TILTED returns to grow RVA’s small businesses

No PowerPoint presentations allowed at this second annual unconference.

Small business owners will head downtown on March 1st for TILTED RVA, an unconference that bucks the boredom of traditional business forums while fostering an exchange of ideas and experiences. TILTED RVA follows last year’s event launch that welcomed 147 small business owners and their employees.1

“People at [last year’s] TILTED RVA seemed to love being in a room with so many unfamiliar faces and the opportunities to have conversations with so many people,” said John Sarvay, founder of Floricane, a co-organizer of the event.

One of last year’s attendees was Rick Jarvis, founder of One South Realty Group and co-organizer of the upcoming TILTED RVA event.

“I met some really great people and those connections have evolved over the course of the last year,” Jarvis said. “I would like to think I came out of last year’s event with several new business friends and I have called on their expertise on several occasions already.”

Part of last year’s success was that TILTED RVA eschewed the typical conference format, according to Deanna Lorianni of Zuula Consulting, one of the organizers of the event.

“So often, typical business conferences depend on a model where the ‘experts’ talk and everyone listens, which offers very little opportunity to engage in conversations, share your voice and learn from one another,” Lorianni said. “Instead, we’re promoting inclusiveness, topic crowdsourcing, and conversations instead of presentations. PowerPoint presentations are specifically not part of TILTED program model.”

Lorianni said that the upcoming TILTED RVA will focus more on group discussions, as well as creating more time for attendees to “talk and think and learn together.”

TILTED RVA organizers are inviting two-to-three experts on various subjects to lead small group discussions. On the morning of the event, there will be three rounds of group discussions, with five discussions in each round (15 discussions total).

The first six topics:

  • Get Your Project Management Mojo On
  • Advisory Board 101
  • Work/Life Balance: Discovering Healthy Strees
  • Building a Superstar Team
  • Getting Out of Your Own Way
  • Using Advocacy to Change the Business Landscape in RVA

Four additional topics will be announced next week.

On the day of the event, attendees will elect the remaining five topics to be discussed.

“Participants will select the topics, and participants will facilitate the discussions, and participants will actively engage in the conversation,” Sarvay said. “It will be pretty interactive–which could create an amazing train wreck, or some really great interactions. Maybe both.”

Tickets to TILTED RVA cost $40, with proceeds going to Renew Richmond, a nonprofit focused on increasing urban farming opportunities and access to healthy foods.

Food is included in the ticket price. Dixie Donuts will provide breakfast, Goatocado will serve lunch, and King of Pops will provide mid-day popsicles.

Deanna Lorianni is excited to once again meet people in the city’s business community. “RVA has such a vibrant, creative, and supportive small business scene; the energy we create together continues to inspire me in my own professional life,” she said. “I believe TILTED is a great example of how RVA business owners can (and do) support and inspire one another while fostering connections and ideas that continue to push RVA forward.”

TILTED RVA takes place on Saturday, March 1st on the first floor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch building at 300 East Franklin Street. Tickets are $40.

  1. On a Saturday, no less. 
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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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