I am today isn’t necessarily what is going to get me to where I want to be tomorrow. Keep learning!”
Sparks events also offer a professional production with state-of-the-art technology to showcase top-tier professionals as speakers on the Sparks stage. Former Sparks speaker and Executive Director of BNI Central Indiana Travis Sims encourages professionals to share their insights with the Sparks audience.
“Sparks is a platform that, as a speaker, you can reach a wide audience all at once with multiple Chamber of Commerce, Rainmakers and BNI all feeding into one event,” said Sims. “The timed format, big LCD screens, lights, cameras and energy from over 100 people in an audience make this an exciting stage to be on.”
Sparks events are held the second Tuesday of each month at Morty’s Comedy Joint at 3625 E. 96th St. in Indianapolis. Sparks members enjoy early entry to the venue at 4:45 p.m. for the “Member Mingle,” and doors open to non-members at 5:15 p.m. for mingling prior to the 6 p.m. show time.
The show includes two four-minute talks followed by the 10-minute headliner talk. The show comes in right at 35 minutes from start to finish. Guests are welcome and encouraged to stick around and share their thoughts on the talks and enjoy cocktails until the event wraps up at 8 p.m.
Sparks memberships are $10 per month or $90 if paid annually. Non-members can attend events for $12 with tickets purchased in advance or $16 day of show.
Sparks has been so successful that they will soon be adding Sparks events targeted towards specific topics including Sparks Well Being focused on health and wellness, Sparks Tech and Sparks Millennials. The Sparks events are growing each month, and the addition of the topic-specific events will help to ensure that the community continues to grow.
The next Sparks event will be held November 10. To find out more about Sparks, become a member or purchase tickets, go to sparkstalk.com.