ConnectOtt adds more industries for third annual event

Tom Pechloff
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When the doors open at the Chateau Laurier Thursday night for the third annual ConnectOTT event, participants will get a “more focused” offering, event co-chair Leigh-Ann Redmond told OBJ recently.

ConnectOtt co-chair Leigh-Ann Redmond

The networking event, which pairs young professionals with more experienced business leaders, is continuing to evolve, said Ms. Redmond, marketing manager at Nonlinear Creations.

One of the changes this year is the addition of six new industry categories: engineering and architecture; entrepreneur; food and hospitality; health and wellness; human resources; and sports and fitness. Gone is the business traditional category, Ms. Redmond said.

“This business traditional category really captured a lot of things that people wanted to see individually and so we responded to the feedback,” she said. “It really demonstrated the need to be a lot more focused on what we were offering.”

The new categories not only demonstrate a growth in those individual areas, she said, but also help refute the claim Ottawa is just a government town.

Young professionals who sign up for the event are moved around to a different table at each course of the dinner, where they are matched with the leaders who best fit their interests. Where there used to be 10 young professionals and one leader at each table, there will now be six young professionals and two leaders at each setting. The tables are also farther apart to help reduce noise, Ms. Redmond said.

“We wanted to make sure we increased the impact of the conversations,” she said.

ConnectOTT has also expanded its partnership with Shopify this year, and the e-commerce firm will have its own table at the event. There was also a “Win a seat with Shopify” contest earlier this month, which Ms. Redmond said is a great opportunity to potentially land a job with the growing company.

It wouldn’t be the first time Shopify has hired someone as a result of ConnectOTT – one of the firm’s current software developers, Kat Drobnjakovic, was introduced to the company at last year’s event.

Some of the industry leaders taking part this year include Ottawa Bluesfest executive director Mark Monahan, architect Andrew Reeves of Linebox Studio, Stratford Managers CEO Jim Roche and The Better Software Company chief executive Steve Cody.

Tickets for the event are available at the ConnectOTT website.

Organizations: Nonlinear Creations, Stratford Managers CEO Jim Roche and The Better Software Company

Geographic location: Ottawa

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