Offline Events for Designers: Introducing Montreal Meets

Montreal Meets

Be Social Offline

As designers, we can get so caught up in social media and online networking. We follow hundreds if not thousands of people on Twitter and connect and subscribe to dozens of blogs. We spread ourselves thin as we try to keep up. It’s overwhelming. That’s one reason why we’re seeing a resurgence in offline interaction amongst designers. There’s something to be said about meeting face to face with your design heroes and sharing trade secrets and business strategies over a tasty beverage. But how do you do that?

Fortunately, people like François Hoang of Aoiro Studio are making it happen by throwing events like Montreal Meets. A one day event featuring two extremely talented and well-known designers Fabio Sasso of Abduzeedo and James White of Signalnoise. They’re both going to give you a killer presentation and then hang out and talk with the fans. It takes place on Tuesday, January 25th 2011 at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. It starts at 18h00 (6pm) and please get there 30 minutes early.

Official Site for Montreal Meets

Montreal Meets: Welcome to the WMC Family

Most of you reading this probably won’t be able to attend, but that’s ok. It’s important that you are at least aware of stuff like this. That’s why I decided to sponsor Montreal Meets. I wanted to support this event because it’s exactly the type of thing I’m doing with Weapons of Mass Creation. Bringing creative people together offline for a positive and inspiring event. It’s part of the WMC spirit and I wanted to recognize Montreal Meets for that. Part of my vision is to build the global Weapons of Mass Creation movement and the idea for local chapters in your hometown have already started. Simon Hartmann has started the Goshen, Indiana chapter and is starting to hold regular meetups with other creatives in his area. Montreal Meets fits that vision.

But if you love Abduzeedo and Signalnoise and are bummed you might miss them in Montreal, there is hope! I am really close to confirming Fabio and James for WMC Fest this June in Cleveland. So, even if you don’t get to attend MM, you can meet them in Cleveland. Get stoked for that! And if you still are too far away from Cleveland, then why don’t you start something like this in YOUR hometown? That’s what a Weapon of Mass creation does! They make it happen!

The Vision Behind Montreal Meets

The idea is simple. To connect with the creative world. This is our main goal. To create events that will make people get inspired by the design industry. Especially by the people mastering their vision. We want you to join us on the exploration of the unknown. It’s also an opportunity for you to learn from the people of the industry. It’s their gift to us. It’s our legacy! Connect. Inspire. Learn.

Montreal Meets Abduzeedo and Signalnoise

Interview with the Founder of Montreal Meets

I had the chance to chat with Montreal Meets founder François Hoang and ask him a few questions about his vision.

GoMediaZine: Hey François, for those that aren’t familiar with you, tell our readers a little about yourself.

François Hoang: My name’s François Hoang and my alias is Aoiro Studio. I am a self-taught freelance graphic designer from Montreal, Qc in Canada. I’ve been designing for the last 4 years and really have a huge passion for creative work that makes a difference. I am currently working as a freelancer with private clients on different commercial projects. I am also the founder of Montreal Meets.

GoMediaZine: What is Montreal Meets? When is it? Why would our readers be interested? How can our readers attend or experience MM?

François Hoang: Montreal Meets is an event that gives an opportunity to people to connect with the creatives of our world. The ones that inspired people by their own vision and by also mastering it. I want people to join me on this exploration of what our universe has to offer. Get inspired and also learn from the creatives that make our industry such a wonderful thing! Montreal Meets : Connect. Inspire. Learn.

Our first event will be on January 25th with Fabio Sasso (Abduzeedo) and James White (Signalnoise) in Montreal. Two of the most wanted designers out there, each one with such a distinct vision. We have Fabio Sasso coming directly from Porto Alegre, Brazil and dragging with him his gift of sharing everything from his knowledge, passion and experience. His blog (; one of the design world’s most sought blogs for inspiration and tutorials. We also have James White (alias Signalnoise) coming from Halifax, Canada. He’s in my opinion one of the best designers that our country has to offer. His creative mind always has been his “forté” throughout all his years in the business.

GoMediaZine: Why are you putting on this event? What are your goals?

François Hoang: To tell you a little bit of a story, I was taking a little break in a Starbucks and I was checking on the current events of FITC and FOWD and I asked myself what if we do something like this in Montreal. Something more intimate so people could connect more with our speakers; it was a superficial idea back then but this is how Montreal Meets was born.

In my opinion, I think the most important thing in an event like this is the connection with the speakers; people want to relate to them. I think that’s my goal. If after my event, people would walk out and feel inspired by the speakers. Then I did what I had to do.

GoMediaZine: Why did you choose Abduzeedo and James White as your first guests? What will they be doing at the event?

François Hoang: To be pretty honest, about 6 months ago, I won the World Collabs #3 on and it was about an artwork collaboration from James White. After winning this contest, the buzz about this winning really changed my career. They are my first guests because I wanted to thank them for bringing my career to life.

The first Montreal Meets will be about connecting with the designers. They will speak about design, inspiration and blogging and by also sharing their life experience. How they started their career, the challenges they encountered and their future plans.

GoMediaZine: What do you look for in inviting speakers/guests?

François Hoang: As I mentioned before, I will look for inspiration in them, what they’re bringing in the creative world. What is their vision? And of course learn from them. We are learning everyday and if this gives another chance to the audience to learn then why not take it!

GoMediaZine: What other activities can one expect to do at MM?

François Hoang: After the talks from the speakers, we’ll end the event with a series of Q&A’s from the crowd and also with the broadcast that will be going on LIVE at the same time.

GoMediaZine: A live broadcast cool! What are your biggest challenges putting on an event like this?

François Hoang: One word, everything! It was a pretty big challenge for me to organize such an event like this. Hats off to the people that create a huge event like the WMC Festival for example. It’s a lot of planning and like they say, nothing ever goes as planned. So we always have to reevaluate the strategy of things but it’s a lot of fun! It was quite challenging but lots of amusing moments!

GoMediaZine: Funny you say that, I feel WMC is very small in comparison with FOWD or SXSW. But I’m flattered nonetheless! It’s certainly challenging putting it all together, but it’s all worth it. Will you be doing more events like this? What’s your plan for the future?

François Hoang: I don’t wanna get the word out yet but 2012 will be interesting! I can see that Montreal Meets is a great concept with lots of success so I’ll stick to my plans! We’ll see what the future will hold for Montreal Meets.

GoMediaZine: What do you think it means to be a Weapon of Mass Creation?

François Hoang: The title says it all! That you’re a machine of making creations that kill! Seriously I think it’s the sum of different divisions one can defy by expressing their vision by using forms of communication like art, film and music. That’s a Weapon of Mass Creation! To end this interview, I personally wanna thank Jeff Finley for giving me this great opportunity by sponsoring and by also offering the start of what could be the next of tomorrow’s future. Thank you Jeff!

GoMediaZine: Thanks François for putting on Montreal Meets and bringing the design community together in your own way.

Up Next: Interview with James White (Signalnoise)

In the next few days, I will post interviews with James White and Fabio Sasso to get their take on Montreal Meets and the Weapons of Mass Creation Movement. Oh, if you want to get involved in WMC, a good place to start would be the WMC Forum. Stay tuned!

About the Author, Jeff Finley

I'm a partner at Go Media, a Cleveland web design, branding, and design studio. I started Weapons of Mass Creation Fest and wrote the book Thread's Not Dead, teaching artists and designers how to start a clothing company. I'm also writing a new book called Wake Up: The Morning Routine That Will Change Your Life

Discover More by Jeff Finley


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